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Have you ever bought your cat a shiny new toy, only to find that she cares a lot more about the box it came in rather than the toy, itself? It is as if our cats are making social commentary about the state of modern consumerism: mass-market products are often not worth the box in which they come.
If you are offering a product that is worth the box in which it is shipped, then it is well worth it to make sure the box is worthy of its contents. It is not about mere ostentation. There is no point in design just for the sake of design. There are very good reasons that a company should care deeply about how their products are packaged and boxed. Here are a few:
It Is Free Advertising
A good packaging box isn’t free. But whether or not you decide to make the box visually appealing, people are going to see it. There are going to be a great deal of different people who see your boxed product as it gets shipped to your customer. So you might as well take advantage of all that free attention by getting your message out in a way that makes them take a second look.
From artwork to the start of manufacturing, the process can take as little as three days. The cost can be absorbed by the marketing budget because of the advertising opportunity it presents. It needn’t be more than your logo, company name, and tagline to be effective. Whether your box is being seen across a large retail space, or in some part of the delivery and package recycle process, it is a free advertising opportunity that you can’t afford to pass up.
Good Packaging Offers Product Protection
If you are shipping something that is worth protecting, you should be sure to ship it in a box that can do the job. Even the graphic design printed on the box can serve as protection. In the shipping process, a nondescript, beige box will be more thoughtlessly handled than a box labeled “delicate.” Also, if it is clear that the box contains a valuable computer insured by the shipping company, it stands a good chance of arriving undamaged. That extra care comes courtesy of what is printed on the box.
The box, itself, also needs to be reinforced. The quality of the box speaks to the quality of the contents inside. If the customer receives a package that is damaged, their impression of the product is immediately colored by that damage. They might automatically assume that there is something wrong with the product due to shipping damage, even if that is not the case.
Great Packaging Builds Excitement for the Product
One of the best reasons to take product packaging seriously is that it is your last opportunity to emotionally impact the customer before they use the product. They have seen all the ads and read all the reviews. But they preordered the product almost two weeks ago. Some of that enthusiasm has worn off. And they have had time to hear from all the detractors of your product, and question the wisdom of the purchase.
When the delivery is finally made, one of two things is likely: either the package will be damaged or underwhelming, causing a neutral or negative emotion, or the packaging is pleasant to handle, appealing to the eye, and pulls the consumer into the moment, thus creating positive feelings about the purchase.
If you want to prove your cat wrong regarding its social commentary on consumerism, use packaging that declares the quality of the product, protects the product, and makes the end user excited about what’s inside.