Here is a sentence that probably will never be uttered: “We have plenty of time to market and can afford a delay.”
Whether you are planning a new product launch or a special promotion, losing production time on the packaging end can seriously affect your scheduling and in the end, be very costly. More than half of all retail purchases are in-store impulse buys, based upon packaging appearance, and how well the design, texture, and color draw attention, and differentiate that product from other brands. Problematic or inferior packaging will limit consumer engagement, and sales.
Basics to Ensuring a Smooth Package Manufacturing Process
There are specific design pitfalls that can be avoided. However, two fundamental actions can assist the entire design process and help ensure that packaging development and manufacturing are cost-effective and delivered on time:
1. Partner with experts that have a proven track record of delivering the innovative solutions you are looking for, in both time and on budget.
2. Bring the packaging design team into the discussion as early as possible. They can advise you on the feasibility of your concept, and make sound suggestions for adjustments to help you avoid excessive cost or manufacturing problems.
3 Packaging Design Tips
1. Standardize Package Sizes
Standardizing package sizes eliminates changeovers and new set up times for automated fulfillment machines or manual fulfillment lines, which increases production time. This, in turn, can lower costs by reducing the number of shifts—and, consequently, the number of employees—required to get the orders out. In fact, standardizing package size made it possible for one company to go from four shifts to two on that single change.
A related issue is the number of items in a package. It is more cost-effective to create multiples (e.g., 4, 8, 12) than it is to break them up (e.g., 4, 6, 8).
However, standardizing sizes has trade-offs. The competition may gain market share by selling a size or amount of product that proves to be more appealing to consumers. When considering packaging size, it is vital to weigh the risk of loss of market share against reduced cost of production.
2. Minimize Changeovers with Consistent Package Styles
Here’s an example: In one company, the changeover between product lines, for their straight tuck cartons, took about 45 minutes. For no discernible structural or marketing reason, their marketing team decided to use a reverse tuck for a new product. Since cartoning machines do not produce both straight and reverse on the same machine or in the same run, the changeover grew the packaging production time to five hours.
3. Be Aware of Potential Dulling Effects of Base Coats and Coatings
Mylar/foil adds brightness and shine that capture a consumer’s eye. However, a proper base of white must be laid down over the foil to block its effect on a printed image. Without it, the image can lose its brilliance and look washed out.
Another example is soft touch coating can dampen the visual and tactile effect of embossing/debossing due to this thick coating filling in the peaks/valleys of the impression.
The experienced professionals at JohnsByrne can mitigate these potential issues long before your packaging goes into production, so your product reaches the shelves on time, and is designed to have all the elements in innovation, structure, color, and texture to stand out from similar products.
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