A Guide To Picking A Package For Your Product

Approximately 46% of the products sell on their own, but most don’t, as evidenced by the presence of marketing activities around the country and the globe. Most consumers will experience the packaging of a product before trying the product themselves! Once the packer of a product no longer considers this fact, the importance of making the right choices in packaging becomes clear. While every product contains different facts, a few common questions can help you find the perfect packaging.

Unique packaging or standard industrial packaging?

Unique packages can differentiate products from competitors, and it seems only natural that unique packages should be designed for new products if the budget allows. However, this shouldn’t be an absolute rule as some industries only have norms – and moving away from those norms can be disastrous. For example, bottled water is usually available in 16.9 ounce clear plastic bottles. 

Of course, there are variations, but the standards are practical and that’s what customers expect. Too far from this standard can alienate a group of customers who expect a certain type of packaging. Most likely the right solution is to match industry-standard packaging with the packaging that characterizes the product. This can be accomplished in several different and sometimes very simple ways. For example, a unique label on a clear plastic water bottle could be used to give the customer what they want while the packaging stands out on the shelf. However, there are exceptions to the general rule.

Does the package provide what the customer wants?

As noted above, customers consuming bottled water expect a certain type of container when handling bottled drinking water. There are many reasons for expectation in any industry. From convenience to falsification of evidence to quantity, customer expectations must be met. Identify consumer expectations in your industry and make sure your packaging meets consumer needs. Also, it is important to remember that consumers’ needs and expectations are constantly changing and can change for a moment or in the long term. 

Back to the bottled water industry: it’s pretty safe that plastic bottles can be replaced in the not too distant future. Even if consumers expect bottled water to be packaged in plastic bottles, the war on plastic wages will continue. With arguments about recycling and sustainability growing stronger and costs rising, the long-term expectations for clear plastic bottles can change. Keeping up with these changes will make customers happy, which in turn increases production rates.

Is the packaging durable?

Sustainability is a big issue in today’s packaging world. Whether this topic is trending or a new staple in the box, it’s a pretty safe bet that the term will be important for a while. Sustainable packaging also appears to have multiple definitions or interpretations, but in general, sustainable packaging uses renewable and recyclable energy and materials throughout the product life cycle. 

This includes the product itself, packaging, shipping, packaging machinery, and all other aspects of exporting the product on the shelf. For a growing number of consumers, the sustainability and/or “green” practices of packers appear to be an important factor in choosing one product over another.

Does packaging limit production rates?

Your packaging choice directly affects the price and performance of any packaging machine that can be used for that particular product. Uniquely shaped bottle rinsing may take longer or require stabilizing components when the conveyor system is switched off. Big bottles last longer than small bottles. Some materials can be more difficult to pass through dishwashers, bottling lines, and sealing machines. 

When choosing to package, consider general production requirements and ensure that the packaging machine or labor can meet these requirements without reducing the budget. Customer-specific packaging machines for unusual packaging, bottles, or covers can be expensive, but alternatives such as contract packaging or manual labor also have their downsides. Use machinery or labor to offset the cost of packaging for the packaging you want to make sure the scale doesn’t turn red.

Of course, different situations may require several additional considerations or questions, from the availability of materials to ease of transport to simple container sizes. However, the answers to the four questions above provide a good introduction for each packer to choose a package that will lower costs, present the product attractively, attract customers, and enable them to meet production needs efficiently and effectively.

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