Why is Packaging Important!

A Lindt chocolate is beautifully packed, not because the chocolate is bad!

An Apple product is made to look cool, not because it won’t work well!

A bottle of qua mineral water seems beautiful not because water is not good!

In a recent discussion with CEO’s of technology driven enterprises, the question of why packaging was so important came up – as it always does. Why should we spend time learning how to package – is it to cover the flaws of the product?

I patiently listen to all the engineering minds give me reasons why they feel packaging is basically camouflaging and why good products should be discovered by the customers and not be attractively packaged just to be sold. So they detest learning how to make good designs, good packaging, good presentations, good communications, and all other aspects of the soft side of product / service development. Surprising that this thought exists today, even in an Appl’ed World!

The misconception arises from a misunderstanding of the problem. While many technically driven entrepreneurs are beginning to agree that making a first impression is important even in highly technical products, they still believe that technical prowess should provide the answer.

While they still insist that customers will appreciate the technical ability of their innovations, what they don’t realize is that before customers experience the promise, they need to be cajoled to try. This requires some thinking about the way products / services are packaged and sold.

When entrepreneurs sell their wares, they need to start thinking from the customer’s viewpoint. They need to impress upon the potential markets the need for the solution and how their solutions are probably ones that should be explored. Good packaging is not just in the literal sense! It comprises of well designed products, well made packages, attractive presentations, clear communication of value, great pricing, power-packed presentations, highly creative messages shared on the right channels.  All of this is packaging. Packaging is a very important factor in influencing perception. Think about it!

Entrepreneurs need to realize that people buy solutions to their problems – the more beautiful they are the better. If one can buy a well designed solution for a premium over an average one, everyone would love to have the better made one. This thinking extends even to industrial products as much as to consumer durables.

As the world gets richer (even in the relative sense), it is bound to look for more than utilitarian benefits. To gain access to anything beyond utility, good packaging is the beginning. Hence as entrepreneurs, as business owners attempting to revolutionize consumer experience using unique and innovative products, it is important to keep an eye on aesthetics. If not anything else it is bound to entice consumers to try your products over that of competitors. This could make customers recognize and acknowledge the technical prowess of your product / service too.

This post was written by Raj Shankar, an author and consultant. The post originally appeared in his blog Raj’s Lab