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Extreme Package Makeover

Laura Donnelly

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Does your product have the self-confidence it needs to interact with people? Perhaps you did not think it important but your product could be suffering from self-esteem issues and unfortunately when your product doesn't feel good, neither does your bank account.

If you have ever seen a makeover television show where they transform a person who does not feel good on the inside because they cannot get past their outer selves then you can imagine the affect bad packaging can have on your product. It is not a matter of looking shiny, pretty or even fancy but a matter of being able to connect with people on a first impression basis. After all, first impressions are important especially on the highly competitive retail shelves.

Not all hope is lost. There are ways to defeat product acne, bloated packaging and cosmetic blunders. The key is road-mapping not only your desired results but also the results that will grab second looks and whistles from consumers.

The first step is clearing up your skin. Having too much content without any rhyme or reason is the equivalent of having bad acne. Typical product acne comes from wanting to express everything all at once. Unfortunately, the consumer is so overwhelmed by the clutter that they run before your product has a chance to speak. The way to overcome this issue is to examine your pace. Product acne is the equivalent of putting the entire story on the cover of a book and expecting the consumer to be enticed to read the contents. Just as a book grabs you with a well-designed cover, leads you to the synopsis and invites you to enjoy the contents, a package must have the same pace. Just by reviewing the package and examining the pace, your product can have skin that radiates.

Get out your sculpting tool and get ready for package liposuction. Bloated packaging not only costs more but also has affects on the environment that many conscientious consumers will recognize. It is especially helpful if the product and packaging were one and the same, for instance, a cleaning product. However, this scenario is not always optimal. Is your product using enough cardboard to package three more products? Keep in mind the more conscious you can be about your materials and how your consumers are using them, the better your bottom line and brand perception will be.

Now that you have cleaned up your skin (hint: less is more) and you have sucked all of the fatty materials from your package it is time to put the final touches on your product offering that will produce that wow factor at your product reveal. The final makeup to your package is key to communicating your personality. If your product is a fiery red head being sold as a sophisticated blonde, then you are missing out on an opportunity to truly capitalize on your true brand. This kind of finish will create severe disconnects with your audience. Packaging is the perfect place to promote the real you. Just make sure you know who that is first.

There are many facets to great package design and it all revolves around communicating with your audience. Make them laugh, make them cry, or just make them go wow but make that connection. Consumers want to connect and your packaging is the first step, it is time to believe in love at first site and to be prepared for it.

Laura Donnelly is the Strategy Director for XO Create! which provides expertise in packaging experiences. XO Create! transforms consumer brands through compelling branding and packaging solutions. To contact Laura call 678.319.4242.


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