Picking the Right Product Packaging
How you wrap, protect and present what you sell influences customer decisionsEver reject a product you wanted to buy because the packaging was crumpled, dented, dinged or just plain ugly? Whether it happens knowingly or unknowingly, customers decide to fork over money for something based on what it looks like and what condition it came in. Packaging, in short, can play a big role in the success of your business. But finding the right packaging presents many hurdles for small business owners. There are cost factors and environmental regulations to consider. Packaging, too, must help convey your position in the market and must withstand the multiple modes of transportation that will likely take place before it reaches the end user. Mainly, what packaging should do is:
- Protect products
- Reflect your business identity and brand
- Attract customer attention — especially if the products are being displayed in retail outlets or sold online.
Choose packaging materials
Get your package designedContract with experts who can design the graphics and text that go on the package. These pros can also help you evaluate which materials would most appropriately meet your needs and even provide insight about packaging for different geographical regions.
Find suppliersLook for a supplier who meets your packaging needs. Things to consider are volume discounts, the ability to meet deadlines and quality of the packaging.
Produce your packageKeep packaging production costs in mind when creating your design. Odd shapes or oversized packages could increase costs. Consider outsourcing production to a contract packaging firm. These firms may also provide design, warehousing and distribution services.
Think greenDomestic and international recycling laws are cropping up throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. Some regulations require companies (even small businesses) in certain industries to list the materials used in the product and related packaging materials, and have a take-back plan in effect.
- Your packaging will depend on how the product will get to the customer, if it will need protection during shipping and handling and how it's likely to be displayed in a retail environment — sitting on a shelf or hanging on a rack, for example.
- Select packaging based on the kinds of products you are shipping. For example, hazardous materials will need a different container than pencils or cookies.
- Look at how successful national and international companies have packaged their products, analyze why it works and why it doesn't, and apply the best elements to your product.
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