Packaging is a constantly evolving industry in the world of manufacturing. As such, the methods for packaging will continue to shift as new innovations and technologies emerge.
However, it is my belief that there are some basic and core principles to help guide the decision-making process. This should give you, at the very least, a starting point when considering packaging for your product.
It’s important to also note, similarly to designing for manufacturing, that companies should try (when possible) to engage packaging engineering experts early in the development of products, as "early decisions cast long shadows".
Without further ado, here are 3 key elements to consider as you think about packaging for your manufactured product:
Packaging has 2 major jobs to do: First, protect the product. From the start, prioritize that the packaging is constructed in a way that will best provide product protection.
Second, protect the brand identity. It’s challenging to make a major brand shift at any time, but even more so when you begin updating materials and brand colors mid-process. Ensure that any development or change made will fit the existing look and feel of the brand.
One of the most subjective conversations around packaging today is the impact on the planet and sustainability. Spend time researching and speaking with others with experience in this space, but realize that unfortunately there isn’t a “holy grail” as of yet. Also, keep in mind that decisions around impact should not be made at the expense of packaging’s most critical job. Packaging which fails to protect, or doesn’t help to sell products, will be much worse for the environment if the items are returned or go unsold.
Pricing and margin cannot be forgotten when it comes to packaging. The impact on the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) needs to be sustainable for product success. If packaging is created which fulfills its purpose and also minimizes impact on the planet, but in turn, prices you out of the market, you’ll certainly need to re-evaluate.
In summary, packaging is absolutely critical for your brand and product. There are many amazing packaging engineers and packaging graphic designers who can support a brand in need of help.
If you would like to be connected to any of them, please visit www.adampeek.com and schedule a 30-minute call. I would love to help you elevate your brand AND help with the environmental impact. I have a large network of professionals that I’m happy to help connect.
About the Author:
Adam Peek lives to serve others and elevate their stories. He is passionate about his family, his faith, and uplifting packaging as a source for positive change in both our local and global communities. He is the host of the People of Packaging Podcast and is a frequent speaker on packaging and sustainability efforts both in the US and abroad. He works for Fortis Solutions Group and lives in Utah with his wife and their 5 kids.