A lot of factors should come into play when designing or selecting product packaging. However, some factors have more weight than others, including the weight of the packaging. Giving too much weight to the wrong factors can cost you money, time and productivity. Here are three things to consider when choosing packaging for your product.
How the Packaging Fits into the Bigger Picture
Your packaging has to protect the product on its way from the factory to the consumer. Ideally, it helps promote the product while protecting it and holding everything together, as well as making it easy to transport and distribute. Your packaging isn’t just there to hold the product and its component pieces inside. It is also used to protect the product while it is in transit and stacked in the warehouse.
Your packaging then needs to be easily stacked and transported. Flexible packaging that can be more densely packed in boxes and store shelves is clearly a plus, especially if it can bounce back and look attractive when unpacked. Make sure the packaging can sit on a standard display case or hang from a conventional hanger. It is also important to choose the right manufacturer when having custom packaging created for your products.
Another factor to consider is the production process and how the packaging fits into this. You don’t want to have complex packaging that creates a choke-point in the production process. When you can automatically slide product into the packaging and seal it at the same speed as the assembly line, you could save money while minimizing lead-times.
In a Flexo Impressions case study, it was found that developing specially engineered solutions could shorten packaging lead times by up to 14 weeks while reducing packaging costs. By engineering custom packaging solutions that were efficient and effective, they were able to eliminate the need for minimum orders of material that locked up the company’s capital in packaging they may not be able to use.
We’ve already discussed the value of flexibility. It would be wise to select packaging that is flexible enough to handle SKU changes, product promotions, and variants. If you can use the same packaging with a different printed label across your entire product line, you save quite a bit due to economies of scale. You can improve your operation’s flexibility by shifting to print on demand labels and packaging you can order in small lots.
Consumer Wants and Needs
Don’t go overboard with hard to handle packaging. If it is hard to get off the shelf and into the cart, they’re less likely to take it home. If getting the package open to get to the product is a challenge, your customers won’t be so thrilled with the end result. Another issue is how the packaging looks. You want packaging that sells the product, whether the color scheme enhances brand recognition or the packaging evokes thoughts of the product itself.
Modern packaging has to do everything from protecting the product at every stage of the supply chain to sell the brand and the product itself. Factor in considerations from the customer’s needs to the assembly line to inventory to get the most out of your packaging.