Packaging Strategy Solutions

Packaging Research and Intelligence

Packaging Strategy is a process by which one keeps abreast of packaging changes and formulates strategies that create a competitive edge.

Packaging is one of the most important factors in the purchasing process.  It is often referred to as the last 10 seconds on purchasing, as customers choose make split second decision based on packaging.  Poor packaging can ruin a product, its appeal, and ultimately, its sales.

Paper or plastic? If only all packaging decisions were reduced to such a binary option!  For a product manager or marketing team, there are a multitude of variables that enter into even the most basic of packaging decisions.

Packaging may be one of the least understood and under appreciated aspects of a product’s success or failure. It is also one of the most dynamic and challenging for businesses that sell a product.

Here is a sampling of what successful packaging can do:

  • Attract customers
    • colors
    • distinctive shapes
    • sizes
    • showcase the product – make it stand out from others
  • Establish an image
    • high tech
    • forward thinking
    • environmentally concerned
  • Make a product easier to use
    • opening
    • pouring
    • measuring
  • Make it easier to carry or handle
    • non-slip materials
    • grips
    • indentations
  • Provide a pleasing and comfortable feel in the hands of the user
  • Extend shelf life – protect the product/contents from light, water, heat,breakage, etc.
  • Convey vital information
    • images
    • ingredients, materials contained in product
    • warnings
    • directions for proper use
    • Reduce shipping costs (stackable, lighter)
  • Be patented and create a barrier to entry
  • Be produced at a reasonable cost

In sum, a good package can help your product to:

  • stand out from the competition,
  • strengthen your brand, and
  • persuade consumers to buy your product

Packaging Trends and Opportunities

A combination of factors are constantly being developed and introduced to the packaging world. Here are just a few trends worth monitoring:

  • New materials
    • green, biodegradable
    • lighter
    • stronger
    • waterproof
    • microwaveable
  • New designs
  • New shapes
  • New ways to open and reseal
  • New ways to use automation/robots
  • New inks and printing options
  • Inclusion of RFID tags and embedded chips for security, tracking, and supply chain management
  • Safety (e.g. pet, and child-proof)

Conducting Packaging Intelligence

The process of tracking innovations in packaging, monitoring moves by competitors, and conducting research among customers may be handled internally and/or with the assistance of a qualified research company.

Trade shows, conferences and various online searches or news letters are a great source of information about general trends in the packaging industry as well as specific applications across a variety of markets and insights about competition.

Meeting with and interviewing packaging companies in your supply chain is also an excellent way to maintain up-to-date knowledge about changes that could impact how your products are presented to customers.

In all cases, however, knowing the customer’s needs, perceptions, values and role in the buying process are all critical to a product’s success.  Designing and creating a successful package will ultimately involve those who will consume and/or purchase the product it contains.

Primary research methods can be used to:

  • Present concepts via online surveys or discussion panels of consumers to gain insights into their reactions to packaging images, designs and features.
  • Expose prototypes in focus groups to critique and compare to current packages, new packages, and competitors’ packages.

About SIS Packaging Strategy Solutions

SIS is a leading Market Research and Strategy Consulting firm.  We have over 40+ years experience in conducting Packaging Research and Strategy.  Our Research group conducts packaging testing, and our Strategy group conducts industry and competitive analysis.  Our key solutions include:

  • Usability Testing
  • Focus Groups
  • Customer Interviews
  • In-Home Usage Tests
  • In-Home and Store Ethnography
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Market Opportunity
  • Packaging Trend Tracking

A good product in a poor package may not be noticed or bought.  So it is often worth investing time and money to ask customers about their likes and dislikes about as many possible features of your current and proposed packages.

Contact us for your next Packaging Strategy project.