Marketing Showdown: Mainstream Methods 0 - Packaging 10

JoAnn Hines

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Mainstream marketing and advertising is dying. That's the cue for packaging to step up to the plate and take its rightful place as a powerful product marketing and branding tool. “Ad Age" recently reported that a newly released book reports that 37% of all advertising is wasted. Quite frankly, I agree. I have been studying this issue for a while and examining advertising/marketing messages (especially on packaging) and it is apparent that the new generation of advertising is weak.

Every time I see a new campaign I wonder at whom it is aimed. Most the time it is totally unclear who the product is for. Despite all that is being written about marketing to various demographic groups, the advertisers and marketers still don’t get it. And, the results are noticeable.

Some marketers are trying off-the-wall marketing campaigns. Just look at the demise of Dr. Z. Think about how much money was spent for an advertising campaign that didn't work. Every product (well almost) has a package and almost everyone has engaged in some type shopping experience. So who is your target audience and how can you reach them now that conventional methods aren't working? Smart marketers will get busy looking at their product packaging and determining how to make it “connect" with the consumer.

The prime consumers are women and seniors, for the most part, and they are continually overlooked in product packaging. Companies that do reach out to this audience typically fall back on preconceived marketing stereotypes. Pink packaging for women and silver or purple for seniors is a major no-no. These markets are enormous yet they are totally underserved and misunderstood by consumer goods manufacturers and their product packaging.

The important issue to recognize is that the package is in a position of power to capture a consumer at the first point of contact in a retail environment. It's “the first moment of truth" whether your package will connect with your buyer - or not. It's no longer enough to simply describe what's inside the box. That idea will sink in the sea of sensory overload of competitive products.

The package needs to “engage" the consumer by clearly stating value, benefits and reasons why a consumer should make the purchase. How will purchasing the product make someone's life easier? How easy or convenient is it to use? How does it mesh with the consumer’s lifestyle? And most importantly, what's in it for the consumer once they make the purchase?

So think about to whom you are marketing. What are their needs and expectations of your product? How you can make an emotional connection with the consumer? Whether it is women or seniors or any other target demographic, you have to entice them to make the purchase. Remember, it’s not enough just to say what's inside. You need a compelling message that will engage a consumer to pick your product up off the shelf. It’s that critical - 2.6 seconds and then you have lost them.

Be prepared for your product packaging to fill the void left by mainstream marketers who aren't connecting their products to consumers with the right message. Forget the stereotypes of product marketing. They don't work. Remember the package has the power to fill the void and send the message loud and clear!

For more insights on how to package your products to sell, come to the Packaging BootCamp workshop or call me at 1-678-594-6872 by email at

Don't wait until it’s too late. Make packaging your first thought-not your last.

I get hundreds of inquiries a month asking how to package products. Most of the time, they are in crisis mode because they did not think about the package until crunch time. I just got a call from an entrepreneur whose packaging was a disaster. She never thought about the role packaging plays in her product’s success until her retailer said “NO WAY" to her product packaging. She had to start over. As a result, she lost a great deal of money in the process.

To help others learn that lesson before it is too late, I have come up with a basic workshop offering education on packaging products to sell. Whether you are an entrepreneur, inventor, work from home mom, or a small business person with an idea or product it is imperative to understand the role packaging plays in a successful product launch. Packaging 101…it is simple and offers the basics of what you need to know.

The “Nuts and Bolts" of how product packaging works and the “How To" of packaging. Visit


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