The Language Of Cardboard…
Making impressions that sell (and some examples for you)
Packaging is a critical part of making an impression that sells. Whether it’s the way you physically package your products or services, how you match them together to increase your average sale, or how you package your entire business, packaging is designed to make an impression that sells.
The physical packaging of your products or services
This is the most literal type of packaging—the physical packaging of your products or services. Exactly how are your products or services presented to your customers? For example, are your products contained within boxes, bags, bubble wrap, plastic, or containers?
In a retail environment, before you place the items in a bag or a presentation box, do you wrap the goods in tissue paper and seal the tissue wrapping with a sticker bearing your company name?
How are these products packaged to protect them from damage during transport or to make storage easy? Or if your products are sensitive to conditions such as heat or cold, how does the packaging protect them? Or, if necessary, how does your packaging meet any health standard requirements?
For a service-based business, how do you package your service? For example, do you physically package the service your customers are purchasing into a report, or a checklist, or a service record of some sort? Something that makes that service tangible (a service often has an intangible nature). And in that case, how are they literally presented to the customers—paper, gloss, card, bound, loose leaf, stapled, etc?
This first level of packaging is important: Although we’re working through it first, it’s often the last point of contact with the customer. It creates a last impression rather than a first or second and is often what lingers in the customer’s mind. Packaging is the last opportunity you have to reassure customers. That is, to make them feel they’ve made the right decision.
As such, it’s critical that your packaging matches your type and style of business and customers.
For example, a cut-price type of retail store may not wrap items in tissue paper. In that case, it may be appropriate to follow that ‘budget’ theme all the way through by placing unwrapped items directly into brightly coloured plastic bags.
Whereas another retail business, perhaps selling upmarket, high-ticket clothing items, could wrap items in tissue and place them in an attractive ‘designer’ bag of glossy cardboard.
Alternatively, a professional firm might need to produce a report about the service completed for a client. In that instance, it wouldn’t be appropriate to present the report on stapled loose-leaf paper. It might be better if the document is bound with a professional cover page, index, and so on.
A trade business, such as a plumber, renovator, or landscaper, could give each person a checklist of work completed to educate the person as to the value of the service. Further, though, it also makes something that is largely intangible to the layperson’s eye—tangible. This reassures the customer and creates a lasting impression.
For another example, a car servicing business, such as a repair workshop, could provide customers with a service booklet and simply tick off each item that was completed for that particular job or service. Again, you’re packaging the service. Making the intangible tangible.
A similar idea could be used by a health professional whose patients/clients visit regularly. The physiotherapist or chiropractor or counsellor, for example, could maintain a record of the customer’s treatment and improvements for each session.
If you’re a manufacturer, you also need to consider these issues closely. Does the packaging of your product not only protect it but also exceed the expectations of your customers? You see, manufacturers often keep product packaging to a minimum, that minimum being industry standard or what the manufacturer perceives as the customer’s minimum expectation.
To stand out from your competitors, it’s important that you consider the possibility of exceeding both. Look into alternatives that could still protect your products but present them in a better way, a way that makes your products stand out. It could be simple ideas like easy-to-follow colour coding, easy-to-read labelling with symbols representing product types or other product details, and so on.
As a manufacturer, you could look into the idea of taking the physical packaging even further by providing your customers with a storage system for your products. That way, it makes it incredibly easy to store your products and track their inventory. Because it’s so convenient, it makes it far more attractive for your customers to buy from you over and above any other competitors.
Applying any or all of these ideas or others that achieve the same results means that you will be perceived as different—ideally better—than your competitors.
Another issue to consider is to continue your marketing through your physical packaging. For example, your packaging must be sure to reiterate your contact details, such as phone numbers, website or email addresses, and your mailing address. If possible, use stickers or labels on the products themselves. At the very least, have that overprinted or use stickers or labels on the packaging of that product, such as boxes, bags, or containers.
This is particularly true if the products might ever need repair or if you could sell add-on services or other products and services for use with that product or service. Clearly, marking these details helps your customers remember you and use you more often. It also allows some continuity—if team members who know you well leave that customer’s employ, new team members will be able to reach you when needed.
Certainly, reports should always end with some sort of follow-up mechanism, where your business can call that client to check on the results.
Packaging can also include other tools, such as guarantee cards. This item would outline the product or service ‘guarantee to you,’ everything that is entailed, any start and expiration date, and so on. The card could be placed in the package with the product or included in a report, booklet, or at the bottom of a checklist.
Or in a retail environment, your price or promotional tags could tell a ‘story’ about the item, including the price on one side and the guarantee on the other.
Other items you can include: a special offer with response forms, feedback forms and return envelopes to gather their opinion, and more. Anything to get them to deal with your business again!
Our way of doing things is unique and it’s why it produces unique results for our clients…
We would love the opportunity to help you clear your head on what is the right way for you to accelerate your business…
We highly recommend you watch this step-by-step case study of how we grew Beefy’s Pies into a Famous Aussie Icon from a small stressed out bakery into a family owned chain. Click here to get all the insights into their success…
Or if you have heard enough about how we work with our small business owners, then let’s have an off the record chat about your current situation and see what we can do to immediately guide you…click this link to see what time best suits you.
P.S. Ask if our Boardroom Program intake is open for enrolments…It works best for business owners who see the benefit of having us on as their ‘external partner’ so that they are not alone in the day to day decisions of their business.