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Making the Back of a Package the Front

06/04/2011

The trouble with showing your product on the front of your package is that the product usually takes up a lot of space for marketing. Not to mention the product can go a long way to seriously  muck up the trade dress, making the offering look seriously awkward or unattractive. Kind of funny, huh?

Carded products are usually the worst for such things. Cards tend to be rather conservative with area for many reasons and then there’s the blister, which seems to remove a big portion of the rest of the card just by being there.

It seems that Autolite has decided to go for it and make a rather drastic change to get that marketing area back – by making the back of their card the front.

Wow, look at that billboard space! And to think: it was there all along!  That said, let’s have a more serious look at this solution.

Moving the blistered products to the back gets you the entire card area for branding and marketing. The dynamic imaging and trade dress really get a chance to shine. Autolite is owning that orange.  There is also a luxurious amount of space for sell-points. If you can’t get your point across with that much space, you really shouldn’t be selling that product.

Comparing the Autolite package to the Bosch packaging here, you can see how much more exciting and capable the Autolite is, which brings us to the downside…

There has always been a lot of talk about needing to actually see the product you want people to buy and this is the serious bone of contention about flipping your cards. There’s something re-assuring about seeing the spark plugs on the Bosch package. , As a consumer, I can’t put my finger on it. Perhaps it’s that you feel more confident you’re getting what you’re thinking about with the Bosch. Autolite tries to rectify this by putting a pretty dynamic illustration of a spark plug doing its thing on the front. Is that enough? Should it have been an image of the entire plug instead?

Here’s the other issue: store stockers notoriously do not care about the presentation of your product. Case in point: my mom wanting to buy a big heavy thing at a large home center. All of the products were stocked with the Spanish side out. Mom isn’t bilingual, nor a body builder. She gets frustrated and leaves…

Bringing this back home to Autolite’s packaging, I predict that they’ll have a hard time making sure that the blisters face the back, as we are all programmed nowadays to put the blisters to the front – even the consumers putting things back. Thinking of this, I hope that the back of the Autolite is as compelling as the front of the competition’s! As you can see from above, I don’t think it’s up for the task of competing back to front with Bosch.

Just for the record, I bought the Autolites because the Bosch packaging was just not approachable for my short-attention-span noodle.

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