The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Packaging With Purpose …
November 6, 2013, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Over the years I’ve written a lot about packaging.

In the main, I love it … it can be incredibly powerful, influential and valuable.

Of course, sometimes it can also be a load of ol’ bollocks but when it’s done right, it can encourage someone to buy something they never thought they would ever buy.

The reason I say this is because I recently bought a Jawbone Up – a Fuel band competitor – and was impressed how they made sure their packaging did some of the selling for them.

This ‘wearable tech’ isn’t cheap and so retailers tend to keep them locked away to minimise the dangers of theft.

While that’s all well and good, it means that it can be hard for people to choose the correct size of product because they are labelled ‘small, medium and large’ without ever defining what those terms really mean.

And that’s what impressed with Jawbone.

You see they built the size of the product right into the packaging – meaning you could try it on without actually trying it on.

What do I mean?

Well this is their packaging …

… but if you look a bit closer, you can see the bit the retailers use to hang the product off their hooks, actually doubles as the wrist size comparison …

Smart, easy, effective.

So for someone who is debating whether to buy the product but are worried they may end up buying the wrong size, this packaging feature allows them to ensure they get the perfect fit and make the purchase in confidence.

You might think this situation is unlikely, but quite often purchase decisions are made on little details … things that many in adland don’t recognise or don’t think is important.

Packaging is much more than just a delivery mechanism or a brand recognition tool, when done properly it can form part of the overall brand experience [ie: Apple or Tiffany] and help overcome inherent audience purchase obstacles … which is the sort of stuff, clients dream about.

I know some packaging designers can talk more wank than politicians and advertising folk combined, but if you spend some time finding out how they think [rather than talk, ha] you may find you not only learn something, but it can help – or inspire – you to come up with more interesting and effective solutions to your clients issues.

Of course not every problem can be solved by great packaging, just like not every problem can be solved by advertising [despite what certain people say] … however, in the last few years, I have seen more interesting and varied packaging solutions than ad ideas and for that alone, it’s worth checking things out.

And finally, before anyone says I am disrespectful to NIKE for buying an UP rather than a Fuel Band, I would like you to know I not only own a Fuel Band, but I wear it alongside the UP … making me look like Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes during their ‘Wild Boys’ phase.

The things I do for research. Ahem.

30 Comments so far
Leave a comment

you sad, sad fuck.

Comment by andy@cynic

and you know what im fucking talking about. clue: its not about the packaging but what you do with the contents of the packaging.

Comment by andy@cynic

So what you’re saying is you like my post?

Comment by Rob

no im fucking not. why the fuck are you up? havent you got a job youve got nothing to do at?

Comment by andy@cynic

Catching a plane. And before you say anything, it’s for work. Ta-ra.

Comment by Rob

you mean catching a fucking business class plane to stay in a fucking poncy hotel to do nothing but shake the hand of some poor gullible fucking client.

im not jealous. of course im fucking not.

Comment by andy@cynic

might we expect jogging?

Comment by Chris

To the kebab shop? Sure.

Comment by Rob

If you mean jogging of waiters’ elbows to ensure speedier arrival of orders, then yes. Otherwise, no.

Comment by John

The Nest thermostat is similarly impressive in terms of supplying everything the customer needs to install and use it – ranging from how to videos on youtube to wiring tags supplied with the product. But that doesn’t mean I’ve actually bought the thing.

Comment by John

Funny you should say that … have you seen their new smoke detector? It’s awesome, for a smoke detector.

Comment by Rob

You can take the lad out of Nottingham …

Comment by John

Why does a smoke/carbon monoxide detector need a wifi connection?

Other than to justify the $129 price tag of course.

Comment by John

Why not! OK, there’s lots of reasons but I’m not going to consider those and have my bubble burst.

Comment by Rob

Well of course there are, but are they really necessary?

Comment by John

in campbells world its all fucking necessary. in your world doddsy, you think sunlight is a fucking indulgence.

Comment by andy@cynic

Truer than you could imagine.

Comment by John

That packaging idea is simple and purposeful, for both potential customer and the retailer. Nice.

I’m not surprised you have both products. I am more surprised that you didn’t purchase both products in every color variation offered.

Comment by Pete

It reminds me of the time we tried to get Sony to make paper versions of of their televisions so potential customers could take them home and see which size set fitted best in their home. I still think that is a good idea, but I might be the only one.

Comment by Pete

yes, youre the only fucking one.

Comment by andy@cynic

Have you seen this?

Seems right up your alley.

Comment by Pete

Already on order Pete. No, I’m not joking.

I’m sure it will not be anywhere near as good as their video tries to claim – if only for the fact the tech won’t be in 99.99% of the products they say it will be able to interact with – but we’ll give it a go.

I also saw you guys have patented [or trying to] an NFR ring thing. Have you seen the one Geak do?

No, I haven’t bought it. Mainly because it only works on their phone and even I can’t justify that. Mind you, I did buy a Gooapple didn’t I … but at least that was sort-of for work. Honest.

Gotta fly, literally and metaphorically. Cheers.

Comment by Rob

I should have guessed. Be careful Rob, your arm could soon have so many gadgets attached to it you won’t be able to bend it.

Comment by Pete

Wank arm.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Good post. Good packaging. By the way Robert, you are not fooling anyone with your attempt to position the purchase of these items as a work expense. Especially the W+K finance department.

Comment by George

I love the tension in this post.
One hand, a great point about packaging being about function, not just form
On the other, yet another gadget aquisition.

On the subject of work expense, I’m currently boxing over 50 books I’ve bought ‘on expenses’. Technically work own them, but they’ll have to tear them out of my dead hands

Comment by northern

anyone would think youre from fucking nottingham. but then all northern fucks are thieves arent they.

Comment by andy@cynic

Don’t lump with the Midlands crooks. Yorkshire fold are just tightfisted

Comment by northern

so fucking tightfisted they dont pay the company back for the books they claimed on expenses that theyre currently loading on the back of a pigeon to fly home. you call it tightfisted, i call it thieving northern bastard.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’m a planner, I can post rationalise anything, even technical theft.
You should have seen the booze I managed to keep from organising Morrisons product shoots once upon a time

Comment by northern

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