10 Packaging Tips That Will Make Consumers Buy Your Product
The customer is king/queen. We have all heard this mantra. It’s up to you, the supplier, to prove it so. With these ten tips you will be a lot closer to proving that you are on top of industry trends and technologies for the packaging industry.
1) Understand the customer. The problem today is that one package may not satisfy the needs and requirements of all buyers. There are numerous niche markets out there that require specialized packaging. So if you are targeting one of those, do your research first. What works for one target market may not work for another. EX: Child resistant closures on medicines are almost impossible for those over 50 to open.
2) Find out what package attributes appeal to the customer you are targeting. If it’s a harried housewife shopping for your product then convenience of use better be at the top of the list. Those over 50 are seeking convenience too but issues like the size of print on the package and ease of use top their priority list. Make sure your package employs the characteristics that appeal to your target market.
3) Understand how the package will be used. Families no longer sit and eat a meal with everyone at the same time. There are special diet requirements or dieting in general in most households. It’s not uncommon to serve different meals to different individuals. Package sizes will vary accordingly. EX: People who travel a lot buy sample or trial size packages because they are small and easy to deal with
4) Know your customers current buying trends. Several years ago we went through the supersized phase. There are still a lot of supersized packages; however, buying trends are changing to smaller sizes in general. To package smaller does not mean less profit, in many cases it means more. Consumers are willing to pay a premium for convenience, ease of use and smaller quantity. EX: 3 premium baking potatoes in a package cost almost the price of a 5lb bag. If you live with just one other person, do you really need 5 lbs of potatoes?
5) Keep abreast of new packaging technologies. Creative new products have the advantage in the marketing world even if their technology is not new but the application is. Several years ago Metedent took the world by storm with the duel aperture dispensing mechanism. Recently a host of new cleaning products have revived interest in this type of dispensing. Look for innovate ways to combine two products into one package.
6) Watch where people shop. There is a shift from traditional retailers to new and innovative store formats. The convenience store, once considered a low end marketer, has now transitioned into store that provides premium products at a premium price. This evolved from the hurry up and go mindset demonstrated in today's shopping habits. Recent studies are showing that consumers no longer make one big trip and stock up but make several trips a week and get just what is needed at the moment.EX: The grab and go cups of snack foods convenience stores are now offering.
7) Keep pace with "hot button" packaging issues. This includes legislation too. People do really care about the environment and the amount of excess packaging. There is a move afoot to expand the number of vegetable based plastic materials used in food packaging. If packaging consumers give these products their endorsement, look for other new products to surface. Legislation can change packaging mandates overnight. There have been "bottle bills," surcharges and bans on certain types of package that prohibit the use of certain packages. EX: Several fast food companies are test marketing corn-based plastic packaging materials. Ex: Ban on juice boxes in Maine.
8) Security in packaging is becoming increasingly important. This will continue to come into focus as more people become concerned about product integrity. One major security scare could force everyone to change their packaging methods immediately. Look for new tamper evident and security devices that can be incorporated into your packaging. Cost efficiencies are now making many of these devices more affordable and will soon become mainstream.
9) Competition of various packaging materials is increasing. With the imports that are readily available to the merger and acquisition mania that is taking place, keep current on your chain of supply globalization. Certain products such as plastic bags that used to be the mainstay of American manufacturing have now gone offshore. Ethic diversity both her and abroad is demanding that all packaging be multi-lingual.
10) External influence of power players. The big box retailers are driving packaging procedures and policies at retail. Mandates from these companies such as RFID tracking are in their infancy. This type of requirement could become mandatory overnight. If you want to do business with companies such as Home Depot and Wal*Mart, you will need to include the design and selection of your packaging materials.
Remember, the customer depends upon you, the manufacture, as a resource. They expect you to keep up with packaging trends and technologies and provide the latest and greatest innovations the industry has to offer.