Packaging Innovation
May 15, 2015

An inquiry into the additional purpose of packaging

Let’s face it: packaging’s main purpose is to make products look good so they attract more buyers. There’s more to it than that, however. Packaging also offers product protection and may even offer additional value and purpose. Marketers traditionally distinguish five ways in which packaging serves consumers. As will be shown, the benefits of packaging far outreach mere product protection or esthetics.

1)    Protect the product

Packaging not only helps protect the product in a physical sense, it also protects against counterfeit products. By adding a distinct feature to packaging, manufacturers can make their product more difficult to counterfeit. Brands benefit because their product will be harder to imitate, yet consumers benefit as well, because they’ll have more certainty of the quality they’re buying.

2)    Offer additional value

There are numerous examples of how packaging design may offer additional value for consumers, from beverage cans conveniently designed to fit in your car can holder, to food items specially designed to fit in a microwave as well as be microwave safe and burn proof.

3)    Make product selection easier

Imagine if all brands would choose the same packaging for their product. Selecting one would be a lot harder, wouldn’t it? By designing an eye-catching package design brands make sure they stand out from the shelf, making it easier for the consumer to take their pick. Because let’s face it: consumers don’t have much time to investigate into the distinct qualities of every brand. So they simply choose the package that looks most relevant for their tastes and values.

4)    Offer an additional purpose

We simply love packages you can still use long after the product it held is gone. We often see this with beauty products that come equipped with a wearable charm or accessory. In this case, the added packaging purpose is directly related to the product itself which is a distinct benefit.

5)    Enhance the consumer’s experience

A positive consumer experience is the end goal of any product and well-designed packaging can contribute to this end. Seasonal products, for instance, can be enhanced with a scent to make them more appealing as gifts or personal purchases. The bottom line is this: packaging should serve the customers, not the company.