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Nike Zoom Soldier II

This is the final post in this three-part series on, “Reasons Why Packaging Designs Fail.”  Sign-up today to get the next blog post/series delivered directly to you inbox!  You can subscribe at www.brianpankratz.com.

How a product is packaged is one of the most important decisions manufacturers make.  Good packaging can provide increased sales and consumer popularity, while bad packaging can send a product spiraling with a one-way ticket to the clearance rack.  There are many reasons why packaging designs fail.  We covered how design and structure can both contribute, in this post we will review failures in marketing.

Marketing with Packaging:
As the saying goes…“People don’t remember what you say, they remember how you made them feel,” is also true for packaging.  Every single element of how you package your product, whether consciously or subconsciously invites an emotional response. This goes for product comparisons as well, meaning, the products you compare your product to can speak to the overall quality of your product.

Have you ever wondered why Nike finds room in their budget to hire superstar athletes to be in their commercials?  You guessed it…They want to send a message that winners wear their product.  Their product helps you to be great, confident, and will bring you one step closer to victory.  I you want to be great, then you should buy their product.  You will not find them creating adds without an emotional connection.  The same rules should apply for packaging, look for ways in your packaging to create an emotional connection with the consumer.

Here are some ways that Marketing failures occur in packaging:

1.  Missing Your Target Audience:  Before beginning the packaging design process, one must define who the likely consumer is.  This information will help determine graphics, colors, fonts, etc. for your product’s packaging.

2.  No Benefits Listed:  People buy solutions, has your packaging defined how your product solves their problem?  Let’s take it a step further…not only how it solves their problem, but how it solves their problem better than the competition.  Do you know the benefits of your competition?  Don’t clutter the packaging with a long list of benefits, but highlight the most important features and find unique ways to communicate them within the packaging.

3.  No Stance:  Not having a clear understanding of your product or brands message can send a confusing message to consumers.  Be consistent with what your product or brand stands for.  The reality is, not every product wins by being environmentally or nutritionally focused.  The consumer may just want to know if the packaging is recyclable.  Have a clear and consistent message with your packaging.

4. No or Poor Imagery Used:  A picture is worth a thousand emotions.  Beware of using the valuable space on your packaging with text.  Ensure to select the correct image.  Two people can look at the same image and emotionally perceive it differently.  Images work better than text when attempting to connect with the consumer, however, the wrong image can send negative emotions.

Example:  You need to select an image for the front of your packaging for a home security system.  What image would you choose; a) A photo of the product  b) A family safe and secure in their home   c) A picture of the security systems operator  d)  A burglar trying to break into a home  e) a single woman holding a child activating the security system?

Think through each example above and how the different images may invoke fear, safety, protection, happiness, worry, etc.  Some images may not connect with all consumers or may not relate well, so choose wisely!  Creating the wrong emotion may prevent a sale.

5.  Poor Packaging Consistency:  When packaging multiple products, it is important to package the different products so the consumer would be able to associate them as the same brand.  Using the same colors, style of graphics, shapes, etc. when possible, will help to establish your brand.  If you want to build brand loyalty, make it easy for the consumer to find your product.

Packaging is something that just about every product needs.  The decision on how to package each product can lead to a huge success or contribute to the extinction of a product.  Find ways to create unique designs that capture the attention of the consumer and convince them that your product is what they have come to the store to buy.

Have a new product you need packaged?  Contact Brian Pankratz at Mercury Plastics today for help.  bpankratz@mercuryplasticsinc.com