Packaging says a lot about your product, and about your company. It’s often the opportunity to make a great first impression on your audience; unfortunately, poor product packaging can lead to instant negativity. Whether we’re talking about online advertisements, large highway billboards, or the packaging surrounding products, in today’s culture marketers only have a few seconds to gain potential customers’ attention.
With the packaging industry expanding, it’s vital that the packaging surrounding your product catches your audience’s attention, and leaves them wanting more. That said, below are five product packaging mistakes to avoid.
Overdesigning is one of the largest and most frequent mistakes that marketing divisions make when designing product packaging. Have you ever heard of the acronym KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid”? This is generally an easy and effective principle to keep in mind. Simple, straightforward, easy to understand marketing is highly effective in the packaging world.
Packaging that is full of text and logos can be confusing to your audience, and they may not know where to focus their attention. As we mentioned above, marketers only have a few seconds to grab their audience’s attention. But cluttering up your packaging, you leave the reader muddled and overwhelmed. Let them focus on your brand and leave them excited to delve in.
Underprotecting is another large concern that many businesses face when developing product packaging. Chances are your customers aren’t going to pay the exorbitant fees that come along with many shipping methods, and you don’t want to build those costs into your product. This means that you must package your product in a way that will withstand the rough terrane that is the United States shipping methods. (And no, this isn’t limited to USPS.)
Reducing that rate of damage is not just a customer experience imperative either. It’s also important from a sustainability standpoint. Indeed, there is no amount of recyclable, biodegradable or reusable packaging that can counterbalance the carbon footprint of a damaged item. Damaged items are often sent back on a truck, plane or other transport method, and must travel even further, where they are rebuilt, repaired, restocked, or often just relegated to the landfill. Don’t make the mistake of underprotecting your product.
One of the most annoying and frustrating aspects of product packing that customers face are those that are misleading. Nothing will leave a worse taste in your customers mouth (or eyes?) than expecting a full container, only to realize it’s half full.
A quick example, have you ever purchased a bag of potato chips the size of a football? Yes! A huge bag of Sour Cream & Onion Lay’s! Not quite. Half of the bag is full of air. What a disappointment. Thanks, Frito Lays brand.
Customers don’t like to be mislead, and certain packaging can make them feel that way, often without even trying. Tricking (or even lying to) your customers is a great way to lose their trust in your company as a whole. Whether it’s physically making your product look larger than it is, or text that makes a promise that the product can’t deliver, dishonesty is a sure-fire way to lose business. Although it may be tempting, don’t mislead your customer and deliver a product that matches its packaging.
Not “Open Friendly”
OK, we’ve all experienced this one! A package that requires a shape knife, and even with that, you’re not sure where to start. In many cases, you just end up throwing in the towel and save the laborious process of opening the package for another day. Businesses don’t want this. You should want your customer to be eager to open their new product, and not have to reach for a chainsaw in order to do it. (Not really, but you get the point.)
Even if your marketing team isn’t the best with overdesigning or engaging slogans, it’s pretty much a given that nobody enjoys the rage that comes with unwrapping an overly complex package. Help your customers out. Making it easy for customers to remove the packaging and access your product inside is an important part of creating an overall positive user experience.
Unfortunately, we see this one a lot. Marketing teams are often so concerning with making sure their product is packed right or with designing some overly complex logo that they forget that being up-to-date with the current trends is often just as important as anything else. And this is largely due to the era we live in.
Packages that are outdated or archaic are often the butt of jokes on social media. In fact, there is even a sub-reddit dedicated to product packaging that tries to keep up with the times, but misses in often brutal ways. Keep your packing on Instagram for the right reasons. Don’t let it become a meme that people post in their office as a joke or gag.