The Selection of a Package

The Selection of a Package

The Selection of a Package

Product packaging has become a highly specialized business. The wide range of materials, many of which are of a synthetic nature, and the special design techniques which they require, not only to protect and promote the product itself, but to enable also the package to be mass-produced economically, recommend the use of packaging specialists.

In a very large organization which has its own design studios, there may be staff designers who have an adequate knowledge of the subject to undertake the package design for our new product. The majority of companies, however, will look to an independent industrial designer or, alternatively, to one of the firms of packaging manufacturers, who are likely to offer considerable expertise in the design of a package to suit both our product and the market for which it is intended. In practice, and because the package is so much a part of the overall promotion of the product, the ONLINE MARKETING Manager should consult his advertising agency and canvas their views before making any final decision on package design.

There are certain fundamentals to the design of the package which must be appreciated if one is to work in harmony with packaging design specialists.

It is essential that the pack should be distinctive. Much will depend upon the product and it is important that the pack should be appropriate to the kind of product it contains. It must fit into the consumer's idea of the type of pack which will be normal for this particular kind of merchandise. Although there is merit in innovation, one must remember that the vast majority of consumers are, basically, conventional. Habit plays a large part in the conduct of their lives. Buying resistance will be encountered if the pack appears in any way incongruous for the product.

Some goods have to fight for notice on the shelves of grocers' shops and supermarkets. Their packs must, therefore, be eye-catching. Remember that some colours and colour combinations are aggressive, others recessive. The pack must establish the identity of the product, even when its name is not visible. Too heavy reliance upon colour for product identification can lead to problems, particularly with press and television advertising, much of which is still received in black and white.

It is important that the pack should have a pleasing appearance so that the consumer will like the look of the goods. It should, of course, be well constructed and durable. It should be easy to handle, particularly when the product is to be carried home in a shopping basket. It must keep the product in good condition in the home, be easy to store and, where applicable, provide for ease of dispensing. Packages for food and drink products must be made from materials which do not taint the contents. A considerable technology exists for the testing of synthetic materials for toxicity, taste and odour.

One must also bear in mind the point of view of the retailer who will more readily wish to stock a product which arrives at his shop in a good condition and which it is easy for him to stack for display purposes.

When considering the size of the package, it is advisable to follow trade convention wherever possible. Consumer acceptance is easier to achieve with pack sizes which are familiar to the user who is likely to be bewildered and, therefore, suspicious if confronted with something which is outside his or her normal experience.

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