Further packaging considerations

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Purpose

We will be going over further packaging considerations of what was already discussed in the previous video. The information contained here is by no means definitive or exhaustive, rather it is intended as a solid point of reference to get you started in familiar with options available to you and the terminology you need when communicating with designers and suppliers. The purpose of this lesson:

•    Why create unique packaging.

•    Where to start with sourcing packaging.

•    We’ll take a look at some packaging details you may want to consider.

•    Inserts – why, how and types of inserts.

So, Why Be Unique?

In addition to the points made in the previous videos (sales, repeat buyers and the perceived value) there are other benefits to having unique packaging.

More Easily Recognized And Remembered: Just consider how many times you might have went into a shop and you have been attracted or impressed by the packaging of a product, regardless of the actual product itself.

Not Easy To Replicate: If you’re design packaging is something that anyone can quickly and easily copy, well guess what, the possibility exists that anyone can come along and copy your product. Having greater detail in design and packaging helps remedy this potential issue.

Now most of you watching this video will just be starting off in your very first product. The packaging is typically something that evolves as you grow your business. So, too much customization right out of the gate may not be the best idea as there are often unperceived product changes and developments that you may discover only once you begin selling your product and acquiring customer feedback. You do not want to blow your budget with the information you have, plus as you gain experience, understand your product and customers more and know what your competitors are doing, it’ll all combine to give you direction on how you would like your packaging to look and evolve.

The easiest way to source packaging is through your supplier, they will most likely have some inhouse options, or at the very least contacts they work closely with. These may not be the fanciest options but with a great design they can look very customized. Plus by going through your supplier you are most likely going to save money. If your supplier doesn’t have in-house packaging options, they will often have a preferred vendor. This is obviously a good option to start with, as the packager will have a working relationship with the manufacturer and will have standard packaging solutions readily available. It might only be one solution but there will be something there.

Working with the supplier or preferred vendor can make packaging evolution easier as well. As you will already have a relationship and they will fully understand your product requirements. If your manufacturer does not have the ability, which is doubtful, or you want something different from what they may offer a simple Google search of “packaging companies” or “custom packaging” will reveal dozens of options. If you are sourcing from overseas, sites like Alibaba.com have many types of packaging manufacturers, advertising their services and products as well, a simple search on Alibaba just like you would for product, under “packaging companies”, “custom packaging” or whatever your parameters are more view dozens of options. Some general considerations:

Professional Designer: unless you are already a designer or exceptionally talented, or have the necessary software, do yourself a favor and hire a designer. Printing companies need the correct formats and source files. It will simplify your life down the road, trust me.

Audience: Does your packaging appeal to your target audience? Think of the style, the colors etc, that correspond with your demographics.

Does it stand out from your competitors packaging? Simple things like having green label on your packaging can be very appealing.

Readability: Very important, be aware of the font colors and background, plus font sizes to make sure it’s readable.

Does Your Packaging Protect Your Contents? That’s what it’s for after all. Different products need different levels of protection. Try to fix any problems and always assume the worst when shipping. Having constant customer returns due to damaged product is no fun, regardless of how great the packaging is.

Let’s take a look at some specifics, now all products need or should strive to include these details;

•    Website URL / Company Email

•    Address: Have a US address, if you are not based in the US there are plenty of services out there where you can get a US address.

•    Phone Number: Have a US number, make yourself as accessible as possible to your customers.

•    Barcode: You need a barcode on there, a UPC. If you are European, you should be using an EAN.

•    Country Of Origin: This is very important and maybe a legal requirement depending on your product. Make sure you research that and have that on there if necessary.

•    Social Media Icons: If you’ve got the room for it, it’s a great way to get some more exposure and build some real credibility behind your brand.

•    Use/Direction/Care: for products that go in or on your body, there are certain requirements for labeling these, including things like ingredients, facts, recommended doses and various other requirements. See the link below for FDA regulations and it’s always a good idea to see what your competitors have on their products.

•    Net Weight: May be required, and if so, the appropriate measurement (pounds, ounces, grams etc.)

•    Storage Instructions: such as temperature, shelf life, etc.

Basic Packaging Types

Three basic packaging types we are going to talk about are Flexible, Rigid and Custom Packaging.

Flexible aka Poly Bags:

First we will talk about flexible, also known as polybags, and they are flexible and lightweight and great for small lightweight items. They are often heat-sealed or have a cardboard topper stapled to the top. Always recommended if you can get that cardboard topper it will give your branding as much exposure possible.

The advantages of flexible packaging are:

•    They are inexpensive (and that’s really about it).

The disadvantages are:

•    They’re not as professional in appearance.

•    There is very little room to display your brand logo design.

•    There is not much room to insert a brochure etc. You may be able to get a business card in there, but that’s probably about it.

Flexible Packaging Considerations And Requirements: if the bag opening is more than 5 inches across you need a suffocation warning label. Warnings must be printed legibly in an area easily seen. The bags must be transparent and at least 1.5 millimeters thick. The bag must be completely sealed and must not extend more than 3 inches beyond the dimensions of the product. Amazon is strict with these requirements, you need to have them in place.

Rigid Packaging:

Usually means it’s a completely closed cardboard box. It is the most common type of packaging you typically see on Amazon as it meets all of Amazon’s requirements for product packaging and it affords us the opportunity to be creative and display our branding plus the inclusion of various types of inserts. It comes in all manners of sizes and provides the greatest protection due to its rigid nature and the possibility of damage inside the box as it is protecting its contents.

Custom Packaging:

You get very creative here but you must obviously fall the practicalities of shipping protection and above all costs, custom packaging often comes in the form of blister packs and clamshell style packages. It’s more expensive but can make your brand really stand out. It is typically something that’s done down the road as your packaging evolves.

Other Elements To Consider

Inserts:

Insert are a very powerful tool for impressing customers. Building mailing lists, getting more reviews and delivering extra value to your customers – an insert is generally a standalone promotional item, usually a slip of paper or card stock. It can also be something like a printed message on the other side of a lid. Content should be short and to the point and the font should be bold and attention grabbing. If you can’t capture your buyers attention immediately, you aren’t going to capture it at all. You want your advertisement to be the first thing they see when they open the package so they can’t get to the product without reading your bonus offer or information first. It can be used to achieve many objectives:

•    List building through VIP membership sign-ups, warranty review club registration.

•    How to claim a bonus, gift instructions.

•    Brochures and other information, such as instructions, care and handling, tips for use, etc.

•    Cross-Selling the promotion or discounts of similar or related products. You have got your customers attention, why not cross sell them, offer a discount on a related item.

It’s an excellent, excellent tool.

It’s an excellent way to let your creativity show and for what you may lack in order packaging, due to funds or because you are just getting underway, you can make up for with some slick attractive and valuable inserts. You may want to consider having two inserts, one for action and one for warranty or user information. Typical styles of inserts, when communicating with printers and packaging companies:

Buck Slip:

The first was a buck slip and it’s about the size of the US dollar bill, hence the name. It’s adapted from magazine advertisements and most printing companies will already have a template for you or designer to work.

Business card:

While that’s not the best choice, because it obviously has very little room on it for information, but is very inexpensive and is often the only possible insert to fit into polybags and other small packages. Plus when used creatively, it can definitely get in and enhance a products packaging.

Postcards:

We all know what size those are. They are slightly bigger than a business card obviously. It is effective if your product packaging is a larger size and will allow for a larger image, which gives you much more artistic license.

Under The Lid:

Finally under the lid you can print right on the bottom of the box lid or if your product is a bottle or jar it’s a great place to have a small insert directly under the cap or lid. Now depending on the size of the bottle or jar, that may not work out so well, but it is certainly something to consider. That concludes this video. Thanks for listening.

Further Packaging Considerations
Taking a deeper look at the common packaging options when getting started, cost saving tips and maximizing value with packaging on your initial product orders.
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