While you hope that everything is exactly as you want it before an initial packaging run, that is not always the case. In most cases, there will be something to learn from this first run, whether that is that you did everything right or that you need to make some minor adjustments. Here are just a few of the things you ideally want to learn during this process.
That the Artwork Lines Up as Expected
One of the simpler things to learn from your initial packaging run is that the artwork lines up on the box or container just how you thought it would. The dieline designs, prototypes, and other steps in the ordering process should have already confirmed that this was the case, but your packaging run will provide yet another verification.
The Product Is Easy to Open
As part of the initial packaging run, you will take the time to have various members of your team examine the product and packaging in detail and have potential customers do the same. This is the perfect time to learn whether your packaging is easy to open. You want the answer to that to be “yes,” and you should adjust the design for your next run if necessary.
The Packaging Provides Protection
The first packaging run is also your chance to confirm that the packaging does indeed protect your product. The packaging is there to draw attention to your product and to keep it safe from the elements during shipping, as well as anything that happens in the store. Confirm that your product is still in good shape after going through the shipping process, and this aspect of your first run will be a success.
Shipping Will Not Be a Problem
In addition to learning that your packaging protects the product during shipping, the first run should also let you know that the shipping will go smoothly in general. Once you have the products packaged, this is your chance to confirm that they will cost as much to ship as you had anticipated. If the containers are larger or heavier than your guess, this is an important lesson, as you either must change the packaging or budget more for shipping, which might increase the asking price for your product.
Your Customers Like the Packaging
As mentioned earlier, following the first packaging run, you should take the time to introduce the product to customers. Ask for their honest feedback, as you want to learn what clients think about it. Do they like the design and artwork? Do they think it would catch their eye in an aisle with other similar products? Do they feel that you chose the right type of packaging? Use their answers to make any adjustments you feel are necessary.
You Are Ready for a Large Run
Of course, the most important thing you want to learn from an initial packaging run is that everything is set, and you can order a larger run. Ideally, your first run goes smoothly, and no changes are necessary. Even if they are, your goal is to use this to get ready for the larger production run.