Packaging is critical. After all, most people are going to see the package for your product in the store before they see the actually product. It’s the ultimate first impression. This is particularly true for food packaging. You don’t see the actual RiceKrispies when you buy a box of the cereal; instead you see a picture of RiceKrispies in a bowl of milk with the colorful Snap, Crackle and Pop! characters looking over it with excitement. All of this is set against a bright blue backdrop and headlined by the Rice Krispies logo. This adds up to a package that showcases the product as an exciting breakfast food. You can probably think of dozens of other examples off the top of your head of other household brand names. Each of these brands is instantly recognizable and its strategic packaging points directly to the product that it encapsulates. But not all packaging is good packaging, and there are more than a few companies that miss the mark when their product hits the shelves. Let’s look at a few common packaging mistakes.
Jargon or silence
Most products have a brief description to explain what you are buying. This might include how it works, the unique features, or the common uses. There can be two different types of failures in regard to the description the packaging. The first is that the creators of the packaging try to impress consumers by filling the description with jargon and technical data that would only impress an industry expert. 95% of people won’t be able to understand or appreciate this kind of message, and they will feel like they understand less about the product after reading about it, not more.
The second type of problem is the opposite of the first: little or no information in the description. Have you ever picked a product up off the shelf and read the packaging but then put it down and walked away feeling like it didn’t tell you anything? If there is no description, or the description is too minimal, people won’t appreciate the benefits of the product. The solution to both of these problems is clear, concisely written descriptions on the package that emphasize the most important traits of the product.
Packaging you have to wrestle with
It’s great to have packaging that protects your product, but don’t design a structure that can only be opened after someone breaks a sweat. This seems obvious, but if a the packaging isn’t user friendly then less people will buy your product. Design a package with the customer’s needs in mind. Studies have actually indicated that there is a direct relationship between the ease of opening a product and a person’s final purchasing decision . Remember, with an aging population, convenient openings and closures will play a more important role.
Using too many materials
This may seem like another mistake that is too obvious to make, but as our friends at packaginginnovtation.com remind us; it does happen . Some companies waste resources on packaging materials that are totally unnecessary. For example, most large fruits don’t need a plastic wrap or casing when they are being sold in a grocery store. Unnecessary packaging will cost your company more money, and it is not an environmentally friendly solution. Your packaging should be functional and cost effective, and a smart design usually employs ways to reduce the use of excess materials.
Don’t rush the process
These are just a few of the common packaging mistakes that companies make from time to time. To ensure that your company develops effective packages that don’t fall prey to the many errors that are waiting to be made, consult with packaging professionals or take the time to carefully plan and test every element of your packaging before it goes on shelf.
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