Whether you use automated or manual packing methods, making your package stand out from the crowd is a key concern for both merchants and packaging engineers. According to Michel Defenbau, head of retail packaging at Kansas City, MO-based packaging developer Multivac, there are seven important things you can do to make your packaging attractive and durable:
- BUILD IT TO LAST
Today’s mega-stores and online superstores carry hundreds of thousands of SKUs — a sure way to satisfy picky customers. But this bounty also means that the packaging the products come in must endure a much longer shelf life than in years past. A more durable package can help your product stand out on the shelf, last longer in the warehouse, reduce repackaging costs, and have less chance of being tampered with or stolen.
- ENHANCE USABILITY
Consumers consistently cite usability as a major factor in making purchasing decisions. Packages that are easy to open and resealable are sure winners. Think features like slider zippers, tabs, and peelable films.
- UNIFY THE BRAND
Using a uniform design to combine a group of products makes packaging more economical and reinforces your brand. Merchandise such as electronic equipment and office supplies lend themselves well to this strategy. The thermoform fill-seal process, for example, uses dies that can be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes to package a wide range of products.
- PRODUCE MERCHANDISE ON DEMAND
Manufacturers are increasingly pressured to supply products “just in time” and in varying quantities — problems that automated packing systems can solve quickly and efficiently. Multivac, for instance, offers systems that produce high-volume card-backed packaging in virtually any size or shape. Roll-fed plastic makes the blister, while sheet-fed card produces the backing. Dies can be switched in as little as 10 minutes, helping to diversify the product line with only one machine. In-line printing and labeling are available to add information such as product dates or batch codes.
- SHOW OFF THE PRODUCT’S SHAPE
Contoured packaging enables consumers to see the full dimensions of the item, thereby reducing the barrier between your merchandise and the customer.
- INVEST IN COLOR
Color is a basic but effective way of grabbing consumer attention. Using multiple colors on the outside of the package is common, but try doing so on the inside as well. For example, graphics can be added to both sides of the card in card-backed packaging.
- MAKE THE PACKAGING PART OF THE PRODUCT
This is not always possible, but in some applications, such as single-use items (eye drops, repair kits, cosmetics testers), it is resoundingly successful.