To answer the question as to why packaging design is so important, we’re going to start with the quote by American lawyer and author, Elliott Abrams, who served in a variety of foreign policy positions for several U.S. Presidents. During one of his interviews, Elliott said that “first impressions matter. Experts say we size up new people in somewhere between 30 seconds and 2 minutes”. And this statement doesn’t apply to just people.
How many times did you find yourself buying a specific item because the color of the packaging caught your attention? Or the packaging was incredibly handy? (e.g., Heinz ketchup bottle being upside down). As much as we try not to judge a book by its cover, we’re human, and first impressions do matter.
So, it should come as no surprise that almost every company today stands by the belief that packaging design is just as important as the product itself.
There are many variables that come into play when we talk about packaging design. The packaging has to protect the item inside, allow for storage, display the information about the product, at the same time being creative enough that the consumer will choose that over the dozens of other options available. So how do you create attractive product packaging that is functional as well?
Here at Millennium Packaging, we carefully analyze our customers’ operations and current packaging trends to provide the best packaging solutions. So, let’s dive deeper into the purposes of packaging design and what makes for the success of a product.
Functions of packaging design
The main goal of packaging design is to protect the product during the handling, transportation process, and until the customer opens it. For this reason, product packaging has to be reliable, sturdy and well-sealed. When we package our goods, our approach has to change whether the product is destined for retail or eCommerce purposes. For online shopping, packaging design is the key component in the process: the package represents the first physical encounter the consumer has with the product they purchased.
One way we ensure that our products are packaged safely and arrive in good condition is by using Air Pillows, which are bags that are filled with air and sealed. These small bags have a number of advantages for both distributors and consumers. For the distributor, air pillows are cost-effective and efficient. Because of their extreme light weight and variations in shapes and sizes, Air Pillows add almost zero additional weight to the shipment and can be customized for each package easily. Air pillows also have another important feature. They are made of a non-abrasive material. This is crucial in packaging design, because it means that the customer will receive a product that looks just as shiny as when it left the facility. Air Pillows also enhance the customer experience by being easy to work with: the buyer will appreciate the easy opening with less mess and easy disposal or recycling.
Speaking of eCommerce and Air Pillows, I’d like to share a story of how Millennium helped one of its clients optimize packaging for eCommerce applications and improve customer experience.
“Millennium has partnered with a national eCommerce music instrument retailer known for vintage guitars and basses for the past several years. We first went into their location, it was to introduce them to the Sealed Air Fill-Air Flow machine, which is a void fill packaging system designed for small to mid-size businesses. But after auditing their operations, we recognized that the Flow machine was not a good fit based on the level of shipping they were doing. During our evaluation of their business, we also discovered that that the company was still heavily using loose foam peanuts as a way of filling void left in the box. Based on our analysis, we recommended they automate the process for protective and void packaging (pillows, paper and bubble). With automation, we were able to give them a smaller footprint for their packaging needs and were able to eliminate peanuts from their packaging, presenting them with more eco-friendly solutions. But we did something else. We looked at their boxes and we noticed that they only printed one box (the guitar box) with their logo/designs. This was a missed opportunity to advertise their business. For this reason, we offered them more packing sizes customized for their products, allowing them to easily print on each package. With automation and variety in packaging, we were able to save them 30 to 40%”.
Attraction & Differentiation
Packaging design has to be a head-turner. Whether you accomplish that by using certain color schemes, specific designs, shapes or logos, innovative design will make your product stand out from the competition. Here at Millennium, we use a variety of techniques to make our products memorable and improve the experience of our customers.
When it comes to attraction, clarity in packaging design is fundamental. To ensure your products are not obscured by the packaging, we use our Sealed Air Cryovac Shrink film. This ultra-thin shrink film, with a unique composition of 29 microlayers, allows for superb clarity, maintaining that just-packaged appearance that we strive for. But the Cryovac shrink film isn’t only serving the purpose of clarity in our packaging design. When using this high-quality material, the package conveys a premium image: it tells the customer that the product is so good, that it deserves good quality packing. Besides this, the Cryovac shrink film also ensures that the product remains pristine during transit or storage, providing surface protection.
But using good quality material means even more to us. It means using sustainable packaging practices to package our products. By using the especially thin Cryovac shrink film, we can reduce the amount of material per package by 30 to 50%. This is beneficial not only to your bottom line, but also to suggest an image of a brand that cares about the environment. As we know, this has become a very pressing matter in the last few years, and something that consumers consider when shopping for products.
Last but not least, packaging design needs to include information on the package. It has to provide the customers with notions on what’s inside the package before they even open it. Packaging design that’s simple and clear can get you separated from a crowd of packaged goods that are too busy with text and colors.
Let’s wrap it up!
As you can see, all these functions are interconnected. What if your packaging design was the most creative, but lacked practicality and didn’t allow for easy storage? You could lose money. Or what if your package was for functionality only, and displayed dull colors, no logo? You could lose business, because consumers couldn’t remember your brand and wouldn’t repurchase your items. All functions of packaging design have to work together to create successful packaging. It’s then up to you to decide what you value most and how you want your brand to be remembered!
If you’re interested in discovering more information about how Millennium can help you achieve tailored solutions to create the best packaging design based on your operation and product(s), please contact our team of experts at (847) 717-3300 or send us a message.