Choosing the right merch packaging is crucial.
Remember Will Rogers’ words: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
When you’re doing business, first impressions almost always last. If you gave your customers or your partners a bad one, then that’s that.
So if you want your customers to have a good first impression of your products and your business, the best way to do it is to have good packaging for them.
I know it’s a hassle and causes a lot of money, but if you want to sell well, that’s what you have to do.
Table of Contents
WHY PRODUCT PACKAGING IS NECESSARY
Product packaging is of course necessary because they are a layer of protection for your product, most especially when they’re fragile.
But it’s definitely more than that.
Product packaging is also a way to market your product and business.
To be deemed a packaging that’s great for marketing, here are four goals it needs to accomplish.
A GOOD PRODUCT PACKAGING SHOULD DO THE FOLLOWING:
#1. ATTRACT ATTENTION
How will it be good for marketing if it’s not attracting people and standing out, right?
For your packaging to stand out and grab customers’ attention, you gotta make it visually appealing.
Anything pleasing to the eyes would make heads turn, so you make sure it’s something unique and attention-grabbing.
How to do this exactly?
Well, you can experiment with color, material, and design. However, if you want to be sure, you should hire an art director and graphic designer.
#2. FITS TARGET CUSTOMERS’ DESIGN PREFERENCE
Most consumers tend to buy or get attracted to more visually calming designs.
However, this depends on the demographic of your customers so you have to study them.
You might also want to do several designs and conduct a survey to get a better idea of the taste of your market, so the next time you release a new product you know what type of design to have on them.
#3. PASS THE CHILD TEST
This test confirms if your packaging stands out and if it’s distinctive as well as memorable.
To pass this unique test, a five year.
The idea driving this unique test is that your packaging should be recognized in a store by a 5-year-old who only knows its appearance.
#4. AMPLIFY YOUR BRAND
The purpose of all the above goals is to amplify people’s awareness of your brand.
Aside from it standing out and being visually unique, you have to keep in mind to incorporate your brand, too.
You have to have some kind of element in your packaging that also markets not just the product within it, but also you and your brand.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN DECIDING ON THE PACKAGING
In addition to the four goals, you need to accomplish there are also things you have to consider when you decide on packaging for your product.
Just like any other marketing strategy, you will surely be spending money to make it work.
This means that the budget you have or are provided with will determine what you can and cannot do for your product packaging. But it sure is best to not go overly expensive with it.
There are still budget-friendly materials for packaging that are high quality and visually appealing too.
Transportation must never be forgotten when we talk of packaging because the longer the transportation, the higher the risk of it, and the product being damaged.
So when you think of transportation you must also think of the packaging’s durability.
This allows you to decide on what packaging to have and spend money on, the most durable which is more expensive, or the slightly durable which will be less costly.
EASE OF OPENING
Though one of the main purposes of the packaging is to protect the product inside it, opening it should not give your customers a hard time.
Even if your packaging looks pretty, that is not what the customer paid for so it would be quite frustrating if they will have a difficult time retrieving what they’ve already paid for.
Last on the list is the main material you will be having for your packaging.
The material will surely affect your budget as well as how you will be designing it.
Additionally, some materials are more durable while some are more environmentally friendly. This all depends on your brand’s style and the product it will be enclosing.
However, keep in mind that 68% of consumers said that they’re more likely to choose products with paper or cardboard packaging than those with plastic packages.
Moreover, 63% of consumers said that paper packaging makes a product look more high–quality.
THE TYPE OF PACKAGING MATERIAL THAT WORKS BEST
There are a lot of different packaging materials that you can choose from.
Depending on the material, you can have different packaging styles that may well be perfect for your products and brand.
Finding the right one will surely be a hassle so let us help. Here are some of the most utilized and popular materials.
Paper as we all know is a biodegradable material.
This means that packaging made with it will appeal to those environment-conscious customers.
Also, it has a lot of space for you to get creative or simply display your logo and name at the center.
The downside of this material is that it’s not durable as the other materials to be discussed. It will be less durable the thinner the paper gets so it will likely tear if your product has sharp edges.
Here are some examples of how paper is made into packaging:
- PAPER BAGS
- PAPER ENVELOPE
- THE PAPER BAG ZIP-LOCK
- PADDED MAILER
Cardboards are, of course, made of paper, but they are far more durable than the previous material.
This is why a lot of businesses opt to have this for their packaging instead of paper, even when it costs more.
And since it’s made of paper, it easily degrades perfectly for your eco-friendly image, if you are going for that.
There are three different box packaging examples, and they each have distinct features.
- PAPERBOARD BOXES
This type of box is made using coated chipboard and though it looks thin, it is sturdy.
If you plan on printing a lot on your packaging, then this might be the one. It is easy to print high-quality graphics and text on it.
- CORRUGATED CARDBOARD BOXES
If you want maximum protection for your products, this, along with layers of bubble wrap, will be the best.
This is perfect for those products that will need to be shipped to longer distances.
- RIGID BOXES
This box is made of compressed paperboards that are four times thicker than the normal ones.
This is far more durable than the corrugated cardboard box, however, it will not be wise to have it for products with a long shipment.
Since they’re costly, they are mostly used to package expensive products like jewelry and smartphones.
Last is plastic and it is the most durable material out of the three, though it depends on the thickness and mixture of the plastic.
The drawback is that it’s more expensive than the ones mentioned before.
Additionally, it is not great for the environment since it’s non-biodegradable.
Here are examples of how plastic is used as packaging:
- PLASTIC BOXES
- POLY BAGS
- POLY MAILERS
All of these materials have their advantages so it depends on your taste. But if we take into consideration the trends, it would be best to go with eco-friendly materials.
Especially since some consumers have a higher chance of buying those that are packed in paper or cardboard.
BETTER TAKE ADVANTAGE OF CUSTOM PRODUCT PACKAGING
The packaging examples I have provided for this article may have had you worried.
I know, they’re boring and too plain, right?
Well, you’ve got nothing to worry really, because there are already companies that offer custom product packaging. This means that you get to customize how your packaging will look.
What’s even better is that some even go farther than just having you customize what to print on them.
Some offer you to create your unique packaging, just give them the instructions if you already figured out how to make it and are just too lazy to do it on your own.
So I’ve laid out everything for you. It’s your turn to weigh and make the decision.
Good luck and may your choices be the best choice for your business.
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD, custom vinyl records and merch company in LA.