The Importance of Packaging


I recently decided to order something off my website for my own personal use. When the popcorn popper arrived, I couldn’t wait to open the box. I was happy to see that the product had its own box. However, when I opened the box, there were no directions. Do you pop the corn in the microwave?  With the top up or the top down?  How long do you pop the corn? This irritated me and I thought “so what do my customers think?” Then I decided to randomly order products just to see how they were packaged. You see, I go to trade shows for my trade and reps come by to display their wares but this made me realize that the one thing I don’t see is how the products are packaged.

Why is Packaging so Important?

What is the importance of packaging mean to you? Packaging is an important marketing strategy to grasp audience attention. It doesn’t have to be a tangible product. The packaging of yourself or product needs to get the customer’s attention. You know the old expression, “You Can’t Tell a Book by its Cover?” This may be true but when selling something it is crucial to have attractive packaging. Sure your products are attractive, have function and allow potential customers to buy. However, packaging differentiates one brand from another brand. Again it doesn’t have to be a product, the brand maybe you.  We like to see functional and attractive packaging ideas with multi-sensory appeal and creative design.

What is Packaging?

Many people that offer services online and do not have tangible products only think about how to get the customer and forget about the packaging. Packaging is your marketing presentation and shows how you can solve a problem. So packaging is what makes the first impression on the customer. In my business before you see the promotional product with your wonderful logo imprinted, you will notice how that product was packaged. If the packaging looks good, there is a higher perceived value.

The Roles of Tangible Packaging?

Packaging has three main roles. First it has a practical purpose. Meaning it use to handle and transport the product. Second, packing as we mentioned has a significant role in marketing. Finally, packaging has to do with bundling. Let’s say that

Questions to Answer When “Packaging” Your Personal Brand.

When you think about how to package yourself, answer the following questions: Who are you? What do you do? Why should anyone buy from you?

Packaging Plays a big role in Marketing.

How you present a new product relates back to your identity and who and want you are.  Originally founded in 1979, as Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), IRI is the world’s leading innovative partner that helps clients transform insight into impact at every level of their organization across sales, marketing, merchandising. The findings of many other research projects are supplemented by the survey carried out by IRI (Information Resources Inc.), which provides information about this subject from extensive, in-depth interviews and POS polls, specifically including the issue of multisensory appeal, which is a particular trend. It also presents new arguments and evidence confirming a central conviction held by the packaging industry: that the shopper appreciates and in fact explicitly wants to receive stimulation for the buying decision he is making when standing in front of the supermarket shelf, often even preferring this to other forms of communication. He is keen to be informed and inspired, tempted and pampered by surprising and persuasive functions, emotions and sensual impressions.

Testing Your Own Packaging

I decided to order wine glasses for my son with the name of his boat. I went through the process of ordering through my company. It was a good way to see my business at work. I am glad I have such good service. I was like any other customer that can’t wait to see whey their logo looks like on a product. The wine glasses finally arrived. What impressed me the most was the way they were packaged. The packaging made the wine glasses look expensive. Think about it this way. Would you accept a gift from Tiffany’s if it weren’t in a Tiffany’s box?

As part of our culture we use shiny wrapping paper when we give gifts which creates a feeling. Even if you are not the person receiving the gift you can’t help but wonder what’s inside a wrapped gift. That just goes to show how important packing is. It is an attention grabber. Now, hopefully what’s inside the box is just as attractive unlike what happens in the following video! Just for fun I wanted to share this video because it’s a really good laugh. Enjoy!

Do you think packaging is important? What do you do to package and market yourself? What is your competitive advantage?

60 thoughts on “The Importance of Packaging

  1. Agree entirely that packaging is very important both functionally and in terms of image.In terms of my blog I am still very much in the development stage and gradually investigating packaging options but sense the product will lends itself to something that is less slick than retro so have at least started on that broad track. During my business career all aspects of packaging received very careful consideration for the very good reasons you reference. Enjoyed the video though personally I would not give a hammer to a potentially angry kid !
    Paul Graham recently posted…CANADA’S ANTI-SPAM LAWMy Profile

    • Paul- There were a lot of things I would have left out of that video especially the child’s comment to Jimmy Kimmel. I feel that packaging being the number one thing that makes the impression whether it is a product, selling yourself or website, it needs to say something about you.
      Arleen recently posted…The Importance of PackagingMy Profile

  2. The video really bothered me. It was hard to see so many upset kids – I wonder how long it took before they were told it was a joke. Other than that, I do agree with you that packaging is important and I think people would naturally choose anything that stands out in a good way.

    • Jacqui- Sometimes it makes a difference when we put ourselves on the other side. I have learned so much about my business just being doing what the customer does everyday when they place an order with me. I now question my vendors about their packaging.
      Arleen recently posted…The Importance of PackagingMy Profile

  3. I think packaging your brand is important. It’s the first impression when you are introduced to a new audience. You also market yourself based off of your packaging. So if you’re packaging sucks then your marketing will suck and then who would want to even look at your assumed to be sucky product. People are only interested in the entire product and will not look past the bad wrapping even if there is a great product inside.
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  4. I bought some new eyeglasses recently. I was very impressed with the little bag that they came in. It was just a case for the eyeglasses – it was a look, a logo, a sense that these are upscale eyeglasses (and I just picked them because I like they way they look on me).

    So, yes, packaging can make an impression. In the case of the eyeglasses, the extra bag wasn’t the cost. It was the designer/marketer with an good eye and sense for pleasing the customer.
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  5. Oh, i laughed so much at the video. I had 2 favorite children though – the little girl who likes how mommy cook but for dinner, not a half-eaten sandwich – and the other one was a young man who told his mom she didn’t do a very good job when she was thinking hard what to get them for Christmas – hilarious! Thanks for this post, Arleen – you made my day πŸ˜€

    As to the packaging side of the post – i agree with everything you say. When i was reading, a thought came to mind. You said the pop corn lacked instructions – which side goes up and which down… I thought “well, if there isn’t instruction for that, i suppose it doesn’t matter, you can’t go wrong with either”. And then it hit me – could this be a tactic for the manufacturer to avoid the awful information overload we (consumers) are victim of on daily basis? If it doesn’t really matter which side goes where – why say at all?

    The reason i thought of this is because it directly relates to an issue i am having here in Spain. I don’t remember how it is in the US but in most countries i have driven a car in Europe, there is a clear sign stating that the road you are on has priority, and another sign – for when you do NOT have priority.

    In Spain they have a bit different approach – there is a sign when you don;t have priority, but they don;t have the other one… if there isn’t a sign that you don’t have priority – this means you do have priority. Now, maybe it is because of the very same reason – information overload of some kind – but it is frustrating because you can clearly miss a sign, right?

    But i digress – i love packaging, it has significant impact on the user experience and perception. Being practical matters as well – so we should be very careful if adding (or omitting) a direction in the packaging saves confusion or causes it.
    Diana recently posted…5 Characteristics Every Successful Freelancer HasMy Profile

    • Diana- What was interesting about the pop corn bowl it did make a difference. The lid needed to be on the bottom which was narrower than the top. I called the supplier and asked. I would never have thought to put it in the microwave upside down. Now I am the one that will get the comments from upset customers because they will come back to me and say it doesn’t work. I have learned a valuable lesson not from only from the pop corn but with other products, try being the consumer and play the reverse roles. Boy do you see things differently.

      Dribing in Europe was a challenge and I do remember the signs of Spain.
      Arleen recently posted…The Importance of PackagingMy Profile

  6. A fellow blogger friend recently snail-mailed me some Shakespearean insult gum. It didn’t mater that the tutti-fruitti gum tasted awful and made my jaw hurt. The packaging was awesome. It was packaged as a set of books on a shelf, and each book contained a well-known title on its spine. Inside, two gumballs and an insult awaited. It would make a great party favor.
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    • Jeri- I can remember as a kid that my father would buy gifts for mother from a store in San Francisco called I.Magnin. It became a joke that just give her the box with the ribbons and she will be happy. Packaging worked even with horrible gumballs but the item has stayed on your mind,
      Arleen recently posted…The Importance of PackagingMy Profile

  7. Hi Arleen; Yes, I agree packaging is important a key part of marketing. I have ben thinking on my own brand a lot lately. I recently file for a second domain name because it is more marketable easier to remember and a lot of people already call me by the name mr. midway. it isn’t as descriptive as the midway marketplace, but I feel mr. midway is more marketable. since you are in the business of putting names on merchandise, what is your opinion? as for setting myself apart I push my clients to provide and use videos more than any of my more established competitors. I also depend heavily on social media and a large international email list. and of course i am now doing the youtube videos and hangouts and hope to develop both into tools to promote myself the site and the equipment products and services for sale on it. thanks for an excellent post. Keep up the fine work, Max
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    • Max- It is not a bad idea to have two domain names, but you need to pick one name that works for you. The name has to have some kind of meaning. What does Mr. Midway mean to you? Then create your packaging from there. I don’t know why but your last several comments went into spam
      Arleen recently posted…Why Companies Trademark Everyday WordsMy Profile

      • hi arleen; glad to hear you rescue my comments from the spam. I seem to have more trouble with that than most. As to your question midway marketplace is more of a thing and mr. midway is more of an identity maybe. it seems to me that mr. midway would b more about information and midway marketplace more about sales. the bottom line is neither is perfect but which is better going forward knowing that everything i do is meant to help promote the site and the equipment products and services for sale there. and lastly i am hoping that the mr. midway might lend itself to merchandise either as straight sales, trade show give aways, or incentives in a crowd sourcing campaign. and did you get my email about a company wanting a quote on some promotional products. thanks so much, max
        maxwell ivey recently posted…Wednesday night meet up recap April 2, 2014My Profile

  8. Yes, you’ve hit the nail on the head. I’ve also met an eccentric wine maker that plays by his own rules. Such as you have to go through his tour in order to purchase the wine. Then when you do, he wraps it in shiny paper (cool, it feels special and exclusive) but then he ties a piece of crafting yarn the width of your pinky around it. He just likes it. His mentality is that if you don’t like it then go onto another winery. He’s either genius or stuck in his ways.
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  9. I absolutely agree that it is important to put yourself through your customers’/clients’ experience every now and then. It’s eye opening. It is also true that a bad product or service will eventually fail because of its defects no matter how it is prettied up by packaging and appearances, but a good service or product can be hidden by a poor first impression.
    Suzanne Fluhr recently posted…β€œIf You Want to Make God Laugh, Tell Him About Your Plans.” Honolulu, Hawaii EditionMy Profile

  10. I agree with what you have written, it is also a good idea to order from your place to see the presentation of product.
    Packaging really makes a difference , in market we see that there are so many toys or even candies for kids and if we give a chance to kids they go for attractive packaging. Same is case with adults.
    Sometimes there is big problem if instructions are not written and sometimes I come up with something where instructions are so confusing that you can not understand what to do.
    I think all the children in video are hurt , but I will never give such a shocking surprise to my kid with a hammer.
    andleeb recently posted…Captain Abdullah KhanMy Profile

    • Andleeb- We all need to know how we are packaged. How do others perceive us with our business. Take dog products. A dog has no idea what the packaging looks like, but the owners make decisions on how that product was packaged.
      Arleen recently posted…The Importance of PackagingMy Profile

  11. It is all about how you sell it. I agree with you on that. I do need to work on my packaging when people buy from my Amazon and eBay account. This has got my thinking wheels going . Thanks!

    • Crystal- If you package what you are selling well, your customer’s will back. I know how I react when I receive something that I spent a lot of money and it looks like it was thrown in a box and shipped.
      Arleen recently posted…The Importance of PackagingMy Profile

  12. Packaging! Aarrgghh. I tell you what, Amazon is doing a great thing with packaging. They always email to take a survey and rate the packaging. Most times I find it – sized right and easy to open. But sometimes, with electronic items in particular, directions are needed along with tools to open something. The last one was sooooo bad, I simply returned it. It wasn’t worth all that too me.
    Patricia Weber recently posted…Managing as an Introvert and a Highly Sensitive Person: Bright Lights and Clothing TagsMy Profile

    • Patricia- Amazon is smart to get our reactions to their packaging. Not having the proper directions really frustrates me and I don’t have the time to figure it out. Yes my pop corn bowl was simple but I would never had thought to place in the microwave upside down.
      Arleen recently posted…The Importance of PackagingMy Profile

  13. Arleen,
    First I have to say that I can’t stop laughing at the video you put in here! Those poor kids! I love the one at the end lol.

    Yes, packaging is important. Who would want something from Tiffany’s if it wasn’t in a Tiffany Package? “It’s all in the presentation” when it comes to packaging.

    This is a pretty timely post for me personally because I have no artistic eye for the product I just made. As I write, I have several people working on different kinds of pictures representing it.

    I can wrap a great gift, but when it comes to an image of an e-product, I’m lost. So I had to have a collection of different kinds of “packaging designs” made for me. Phew… then I have to test them.

    Because I tested my market of followers I want a good fit for the packaging of this product. I don’t want it to be misleading, I want it appealing to the eyes of my target market.

    Thank you for bringing this topic up, because it broadened my view on how to choose the packaging I need to test.

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  14. Hi Arleen,

    Well probably like you had I ordered the popcorn and didn’t know how I was suppose to cook it I would have been upset. If it didn’t come with directions I would have been upset.

    As far as the overall packaging of it though, I don’t really care that much about it if the product is what I want. I’m not that impressed with it I would say but I guess if I was window shopping and wasn’t sure what I wanted then it would of course grab my attention more if the packaging was either more attractive or it just stood out. I might think twice before I decided what I wanted.

    That video was cute and boy, some kids are just so ungrateful. LOL!!!

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    • Adrienne- My concern with the popcorn bowl is that my customers are not ordering one. The minimum is 100 pieces and if their customers complain that they were given a poor gift, guess you they will come back to, me. I am glad I tested the product. I am now ordering products randomly to see how they are packaged and if the directions make sense. So many of promotional products comes from China and the way the translate is not always understandable.
      Arleen recently posted…The Importance of PackagingMy Profile

  15. Hi Arleen

    To me packaging is very important. Apple is such a great example of it. I just got a new iPhone and iPad and the packaging creates an experience. However with Apple products there is no instructions so a bit like your pop corn maker.

    I love when I get a present given to me that is beautifully packaged.

    Now that video. I went between feeling sad for the kids to angry they were spoiled brats. But that is another whole discussion πŸ™‚

    Great post and yes for me packaging is very important.

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    • Sue- Apple does a great job of packaging but their directions need something to be desired. I think they feel everyone knows how to use the product or it might be a way to get you to come into the store and buy more. I agree that I enjoy looking and opening nice packaging, otherwise it looks like you got a gift from the grocery store.
      Arleen recently posted…The Importance of PackagingMy Profile

  16. Well, first of all the video is awesome! I was laughing all the way to the end πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing that!

    Speaking of packaging, it is absolutely important. However, the product has to be genuinely as good. Otherwise, a bad product in a beautiful packaging will attract responses more of less like those kids and do more damage than help.

    A good product in a bad packaging is way better than a bad product in a great packaging.

    Have a great day!

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    • Kumar- Nothing like a little bit of humor that kids bring to the table.

      I agree that the packaging is the not only thing but it does make a better impression. Hopefully your product is good to begin with, otherwise that can irritate a customer more than the packaging.
      Arleen recently posted…The Importance of PackagingMy Profile

  17. Before I comment on the post in general, I have to tell you that I love the way you responded to your dissatisfaction with the popcorn popper, you immediately ordered more stuff to see how it appeared. Bravo! That’s such a terrific indicator about important your customer’s experience is to you.

    Packaging can make or break a good product. All the brilliance in the world can get lost in the frustration of a poorly thought out package or a cheaply presented product. Nothing changes when we move to our virtual packaging.
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    • Debra- If my customers are not happy then I am not happy. Let’s face it they pay the bills. Packaging is also important not just for a product but when you package yourself on the internet. I know the bloggers that I have met through communities that many of them I have no idea what they are selling. This is where packaging needs to be important.
      Arleen recently posted…The Importance of PackagingMy Profile

    • Susan- I am learning never assume that things are correct. Ordering my own products was an eye opener on several levels. Not just the packaging but how the supplies handled the process as well as my office
      Arleen recently posted…The Importance of PackagingMy Profile

  18. How we package ourselves — our personal brand — is essential to engage customers and potential customers. What are you selling? How do I value you and your services? It’s not as easy as designing a beautiful package that draws your attention to a physical product. Speaking of packaging, I wish manufacturers would make it easy to open the hard plastic shells around their products. As I write, my new mouse stares at me from behind its shell waiting to be opened.
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    • Jeannette- I couldn’t agree with more about the hard plastic packaging, they are real nail breakers. I agree with that packaging includes how we present ourselves and how we are perceived. Good luck on using new mouse and getting it opened.
      Arleen recently posted…The Importance of PackagingMy Profile

  19. It’s all part of the customer experience, right?

    Even the little things can make a big difference!

    I was thinking about how we could apply this to online business (well, I have seen a lot of businesses do it, but I am not sure how I could do it, especially with me being in blogging industry).

    Perhaps I can try and deliver my services in a different way (I know people expect us to do things in certain ways – like I expect to get an eBook link via an email). Perhaps I can do something unique about that?

    Give them something they didn’t expect?

    I have thought about gifting. I did want to incorporate into my new list, but I thought it would be weird to ask people their birthday, especially when they are signing up for a list to a writing/marketing blog.

    What do you think?

    I did like the video, but I am not sure how to react to it (especially to the reactions of some kids. Kids are becoming more materialistic, and this is one issue we should pay attention to, since those kids are the future of this world).

    But, it was funny πŸ˜€ Thank you for sharing that!

    Anyways, thank you for sharing this, Arleen πŸ™‚ Appreciate it!
    Jeevan Jacob John recently posted…7 Techniques to Confront Demotivation!My Profile

    • Jeevan- It is always about the little things that make a big difference. One day you will write an ebook and package it so your audiences wants to buy your product. Just package differently than others so you stand out. I would not ask for someone’s birthday as many people think that is personal and many do not want to give out their age. It is a nice thought but too intimate.

      Yes kids today are becoming materialistic but where do you think that comes from? The parents want everything and then put it on credit and when the bills come in they can’t pay for them. Not great lessons to be teaching our children. However, they also are interested in the packaging.
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