Packaging is a key part of the customer journey; companies ignore it at their peril. Done well packaging is brand enhancing and valued by the customer, done poorly it is expensive and is thrown away by the customer or even worse allows the product to be damaged.
Luxury and premium products: The packaging is part of the post purchase brand experience and customer journey. Typically, despite the importance of the packaging, the product is displayed without the packaging. The drivers should be quality and branding; packaging should be designed with the idea that a customer will keep it, the materials and feel should refelct the brand quality.
Every-day, mass and discount products: the primary drivers should to be functionality, price and brand. Packaging needs to be fit for purpose stand out on-the-shelve but be as cheap as possible. It should be recognised that this packaging is typically disposed of immediately so the packaging ideally needs to be simple and recyclable. Typically the product is displayed in its packaging (often you see the packaging rather than the product).
Whichever type of product the packaging needs to be designed with the purchase journey in mind, for example:
- Is the product bought online and shipped by mail? Therefore the shipping costs should be minimized (size and shape are paramount) and also the product needs to be protected.
- Is the product going to be bought in an airport? Therefore needs to be small enough to fit in hand luggage.
- Are customers going to walk out of the store holding it? If so it needs to be light enough to be carried comfortably.
Critical for getting cost effective fit for purpose packaging that enhances your brand is to think through the journey and purpose prior to design and then write a very clear brief.