Great packaging can be the difference between success and failure for some products. As marketers, it’s our responsibility to make sure the products we are marketing are packaged in a way that merchandises well, is easy to display, and showcases its best features on the shelf—especially when stacked up against the competition.
Creative packaging reinforces and in some cases is the primary contact point for a brand. Unique shapes, sizes, formats, structures and materials are all in the mix when you want your product to stand out in the crowd and get people talking.
But as marketers, we’re also responsible for the perception of our brand—and most consumers hate excessive packaging. The fact is, excessive and frustrating packaging gets people talking too.
Here’s a product we received from Amazon.com today. What do you think when you see this?
The world’s smallest wireless mini USB adapter came in a box 25 times larger than necessary, and the Amazon box the product package came in was at least three times larger than it needed to be.
While I’m picking on Amazon, they are actually working to address the problem with Frustration-Free Packaging:
Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging, a multi-year initiative designed to alleviate “wrap rage,” features recyclable boxes that are easy to open and free of excess materials such as hard plastic clamshell cases, plastic bindings, and wire ties. The product itself is exactly the same—we’ve just streamlined the packaging.
Sure, the list of Frustration-Free products is small, but at least Amazon is engaging customers in the conversation by giving them the opportunity to share their images and videos of frustrating packaging experiences in their Gallery of Wrap Rage while clearly stating their environmental commitment.
I hope packaging absurdities like the one we witnessed today will become a thing of the past, but kudos to Amazon for taking a step in the right direction. That said, I’ll reserve the right to “un-kudo” them in the future if they act too slowly.
Will reduced packaging hurt merchandising? Possibly, but not for online purchases.
Should marketers be responsible for the amount of packaging used on a product? If we care about your brand perception and the environment, I say yes.
Enough of what I think.
What do you think of the reduced packaging versus merchandising dilemma?
Comment below to share.