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Have you ever tricked someone by wrapping a small gift in a rather large box?  Many people have done this to try to disguise their gift and alter the expectation on what is lurking under the shiny wrapping paper.  We all have expectations as we go about our day; you expect your alarm to go off when you set it, you expect the sun to come up in the morning, you expect a light to come on when you flip the switch.

How About Packaging?
The same goes for packaging, when consumers pace the aisle looking for a particular product, they have an expectation on how that product should be packaged.  The question is…did you meet their expectation?

Some Examples:
Think in your mind how you would expect these products to be packaged:
–  Cereal
–  Golf Balls
–  Printer Cartridges
–  Cell Phone Accessories

Minimum Expectations:
It’s easy to picture how each product should be packaged to meet our minimum expectations.  If we take the example of cereal, we know that cereal usually comes in a bag inside a box.  What would be your reaction if you opened up the box and found the cereal was in the box without being in a bag?  Would this meet your expectations?

If you were buying golf balls and one brand was in a nice fancy shiny carton and the other brand was in an unlabeled clear plastic bag, which one would you consider to be the better golf ball?  Which one would you choose if they were the same price?

If a printer cartridge was just in a bag and not a carton, would you consider it to be a better value?  Probably not!

Reality Check:
The reality is…consumers have certain minimum expectations when they purchase products.  When products don’t meet these expectations, the consumer calculates a lower perceived value of the product and may decide to choose another due to lack of confidence with the product.

As a buyer, it is important to understand the expectations on how your product should be packaged.  When packaging exceeds the expectation of the consumer, a product is perceived as a premium and may allow for a higher price point.  Don’t give the consumer a reason to doubt your product.  Understand ways to package your product that add value and build confidence with the consumer.

For more information or for questions on way to create a premium package, please contact: Brian Pankratz.  bpankratz@mercuryplasticsinc.com

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