Packaging Innovation
January 22, 2014

Why the packaging process has to be considered simultaneous with product development

Unfortunately most packaging designers have no say whatsoever during the development process of a new line of products. All too often, the packaging process starts when the product design is set in stone already. While that seems self-evident – they are called “packaging designers”, not “product designers”, right? – allowing some level of intermingling between the packaging and product design teams will often result in a higher quality products.

Packaging process often neglected

Thousands of products are introduced in retail stores every year, yet only a handful are really successful at the check-out. A lot of these failures are due to poor packaging, caused by a lack of interaction between the design and packaging team. Generally speaking, packaging isn’t marketers’ biggest concern, opting instead to invest more people and resources in devising communication and pricing strategies and all kinds of promotional activities. Undoubtedly the packaging process suffers from this neglect.

Involving packaging designers from the onset doesn’t necessarily have to cost a lot of money either. In fact, when done properly merging product and packaging teams gives rise to better designed products and packages that stand out on shelf, thus raising profits.

How that works?

Consider the following example, involving a brand that wants to introduce a new kind of deodorant for men in a three-pack. The value package would have more economy of space if nesting and placement were considered prior to the completion of product development. Not only would the product then look way better, it would also attract more consumers and do better at retailers.

Packaging pro’s: valuable for brand and retailers

Apart from design consideration brands should take into account merchandising systems, sealing or packaging operation processes and retail requirements. When the package falls short in any of these categories it is destined to fail on shelf, leading to a disappointing performance for the brand owner or retailer. All the more reason for brands to hire packaging professionals!