Designing Your Packaging Through Your Customer’s Eyes

Here we are, the final installment of this trifecta of packaging talk. The up side is that this is when I bring it all together!

Previously, I talked about the importance of where you place your logo and then we got into the hierarchy of the package and text. This time, I’m taking those to two bits and actually applying them, but first I have to talk about thinking through your customer’s eyes.

To really make an effective package, one has to realize that the package is basically the salesman for the item and the final gasp by your company to actually sell your product. Most times (and certainly with network cables) there is no extra marketing that helps swing home the sale. What really does it is what is said on the packaging – and it better be the right stuff. To hammer it home, the right stuff is the very things the customer needs to have. Most times, these are completely different from what your spreadsheets tell you.

Customers look to buy things to solve problems. Sometimes it’s a nebulous thing, like they need to feel better, richer, worthwhile or perhaps skinny or something. With network cables, that’s pretty easy: they need a cord to connect their computer to the internet – NO! They want to go online. That’s what they really need. The cable helps the customer get there.

Thinking like this, the biggest benefit we can put on that card is that this items connects you to the internet, right? I beg to differ in this instance.

While the above thought is important, the most important thing is the differentiation of the network cable from the phone cable. There are plenty of people who can divine the difference easily but for most it can be very confusing – especially when considering that stores usually put phone cables next to network cables. Therefore we need to say this is a network cable and say that loudly, because you need to take into account the environment your product will be placed in.

After this, on the scale of importance comes the reassurance that this product does connect to a network.  We must say ‘network’ rather than ‘internet’ because we must not confuse things, as this item certainly cannot connect without a modem of some sort, as well as to not confuse the small-office buyer or someone who needs to get on a ‘network’.

The next most important bit of information will be the length of the cord. For this, the reasons are obvious. The cord length is given a place of prominence on the top of the card and in a location where one can quickly thumb through other cards to find the size you need, in this case the upper right corner.

Finally, at the bottom of the card we put the qualifying specifications that need to be said. We need to specifically say the compatibilities to make sure we encompass as many customer’s conditions as we can.

For fun here, I have cobbled together a mock-up of what I figure to be a solid solution for this card going forward.

This card addresses all of the things I had discussed earlier. We now have a strong branding element in the large red swath of color behind the product that connects to the logo as well as popping the product off of the card. I have also moved the logo to the top the card, to a much more prominent position that should be far more legible. The new logo location also allows for the logo to be larger. This company is doing a good job saying it is proud of its product, rather than hiding itself.

Speaking of legibility, all of the text on the package has been weighted bolder for more impact and made larger for easier reading – an important feature for older demographics. It is a bit of comfort to the buyer to find pertinent information quickly. It goes to feeling comfortable with their decisions and we all know that most people buy on emotion rather than on logic.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour of packaging design thinking!

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