If you want your product to be successful, it needs to stand out in a sea of competition. Whether it’s lip gloss, homemade pastries, or even a knitted sweater you’ve made yourself, quality packaging is necessary to protect the product while also helping your repeat and potential customers remember your brand.
You don’t need to be a big corporation to get top-quality packaging. Here are some tips to ensure your packaging looks its best and protects your product.
Outsource, Outsource, Outsource
As a small business owner, you can’t be expected to be the expert in your entire business plan and handle everything on your own. Having your own in-house team might be financially unfeasible for now, so outsourcing to those who have the necessary skills for product packaging is more cost-efficient and much better for your product’s packaging.
Some packaging companies handle everything, from the conceptualization to mass-packaging production. It’s important to do your research before deciding on which company to use. Ideally, your packaging company should have years of experience, a skilled team, and equipment like commercial gluing machines to ensure fast but quality work.
Minimize Packaging Waste
Have you ever bought a product for the first time when, on the outside, you think the product is bigger than it actually is because of the packaging? Or, you find yourself peeling layers upon layers of one-use plastic and you throw it all away feeling slightly guilty at the trash you’re making?
In this day and age, this is a turn-off for a consumer base that is becoming more eco-friendly and supportive towards sustainable products and packaging. Around 72 percent of consumers claimed that they were actively looking for products that were more sustainable and had less impact on the environment, while 81 percent that they expected their buying practices to point more towards greener options within the next five years.
So if your packaging includes a huge amount of single-use plastics, expect that repeat customers might be a lot less than you think. And those that hear about your wasteful packaging might not even give your product the shot you think it deserves.
Stand Out, But Be Practical
The best way to explain this would be to compare lip gloss with drinking water. Lip gloss products come in different forms like wands, retractable lib balm, pots where you have to dip your finger and spread on your lips, and so on. There’s a lot of variety, and they’re all successful to a degree because there’s a market for those who prefer one type over the others.
But look at the packaging for drinking water. There can be some differences in the shape, size, and the ridges, but all drinking water products are sold in plastic bottles. Unlike lip gloss, drinking water companies aren’t trying to create a different packaging for their product because anything else might be impractical and a turn-off for their existing loyal consumers.
Whatever your product is, there needs to be a balance between finding what makes you stand out from the competition or reach out to existing niches, while also thinking practically. Stand out in a practical way, not in one that doesn’t put off your customers.
Think of the Unboxing Experience
Depending on what your product is, think of the packaging as an experience for your customer. Is your target market simply looking at packaging as a means of protecting the product inside? Or is your product something that needs a bit of visual appeal to please your target consumer?
Think of it this way: if your customer were to share your product in an unboxing video, would your customer’s audience be attracted to your product? Would they have the same experience your customer had if they buy it themselves?
Focus on a Target Market
Going back to the example of drinking water, how do you think these companies manage to stand out despite their similar product and packaging? By pointing the overall packaging and advertising towards a certain target market. For example, some water bottles focus on athletes, some focus on parents with small children, while others focus on the everyday person just trying to stay hydrated.
Unless you’ve created a unique product, you’ve probably got plenty of competitors in both large companies and fellow small businesses. Any good business plan should keep a target market in mind, so make sure your packaging reflects that you are trying to target a specific audience.
It might seem like you’re closing up your options by choosing one target market rather than just making your product welcoming to all, but remember: you can’t please everyone. It’s best to stick to one target audience and then expand only after your success begins to plateau.
Packaging is one part of your product’s success. So if you have to invest in your product’s packaging, make sure you’re getting the best out of your money. If necessary, hire the best people to do the job rather than trying to do it yourself.