This also means that there are more opportunities to slip up and potentially damage the brand. In the following article, we’ll look into some of the biggest mistakes that brands definitely don’t want to be making.
When designing packaging, one of the first major decisions is likely going to be centered on the question of which material is best for the job. And rightly so; choosing wrongly could be disastrous for one’s product and, by extension, one’s brand.
The big question is whether the material used should be soft or hard. Both kinds have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages, some of which will matter more for your product and your customers than others. For instance, soft bag packaging can be great for food products because they are often designed to be resealable, allowing products to retain their freshness for longer. On the other hand, using soft packaging for tougher products (particularly those with harder corners and edges) can lead to an increased chance of the packaging being perforated, leaving the product ruined and the brand coming across as second-rate.
Hard packaging, meanwhile, tends to give your product better protection while in transit, which is great for more delicate goods. However, giving your product excessive protection when it isn’t really needed can be wasteful, both financially and in terms of the amount of material used.
Don’t Pick the Wrong Packaging Size
The line between under- and over-packaging is finer than ever these days. Now that customers are becoming more environmentally aware, they have a far lower tolerance for brands that use too much material or make their product packaging excessively large (the same goes for over-use of auxiliary materials like tape and packing peanuts). Doing so will not only give the impression that your brand doesn’t care about the environment but, as has already been mentioned, it can also be financially wasteful. At the other end of the spectrum, under-packaging a product also quickly leads to problems. Using too little packaging will come across poorly to customers and can give the brand a reputation for being cheap and unprofessional. As well as this, forcing products into under-sized packaging will mean there is a greater risk of them getting damaged while being transported.
It’s integral that brands ensure their product packaging looks professional and will protect the product without appearing over the top and wasteful.
Don’t Label Your Product Incorrectly/Poorly
Making sure products are labelled correctly is a must. In the U.S. and around the world, there are laws and regulations that must be followed in order for the product to be sold legally. FAQs on the rules and guidelines can be found at the National Institute of Standards and Technology site.
Once you know what information you must provide, you need to ensure that there are no errors or inaccuracies in the label content. It should go without saying that an incorrect label implies an incompetent brand, which can very quickly destroy any customer trust and loyalty built thus far.
Don't Send Non-Returnable Products
Selling products online and having them delivered to customers comes with its own set of standards and expectations. In recent years, customers have made it clear that they tend to prefer receiving their purchases in packaging that, if necessary, can be used to return the product if it doesn’t meet their expectations in any way. In other words, packaging that needs to be torn or damaged (meaning it can’t be reused) in order to be opened will have a negative effect on customer experience.
Another increasingly common way to improve the process of returning a product is to include a pre-paid returns label with the item. This goes a long way in coming across as a brand that cares about its customers. However, a lot of people are starting to expect this as standard and, as time goes on and more brands start doing this, failure to include this will harm brand reputation. Making returns easier for customers is great way to help build customer trust and brand loyalty.
Don’t Leave Your Packaging Untested
Possibly the most fundamental mistake is forgotten about more often than one would expect. The internet is littered with examples of packaging that has been shipped out with glaring labelling errors or major design flaws. These could have easily been avoided if these products had been properly tested.
The best way to do this is to show your packaging to individuals that haven’t had any previous interaction with it and make note of their reactions and thoughts. See how they respond to it in terms of the content on the packaging as well as the physical design. Regarding the shape and structure, have them push the packaging to its limits to find out where any weaknesses lie. As has previously been said, allowing the product to suffer damage before it even reaches the customer will give the impression that the brand is untrustworthy and amateurish.
Taking the time to get to know your product and its packaging will enable you to produce the best possible experience for the customer, engendering their trust and loyalty in the brand and thereby ensuring long-term success.
About the Author
Charles Haverfield and partners began US Packaging & Wrapping LLC after recognizing an increased consumer demand for packaging products and machines with short lead times. Since its inception, US Packaging & Wrapping associates have been helping their customers to quickly and efficiently achieve packaging solutions with results.