Packaging is a powerful marketing tool for your product, brand, and business as a whole. Having well designed packaging that is driven by customer experience can greatly elevate your product and the perception of value.
Think about how Apple has mastered the unboxing experience; the feel of the packaging, the act of opening the box, and the little design-focussed accoutrements that help a customer navigate their new device.
Apple even maintains a packaging room which is dedicated to diligent Apple employees opening various boxes to nail the customer experience. Rumour has it that Apple had designers prototype hundreds of boxes for the iPods that were opened, and reopened to create the perfect unboxing experience.
But alas we can’t all be Apple with our seemingly boundless budgets and ability to dominate the market. So what are some small things to keep in mind to elevate customer experience? We’ve got a couple of tricks for you to check out:
Committing to one design/package can be an intimidating and costly endeavour when you’re not married to the concept. Already have a design in mind? Print it out to its dimensions, hold it, open it, see how it feels to you once it’s brought to life. Don’t like it, keep on working on it before placing a final order.
First define your competition: who sells similar products, at similar prices, to a similar demographic? What is their packaging like? Their shipping boxes? Is there anything in particular that stands out? Are there any materials that speak to you?
Don’t have the budget to conduct market research? Gather your friends, family, acquaintances, etc and solicit their opinions. What are their first impressions of your packaging? Do they have any suggestions on how to improve it? What do they like/dislike? How do they think it compares to your competitors?
Customize the size, shape, material of your boxes. Having a custom box can make your product stand out. Depending on your product, you can even consider custom inserts, which can create a nice presentation of your product upon unboxing (think about the insert that comes in an Apple iPhone box, which simultaneously helps prop up the phone and protect it from moving around the packaging. Customized packaging can make the product feel like an experience made special for the individual who is opening it.
Seek out professionals who are able to align with your design objectives. Browse portfolios, look for designers to inspire you. And most of all, trust professionals! Designers who do this for a living, should be hip to market trends and have a keen eye for good design. While you may have an idea or outline, allow your designers the freedom to flex their design prowess.
Kirsten Crisostomo is a freelance copy and content writer based in Vancouver, BC.
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