Packaging is the second most important consideration in marketing your product. The product itself—its quality, usefulness, and desirability—is foremost, but the packaging it goes in can make or break a great product. Conversely, great packaging and labeling can sell even a mediocre product. If your sales aren’t where you think they should be, take a long, hard look at your packaging to see if that is where the fault lies.
Product identity is a critical part of sales. Just think of all the products that are recognizable simply by the packaging, labeling, or logo. The “Golden Arches” are known all over the world. No one has to see the name of the place, just that giant yellow “M.” If your product isn’t selling as you’d hoped, assess its identity. Do a test with real consumers to see if your product is readily recognizable. If not, think about what you can do to fix that problem.
Does your product’s label or package look too much like a competing product? Let’s say you make cupcakes that are sold two to a box. There are two or three other major national brands of cupcakes that come in similar packaging. If your packaging looks too much like the others and is displayed in a grocery store right next to the others, people won’t distinguish your cupcakes from the others. Your packaging needs to be distinctly different so that people will notice that there is another brand of cupcakes from which to choose.
Do you get complaints from both consumers and retailers that your current packaging is cheap and flimsy? Maybe it doesn’t stay sealed, or maybe the cellophane tears too easily, exposing the product to contamination. Poor-quality packaging can hurt your sales significantly. People don’t want to pick up a package from a store shelf and have it fall open in their hands, maybe spill onto the floor, or break.
A blah label or package can hurt your product sales as well. A plain box, poor choice of colors on the label, or an otherwise nondescript container will be either unappealing or simply go unnoticed on the shelf. We all remember the black lettering on white containers of “Generic” packaging. Even though the generic products were less expensive, and they did sell some, you’ll notice that the method of labeling didn’t last very long. Now, stores have their own labels printed in colorful and tasteful designs that compete with national brands.
Lack of Sales
You will know when your product is not selling. If your retailer buys ten boxes of your XYZ product and six months later they are still sitting on the shelf collecting dust, it’s a sure sign that you need to reassess your product packaging.
Is your product’s name too close to the name of a well-known product? If your “Tweekies” sounds too much like the popular “Tweenies,” maybe you should consider renaming your product. Especially if your “Tweekies” and their “Tweenies” are both lollipops, in which case choosing a different name will make your lollipops stand out from the crowd.