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As different products sit next to each other on the store shelf, what makes one product sell better than another?  The answer is: packaging.  When consumers go shopping, they are looking for a positive experience, from the time they enter the store, until the product is removed from the packaging.  Product packaging plays a key role in the consumer’s experience.  There are 5 features that your product packaging must have to create a positive experience with the consumer.

Creativity and Uniqueness:
Be creative and unique with your packaging.  I love Seth Godin’s analogy in his book, Purple Cow.  If you drive down the road and see a brown cow, and then another brown cow, and then more brown cows, you quit paying attention to the brown cows.  But then you see a purple cow and it captures your attention.  Don’t be afraid to be different.  If you are like everyone else, you may go unnoticed.  Be creative and unique!

Good Use of Imagery:
Good imagery is priceless in packaging.  People love to look at pictures that help relate themselves to the product.  When you buy exercise equipment you find people in the type of condition you wish you were in.  When you buy baby products, you will more than likely find pictures of cute babies on the packaging.  Selecting the right images to connect with the consumer is one of the most important elements in good product packaging.

Product Visibility:
When possible, it is always a good idea to reveal some of the product to the consumer.  Consumers feel more comfortable with their purchase if they can see at least some of the product.  Whenever possible, show the product.

Keep It Clean:
I cannot say enough about a clean and concise looking package.  Some products do not need ten bullet points to describe the product.  Using imagery over text is preferred for most packages.  Use colors that contrast against your competitors.  Adding more text on a package is not always better.  Try to use words that reach into the emotions of the consumer.  Unique fonts are a good way to enhance branding.  Ensure that the font is legible and easy to read.

Easy to Open:
As manufacturers, we need to find that definitive balancing point between secure packaging and easy-to-open packaging.  The consumer’s experience is not as pleasant if they cannot easily open the packaging.  There are new and innovative ways to have both security and easy opening features in the packaging.  Ensure that your product is easy to open.

Creating a positive customer experience should be the goal of every manufacturer.  Implement the 5 elements listed above to create a positive experience that the consumer will remember.

For questions or more information on how you can implement these 5 features into your packaging design, contact Brian Pankratz at Mercury Plastics, Inc. (bpankratz@mercuryplasticsinc.com)

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