Friday, March 26, 2010

Retail Packaging Hints

Inventors get a lot of fatherly flack from marketers. They often claim we fail to understand the importance of packaging. Marketers think we “fall in love” with our products and overlook the value of creative presentation, promotion and perception. They say we don’t understand “packaging”. They say “You don’t know what you don’t know”.  I know I’m tired of hearing it!

Geez, how marketers rant and rave over packaging. Again and again they say the package is as important as the product. More important, some say. They produce buzz words to explain. They say retail packages must SHOW, TELL and SELL. Then they explain in rapid fashion…wham, bam, bang.

SHOW: The package must entice initial attention to the product.

TELL: It must quickly describe the product and its benefits.

SELL: It must create desire to purchase and facilitate the sale.

Well, marketers don’t own the retail playground - or the buzz words. Inventors know the retail package has to GRAB, BRAG and SEAL THE DEAL. Here’s what we’re talking about.

GRAB: Your package must GRAB the strolling customer. You’ve got 10 seconds to do it. Learn what they like. Do they want to “see”, “feel” and “handle” your product? Do they prefer it hermetically sealed from the environment? Are similar (successful) products displayed upright on shelves – or are they hung from hooks? In other words, where will customers look? Where do they expect it? Knowing that,, you want to “dress” the package with vibrant colors, print and graphics that grab attention - from ten feet away. Your package- the shape, style and look is the magnet that draws them closer. Bring them in!

BRAG: A colorful package may include bullets, stars, happy faces, kids, puppies and other graphics that warm a customer’s heart. Now that they are feeling good…BRAG about the product. It’s NEW! It solves a problem, has function and is easy to use (no tools). No extra clutter – keep everything neat, concise, attractive and easy to follow. Create an insatiable desire to own your product. Brag benefits, brag brand and brag price. They shouldn’t go home without it!

Of course, your attractive package should complement its preferred shelf (hooks or display). You want it right side up, within easy reach and ready for fondling. The package helps the customer decide, accept the price and walk away pleased….package in hand.

SEAL THE DEAL: This is the final duty. Your package already bragged about the affordable price and the wonders of your product. Make sure your package (or flier) is securely attached, wrapped or sealed (as a box) to avoid unnecessary delays during check out. Your UPC code should be big, bold and readily accessible. You impressed your shopper with an attractive package, great benefits and a fair price. You won the customer. Don’t screw up at the check-out. Have the package “check-out friendly” to Seal The Deal!

Okay, now you know a little about retail packaging. Stroll some aisles to check out the packages that draw you in. See how they’re prepared to grab, brag and seal the deal. Next time the marketer babbles about the importance and rules of proper packaging…just politely nod your head. That marketer doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.

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