When you create a product and bring it to market, how you package it is a big consideration–you want to showcase your product, protect your product and sell your product.
But have you thought about the people who will be affected by your product packaging? Through my packaging experiences with Swaddleaze, I’ve learned that there are 5 people you should consider when packaging your product.
1. Your manufacturer: How easy, difficult or time consuming is it for your manufacturer to put your product in the package? If it takes them extra time to fold your product like origami, guess who’ll be charged? YOU. My first packaging (shown in the photo at left) made everyone at Rice Mills want to kill me, slowly & painfully–it was super sticky, too small and very hard to work with.
2. Your shipper: When your sales grow and you can no longer ship products from your basement (don’t we all start out that way?), you’ll inevitably hire a shipper (also known as a fulfillment center). Is it easy for your shipper to pack your product for shipment? Do they have to use a special box or envelope for it? Does the packaging add excess weight to the package? What about when they’re packing a wholesale order and have to ship dozens of your product? Is your packaging fragile? Is your product compromised if the package is crushed? My second packaging (at left) was absolute heaven to work with for my manufacturer, but absolute hell to work with for my shipper–it was a cylindrical shape, very tall and easily crushed. It required a special size box for both single & multiple orders that my shipper had to assemble–hello, added cost for me.
3. Your retailer: Retailers are really picky about your packaging and how it fits into their merchandising schematic. They want maximum product in a minimum of space. Especially “big box” retailers like Target, Wal-Mart and Babies-R-Us. Does your product hang on a hook or go on a shelf? Does it protect your product or allow it to get dirty? Does it look and feel attractive? Does it sell itself? Have proper labeling of sizes, colors, laundering instructions? UPC codes?
4. Your customer: Does your packaging grab a buyer’s attention or fade among your competitors? Does your packaging make it easy for a customer to choose the proper size? Are the washing instructions and fabric content clearly labeled? Is there a “touch” window so the customer can feel the product? Is your company contact information prominent? Can this package be gift wrapped easily or is already gift-able? Customers loved the cylindrical Swaddleaze packaging–it was unique, eye-catching, gift-able, visible and fun.
5. Mother Earth: What is your packaging made from? Plastic? Paper? Bamboo? Glass? Is it recyclable? Biodegradable? Printed with “green” ink on recycled cardboard? Is it wasteful or can it be reused or repurposed? These are important considerations these days–and your packaging’s “green-ness” can become a big selling point.
I know I’ve given you a lot to think about–but trust me, you’ll be happy that you considered these 5 people before you chose your packaging. Next time you go to a store, look at all the different packaging options out there–which ones do you gravitate to? Which ones would work for your product? It’s always helpful to have an example to show your manufacturer. 😉
P.S. For more product packaging inspiration, I love US Box. They offer every kind of packaging imaginable–and you can purchase single boxes, bags or containers to see if it works for your product. They also do custom packaging and even offer POP displays.