Selling against larger companies can sometimes seem overwhelming. These corporations often have big budgets, sophisticated systems, aggressive sales and marketing, mass distribution, and thousands of customers. How can small companies measure up and stand out?
You might be surprised to learn that small businesses can gain a competitive advantage by increasing their focus on one essential, but immensely differentiating detail: product packaging.
Product packaging is important, but it’s often an afterthought or an expense to be minimized. However, creative and thoughtful packaging has taken on heightened importance in recent years. Superior packaging can be what separates your product from the rest of the pack.
Back in the day, businesses might have been able to get away with generic, un-interesting product packaging. In today’s digital age, not only does packaging represent your brand, but it also has to be picture-perfect, thanks to the “unboxing” experience.
Unboxing influences buying decisions
Search the internet for “unboxing” and you’ll find thousands of videos that show someone deconstructing a product’s packaging, one element at a time. Unboxing videos are augmented with lots of flattering (or not-so-positive) editorial commentary about the packaging along the way. Thousands and thousands of viewers watch unboxing videos each day!
Superior packaging can increase the psychological attraction of your product and convey that your product is of higher quality and offers more value than your competitor. A 2016 packaging study found that 61% of consumers feel that premium packaging makes a product more valuable.
Clearly, packaging is one area where your creativity and attention to detail can create a competitive advantage over bigger companies.
Ready to get started designing or revamping your packaging strategy? The first question you might ask is, “Where do I start”?
Be true to your brand
When you think of your product packaging as an extension of your brand, it makes it easier to design the elements that will carry it through. You should already have a color palette, fonts, and a logo. Importantly, you have an established brand personality. All of the aspects of your brand should be reflected in your packaging design choices.
Be true to your customer
How well you know your target market will influence how impactful your package design will be. Understanding what products they buy, and more to the point, why they’re buying them from you, is critical. Some customer attributes to consider include:
● What is the age range of your key audience? For example, do your customers represent an older demographic? They may appreciate more traditional elements, larger fonts, subtle colors, and easy-to-open packages.
● Are your customers younger? A millennial audience might value sustainable materials, limited waste, and trendy designs that will stand out on when shared on social media sites.
● If you offer a luxury item, customers will expect an elevated level of extravagance in their packaging. Premium materials, elegant fonts, and customization will appeal to this audience.
Map it out
You’re keyed into your brand and focused on your target audience. Now you’re ready to make your superior packaging a reality. Before you get too carried away with your vision, however, make sure the practical aspects of your packaging are covered.
Think about these questions:
How durable is it? Items arriving damaged are the fastest way to damage the relationship with your customer. If there are fragile items, you’ll want to be sure they are properly protected in the package or even shipped separately, if necessary.
How functional is it? Your packaging should be easy to open, and if it contains multiple parts, those should also be easily accessible. The most effective way to audit function is to test with actual users before making final decisions.
How will it scale? Personal touches, like handwritten notes, custom sampling, extra branded pieces, or wrapping with an attractive bow, are sure to be appreciated. As your production increases, however, these small touches can become be time-consuming and pricey. Consider what will work in the long-run.
How economically will it ship? The bigger the package, the more it will cost to ship. Weight and unusual sizes also affect the cost, but size is the major contributor. Re-evaluate your package design if the shipping expense is too high. You may decide that investing in a higher-cost yet more space-efficient packaging lowers your overall fulfillment costs.
When your design is ready, Ohio Valley Goodwill is ready for you
Packaging materials for shipment can be time-consuming, especially if you’re operating with a smaller staff. If you’re looking for an outsourcing provider to handle packaging services and fulfillment, choose Ohio Valley Goodwill. Because of our experience, best practices, flexibility, speed, and cost-effectiveness, some of the top brands in Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana have selected Ohio Valley Goodwill’s Industrial Services Division to outsource their packaging services.
Another great reason reputable businesses choose Ohio Valley Goodwill? Our mission of providing meaningful work to individuals with disabilities and veterans builds a stronger community where all can contribute and add value. We partner with you to deliver outstanding packaging services and fulfillment logistics from a highly-motivated and skilled workforce. When your business partners with Ohio Valley Goodwill, you become part of the story of lifting our community members to enhanced levels of dignity and self-worth. To learn more and receive a free tour of our facilities, please contact us today!