A lot of things that we see or use in everyday life are completely taken for granted. We think very little about where they come from or how they came to be there or who designed them or how they contribute towards the cost or presentation of a product. Quite simply they are just there. But they have to come from somewhere and presumably they bring value to people’s daily lives. One such example is packaging. It is the stuff that almost anything that you purchase comes in and in many instances it stuff that is quickly discarded. It is certainly worth taking a look at and asking questions. So, with that in mind, here is a quick attempt to unpack packaging.
Almost everything that you buy comes in some form of packaging and in many instances, while it is the product that you need, it is the packaging that makes the product. Consider something like makeup, it’s a vital component on any woman’s dresser, but without the packaging it would just be powder, blowing in the wind. At some point a businessman would have typed ‘cosmetic packaging UK’ into a search engine to find a solution to his dilemma, very aware that the presentation and packaging of his product was going to be instrumental in the sales process. In short, while it may be discarded once the product is open or used, it is a key element in making it sellable and anyone looking to produce a product of value will need to partner with a packaging partner before going to market.
A lot of packaging is single-use plastic which is highly damaging to the environment and which has become increasingly unpopular. This criticism is justified as there is quite simply too much plastic in land-fills and the oceans. But that doesn’t mean that packaging is bad, it just means that it needs to be reinvented and adapted to fit in with modern needs and trends. It could be paper based or made from recycled paper. Or it could be sold packaging-free which is also a popular thing at many stores.
Striking a balance
One of the biggest concerns for anybody in marketing is striking the balance between being cost effective and stylish. Everyone is in agreement that presentation is important, but it cannot be produced at such a cost that it makes the cost of the product prohibitive. It is simple economics really and for every item that goes to market there will be an accountant somewhere who has done the cost benefit analysis to determine what spending is justifiable on the way to producing a viable product.
Take a moment
Having said at the start of the piece that packaging is something that is generally taken for granted, take a moment next time you buy something to critically examine the packaging. If more people offered input or comment on the packaging they consumed daily, then it might be a while lot easier for producers to adapt to trends and needs. Does the item need to be packaged? Does the packaging influence your decision to purchase? What will you do with the packaging once you no longer need it? Let the manufacturers know these things and be an agent for change.