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How to focus on customer-friendly packaging

customer-friendly packaging

How does a business focus on customer-friendly packaging? Our guide outlines the way to start moving your brand towards packaging that customers want.

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What is special about customer-friendly packaging? Experts see convenience as a top priority when it comes to consumer expectations – and this is what retail brands in particular use to gain an advantage over branded products. In the following article, we describe what is important for packaging convenience and why it is an excellent opportunity to differentiate itself from the competition.

Customer-friendly packaging can dominate sales

customer-friendly packaging (2)

The trend towards more convenience is worldwide and extremely strong. It has long since left its origins – food and stores. More and more markets are shaped by customers’ need for more convenience and also for their demand for sustainable packaging. A current example is Tesla, the first car that can update itself in a normal WLAN. Bye-bye workshop!

The convenience competition for packaging is also very exciting. Open, remove, reclose, dispose. Consumers expect these steps to be simple and easy to do. 

And it is precisely this consumer expectation that private labels are using to gain a lead over branded goods. You will have been able to observe and accompany many packaging optimizations in recent years. Packaging convenience has become the focus for many smaller brands, particularly those who want to meet customers’ expectations and demands about environmentally sustainable packaging and reduced waste in packaging. 

Why? Restrictions, such as those set up for large brands by brand management, product management, etc., are viewed in a much more relaxed manner in many smaller retail companies. In addition, people are often looking for the wow effect of packaging. This makes the competition lively and the consumer happy.

This packaging approach offers potential for differentiation

In this context, advocates have been talking about “polite packaging” for a long time. Packaging that makes life simple, easy and relaxed for the consumer. That is why there is even a Polite Packaging Award that started way back in 2008 in Europe. It is always fascinating to see how packaging can be made customer-friendly. 

The time has come for packaging with a high degree of convenience. Because with decreasing quality differences of the products, the packaging offers an excellent opportunity for differentiation.

In order to make packaging more polite, it can be very helpful to be aware of the “work” that consumers have to do on your packaging.

Here are the major work steps that you should take to break down even more precisely in your projects. 

  • At the POS: see, grab, take information, decide, carry. 
  • When consuming: read, open, remove, reclose, store, completely empty, dispose of. 
  • And again at the POS: find again when want to you buy again.

Whenever we make it easier for consumers to do one or more of these “work steps”, we increase the level of convenience of our packaging and improve the position of our brands and products in competition.

Walk a mile in their shoes

A very pragmatic way to increase the level of convenience of products and packaging is to define the growing number of older consumers as a benchmark. Due to their gradually declining sensory and physical abilities, their behavior makes it particularly easy to identify optimization options that are useful for all customer groups. A first method is to observe and document older people in packaging when dealing with packaging.

A second method is to educate young marketing managers and packaging developers into the experience and experience of older people.  This is often achieved by using clothing and attachments that limit mobility and strength in the same way that many older people may experience, and then trying to use your products.

This is an exciting experience that provides many creative impulses. Approaches like this are called empathy-driven packaging design or empathic design. At a time when many innovations are less driven by content than by design, these approaches are becoming increasingly important and promising. This is especially true if the goal is to increase the convenience level of products and packaging. To be particularly successful, quantitative data are less important. Deep emotional immersion in the life and experience of consumers is much more successful.