Packaging Best Practices and Trends: More Than Just What's Inside the Box
One of the small joys in life, at least for me, is receiving a package in the mail. Generally, most consumers rip open the box to get at what's inside — whether it be a new sweater, a pair of shoes, books, etc. But not all view packaging as an afterthought. In fact, most of the stories circulating on the internet today about packaging are negative. And bad packaging leads to angry consumers.
To help shed some light on the packaging industry and how it affects the consumer experience, JoAnn Hines, Packaging Diva, a consultant and expert on packaging, and Mark Mitchell, president of Tailford Mitchell, a branding and packaging design consulting firm, led a session on the topic at last month's National Conference on Operations & Fulfillment in Orlando, Fla.
Trends in Packaging
Hines began her presentation by noting trends she's seeing take shape in the packaging industry:
* Green is no longer on the fringe. Consumers want more eco-friendly packaging, and they hold the ultimate vote — their spending. Hines cited Puma's recent move to discontinue traditional shoeboxes as a prime example. The sportswear shoe and apparel retailer has replaced shipping shoeboxes in favor of a more environmentally-friendly bag made from recycled material.
* Packaging design via social media. Brands are increasingly turning to their social media platforms to find out what consumers do and don't want from their product packaging. Vitaminwater, for example, used its Facebook page to poll fans on what packaging it liked best.
* Customer loyalty through engagement with packaging. Brands have the ability to create engagement through their packaging, Hines said. She pointed to Amazon.com as an example. The online retailer was being criticized for its wasteful packaging. It used a great big box with a tiny product inside, Hines said. So it created a packaging feedback program to improve the consumer experience with its packaging. The program has resulted in the online retail giant offering “frustration-free packaging,” aimed at reducing jagged tears and lacerations that can occur as a result of wrestling with clamshell and other hard-to-open packaging.