Commercial Packaging: A Balancing Act


Customer Packaging Preferences

Many consumers buy products for a specific reason. They may need the product, or they might be purchasing it as a gift. These reasons will help them to decide what product to buy based on how it is packaged. If a product is for their personal use, they may be more attracted by packaging looks when comparing brands. If it is for someone else, they must consider how attractive it is to the other person.

Manufacturers need to assure their sales by making an effort to match the packaging to the need of the consumer. If it is an item that is largely marketed as a gift, then the packaging of the product must be easy to wrap. Odd ends and tabs for hanging do not assist when trying to gift wrap a present. They make consumers less likely to purchase this type of gift in the future.

One of the most difficult packaging decisions comes with cost versus ease of consumer use when opening a package. This is much more prevalent in today's market where many consumer goods are electronic. Digital devices have specific packaging needs. Many manufacturers encase them in plastic for safe shipping. This is done by placing the item in a piece of molded plastic. A second piece of molded plastic is placed over the top and heat sealed to the lower piece. It requires scissors to open these packages, and many consumers do not care for this type of packaging. The use of scissors on heavy plastic means the consumer must take the chance of harming the product.

There are many different ways to package items for shipping today. Modern shipping methods do not require the heavy standards of centuries gone by, even when shipping items around the world. Packaging in today's market is about attracting the consumer with a look that is colorful and attractive enough to make them want to keep the package as well as the product. It is also a method of driving sales through use of a logo. Manufacturers must weigh cost of packaging against ease of opening and consider these design factors at every stage.