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A Packaging Approach That Conveys Efficiency

By: Elizabeth Boch
Posted: November 19, 2010, from the December 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

As you evaluate beauty aisles, you may notice that many products are undergoing a packaging revolution. It’s less about intricacy and overly worked design now and more about seamless, clean looks with the least amount of packaging possible.

Has that new look stopped consumers from buying their staple perfume and foundation? Probably not, and that’s because lately it is the price tag that truly catches the eye.

Consumers base purchasing decisions on price now more than ever. Add to that mindset the increasing role of corporate responsibility and going green in consumer behavior, and these two trends combine to form the much larger theme of efficiency. Consumers want inexpensive, quality goods that are manufactured responsibly. They know sustainable goods shouldn’t cost more than their synthetic counterparts, and they expect brands to adopt that same principle and apply it to the entire product life cycle.

How do you apply this trend to your product and its packaging though? Understand it’s less about beauty and more about functionality. Approach packaging from a practical standpoint and less as a marketing tool. See your packaging choices as opportunities to cut costs, which naturally result in lower pricing. Implementing these efficiency-minded material and design changes result in the added benefit of becoming a sustainability proponent.

Focus on Function

When most marketing professionals think about packaging, it is viewed through the lens of communication. The outer pack is the first thing a consumer will see, and until recently, the message being communicated was one of beauty. While that is still important, consumers are savvier and more motivated to buy based on cost these days, rather than color and shape. So begin by addressing one of the largest contributing factors to your shelf price: transportation costs. With some estimates as high as 20% and fuel costs as unpredictable as ever, finding ways to reduce that cost will come in handy when deciding whether to lower your products’ price points for consumers.