If you manufacture a product, you’ve probably had to deal with the stress of creating packaging.Packaging often involves high volumes and low technology, a combination that can give any manufacturer an ulcer. For that very reason, a package is often ignored once it is put into production – nobody wants to think about how much work it would be to replace or revise it. Unfortunately, consumers don’t ignore packaging once it has been rolled out. Just the opposite. They see it with every purchase. They look at it when it is in their home. They develop a relationship with that packaging.
That relationship is one of the main reasons that consistency, equity and brand identity are so important in packaging. it is not uncommon for a consumer to recognize the package that a product comes in more than the name of the product itself. That’s why store brands often mimic the leading brand’s packaging – it gives them a head start!
It’s important not to let consistency become complacency, however. Forgetting about your packaging for five years can create all sorts of problems. First of all, consumer tastes may have changed. The competitive environment may have changed. The laws regarding your product or its packaging may change (the government has very little regard for the costs of packaging). Before you know it you have a package that is dated and a product that is losing market share.
In many ways, packaging is the most important part of your product’s communication message. It is the very last chance you have to make a sales pitch to a consumer. Evaluate your packaging often. Keep track of details as the market changes (here at Anchor, we keep giant logs of information about packages and what changes need to be made when revisions are possible). Finally, don’t be afraid to recycle some unused packages if that’s what it takes to update your look or your information. Can you really afford to have an inferior-looking product on the shelf next to your competition while you use up your inventory? Maybe. Maybe not.
Call or email me if you want to talk packaging. I’d love to share even more of my thoughts.