Spare a Thought for Packaging

The success of your product in the market will greatly be determined by the packaging it comes in. Yes. Just that physical container. There is nothing that cries out “unprofessional” than seeing someone giving absolutely no thought to packaging. Small businesses need to appreciate that investing in packaging isn’t necessarily wasting money. Some interesting numbers to demonstrate the importance of packaging to customers; 52% would make repeat buys, 90% of keep and re-use packaging, 40% share pictures of your product if packaging is interesting, 62% wouldn’t buy if packaging is hard to open, 75% consider if packaging is sustainable. Packaging is therefore central to your biz and you do need to pay key attention to it rather than just decide on it as a last minute inconvenient. You want people to easily identify your product with positive sentiments. You will need to think of packaging and labelling regardless of your position in the value chain. You will want to develop a brand that attracts some credibility and trust.

Depending on the product, your product will end up coming in boxes, cans, bottles, blisters, vacuum packs etc. The material will be made of wood (cartons), plastics/polythene, glass, metal etc. Largely, there will be the primary and secondary packaging. As you choose what sort of packaging to adopt, you might want to consider the following;

Protection: The primary use for packaging is to protect the product. That is how then investment is done on the suitable packaging material fit for the purpose. You don’t want your product spilling or getting damaged by outside factors like water, air etc.

User Safety: Many times, also, packaging is done to protect the user and the environment from the product. This makes sure it is only accessible for use in the suitable by suitable users. Packaging must not at any time expose users to health hazards.

Sizes: packaging also implements the sizing of the product to address the target markets. Depending on marketing strategy, you might want to go small, medium or big in packaging. It might be a question of accommodating single or multi use.

Premium: Packaging must enhance the aesthetic and ostentation value of the product it contains. You hardly want to package cologne in a plastic bottle

As a small business, once you decide on the type of packaging to implement, you may not easily have the resources to develop your own taste and style of packaging. It is easy therefore to use standard offer packaging. But they are of different quality and prices. Its here you identify the best provider of your kind of packaging. You want someone who meets your requirements and fits into your situations. You want to find packaging that is attractive, colourful, visually appealing and representing your brand value. That is why then you have to ensure that the correct labelling is done. But why label?

Product identity: Well, let’s dispense with the guess work and clearly identify what the product is. Here is where you might want to have a product name, logo, trade mark etc. You want also to have the spine of the brand on it including the colours, statements, graphic etc.

Sale and Promotion: with clarity of the respective market segment. Then you deploy the right product for it. You might give it the appropriate slogan to push it, kadogo, family size etc. Then comes the proper placement and pricing to sell.

Now, it is not enough to have a good package. You must accompany it with proper labelling. You would want to include the following:

Company information. You need to mention the manufacturer (and whether it’s under license etc). It’s a good idea to give the address and contact of the company. A website is desirable and most importantly email and phone for any customer care issues that might arise.

Product information: Here you will talk about the content, nutritional value, guarantees, potential hazards etc. Apart from general info, you might also want to include any certifications associated with it e.g. Kebs. If the market requires it, you might include a bar code that has some of the product information especially helpful to retailers. A QR code has even bigger capacity to include more information about the product by providing linkage to back end information repository. It has also the possibility to support traceability capabilities. Sometimes you could either print the manufacturing/batch/or expiry information on the label. Other times that is printed on the packaging itself.

Claims. You can also include further information highlighting use benefits and any other defensible benefits and features. Here also might go product assembly, use and other care information. However, you want to take care and not clutter the outside label. Its then always enough to put in a different information sheet inside the package that comes with all the information and possibly also translations.

Sizes and Grades: The label also must mention also the size/capacity of the product. Depending on your market then you capture the necessary sizes, litres/oz/kgs/mls/mgs etc. You might also want to mention any claims to grading or any other market distinguishing information Yes packaging and labelling is key and will go directly into building your brand. We talk about brand next. But for now. Any stories on how packaging and labelling has affected your business? Feel free to engage

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