What Is Packaging?
The word packaging has two meanings.
One is just an action while the other exists physically.
Let's identify it both ways.
As a Method
Packaging is the process or way of wrapping a specific material shielding an item in such a way that it serves to protect, enhance visually, store or to promote it.
Packaging is like a fashion or trend that changes periodically. In previous generations, trends were different from the current ones or those coming up in future.
As a Physical Product
The packaging is a container or covering to enclose a product in it. Typically, box-shaped container in which products are packed to enhance their protection from any damage along with an appeal to attract customers is known as packaging.
To be remained in line to discuss our main topic we must start from "packaging as a product". To establish it physically, we will explain the following three basic steps.
A comprehensive research of both market and product is necessary for successful brands. The things without any purpose can't exist for a long time. So it is absolutely critical to have a goal before creating packaging for a product.
To deeply understand the evaluation there are four important questions which must be answered.
- What's the nature
- What's the purpose?
- Target market?
- How people will buy your product?
What is the product?
You are fully aware of your product. So you are able to answer any questions about it. For example,
What are you selling or offering?
Is your item for retail sale or a gift? We are using the word "offer" for gift items which are presented to loved ones. Both "sellable" and "gift" items have different options so the packaging type for these two types would be different.
If we further narrow down to specifics, then more general questions will arise for instance; is your item a solid or liquid? If solid then, Is it symmetric or odd shaped? If liquid then, is it edible, toxic, or non-edible?
It goes into much more detail like weight of the product etc. as per client's requirements, sometimes experienced sometimes not. That's why we are here to guide our customers develop learning and focus on passing knowledge so they are better able a logical decision using tools like information readily available for current or any future needs from start to finish regardless scope of the project.
What is size of product?
Is your item small or big? Depending upon the dimensions, nature of packaging can vary definitely. Small size packages are often made from flimsy and light weight materials whereas for bigger sizes, thicker materials are utilized to enhance the packaging strength.
Is your item delicate?
For fragile items you will require more secure packaging. There are many ways to enhance such kind of protection. For non-fragile items there is a lot more flexibility during their package selection.
There could be countless questions regarding product types. If we do not have any purpose then we will diverge from the line leading us toward our goal. Let's have a purpose!
What is the purpose of packaging?
How you feel if you personally hand over an item to your customers?
Answer: Very perfect!
You can hold the product safely until you hand it over.
You can keep fragile items carefully.
You will not miss any chance to impress your customer.
Your customers will get what they want.
You can speak with customers and tell them product benefits, ingredients, how to use, safety instructions, expiration and more.
You can keep your customers informed about the product's benefits in artistic manner or whatever to impress them.
You can introduce your brand or company and give them reason why they have to buy the product.
You will give them your address, phone or any other contact information so then come to buy again.
"OH! I am Sorry. I forget that we are in The 20th Century. This might has been done 100% in past but nowadays the market has changed driven by many factors and technology innovation is among the most important. Therefore, in today's market these methods Are Not Possible especially for big brands."
So, to be upgraded with time we get the packaging done that can do all these tasks. Let's explain it!
Safety or Beauty: Do you want the packaging to secure your item, make it elegant or both? Commercial items are conveniently sealed and shaped for sale. Packaging itself has a structure which keeps a product safe from external factors and tampering. It depends, how you design the look, shape or style.
Merchandizing or Visibility: Customers remember the product easily which are properly categorized.
For proper marketing, the branding of a product packaging is a pre-requisite. Your brand information must be visible to the target audience to let them make their choice.
Security: Are any of the products loose and to avoid them getting damaged during shipping or handling? Well, there is lot of options which one could apply to enhance security of their products.
Tactfulness: When you go to a restaurant and order some chicken wings, you often use two options, dine in or carry out. Depending upon your choice, the restaurant will offer you the food by different tact or methods. If you want to eat the food there, they will offer you in a tray but if want to pick it and go then they will wrap it in a bag or a box. To see you again they will offer the food by impressive methods. And simply, it is not possible without an impressive packaging.
Bundling: Do you need to put some stuff in a container or bag and keep it with you during travelling? You can put a set of items in such packaging for storage, moving or sale.
Now we are able to judge what function our packaging will do.
Who Buy Your Product?
When we use the word "offer" it mean the product packaging is for presentation, favors, invitations and gift items which are not sold. These items are mailed, delivered or handed over to lovers, family members, relatives and friend with no long term marketing aims. So, one doesn't require any technical choices to make such packaging.
A commercial product is sold business-to-business commonly known as B2B, business-to-consumer B2C and the public in general for daily use. Are the consumers of young, middle or elderly age? Do the customers check budget or cost before they buy? In simple words, packaging should appeal and attract the consumers.
How people will buy the product?
There are different ways to sell your product like in a supermarket, a small shop, on a counter and online. It is necessary to do research about consumer behavior on all these places.
If products are sold in retail store then your packaging must be able to impress audience being place in a shelf along with similar products from your competitors. Your product must have unique identity for consumers so they find it easily.
If you are selling in a small shop then the purpose is limited to pack the product conveniently.
For online selling, your products are shipped to different locations so your packaging should be strong enough.
All these evaluations will help to make your packaging accurate.
Organizing the packaging is more than just a simple word. It involves division, coordination, differentiation and preparation through measurements, requirements, aims, feedbacks and approaches. Simply, " creating the packaging " means " to organize it ".Many steps are taken in consideration before going towards final manufacturing and finishing processes.
Organizing any packaging is the most important and toughest step. During this stage you shape up your goals and set milestones. So, to better understand we will explain some factors that make this step easy.
" Are you ready to dive in depth? "
" Lets do it! "
As discussed above we have a complete vision of our product and our purpose. Next, we have to categorize our packaging for specific uses. We like to sort it into following four types;
" During your educational tenure, When your parents gave extra attention to you? During primary school? Secondary school days? or during master level? "
This packaging is constituted for individual product picked by consumer at the point of sale POS. It directly encloses the item and represents it to the customer by delivering product name, brand, price etc. Simple primary packaging for products such as, a soap bar is packed in a folding carton which makes the identity of the brand and consumer recognizes it visually.
- Secondary Packaging:
It will not be wrong if we also call it bundling. When a group or number of individual items are put together in a carton, a pop display box or a plastic wrapper then it is known as secondary packaging. For example, you often see the retail soap you pull from a corrugated carton come as a pack of ten individual soap bar packs.
- Master Packaging:
This is the packaging used to put group of individual or bundled items for transportation. A strong master or outer carton can safeguard the product during moving, loading or unloading. Traditionally big brands ship their FMCG Fast Moving Consumer Goods in corrugated master containers via road, air or ship.
- Specialty or General Packaging:
Sometimes a packaging is required just to serve only one item in it. For example, at a restaurant they serve the food item in equal portion in a same sized printed container. This type of packaging only offers the capacity to hold the item having no marketing purpose.
Sometime packaging is fully dedicated and manufactured only for specific types of products. These kinds cover big brands and industries. For instance, a gable top milk carton can't hold a soap bar in it. Both the product and the packaging coordinate resulting into a single unit. It is often known by the name of the product which is inside, similar to above example.
Regardless of material, style and shape we always call it by including product name. Here are four examples just to understand the term.
Food Packaging is named because it is made to conform to food safety standards.
Cosmetic Packaging has earned its name for packing beauty and body care cosmetic items.
Retail Packaging involves all kinds of retail items sold at POS stations.
Tea Packaging holds tea packs, pouches and bags.
In this section we will explain packaging types being made using different materials. The material also serves many functions, from protecting the item to creating component sizes to offer information on the product. Separation of these types helps to identify proper solutions using right materials.
It's obvious that packaging plays an integral role in showcasing value of an item and as a whole; this industry has altered too much in the past few years due to constant innovations in technology. What kind of packaging do you need? With many choices available in today's market, it often not easy to select the most accurate packaging solution for a product.
Let's take a look at some of the different types of packaging solutions you can apply to enhance your product & customer experience!
Used for transporting stacked products placed on the pallet, then clear wrapped for the purpose of protection. Items are saved on all sides with wooden framework and steel strapping.
Used for both individual or grouped items where shrink film encloses the items completely and provide tamper-evident protection. It is used by many industries.
Used for single product, sealed to render protection between the product and the environment. Simple example is lollipop wrapper.
Trays Simple but used for many products, mostly flat with raised edges, provide maximum efficiency in the supply chain. It is made out of several materials such as foam, plastic and paperboard.
Provide significant protection to liquid or any sensitive products, made of steel, aluminum or metal, to preserve the product for long time.
Used by the biggest brands, maintains a product's condition and freshness. It is rapidly growing packaging, made from variety of materials, available in different forms such as pouched, envelopes, sachets and foils.
Commonly used for food, favors and retail items are made from different materials such as plastic, paper, cardboard, burlap, canvas, vellum and more.
Usually holds liquids such as milk, juices or any liquid product, is sealed firmly during product packing. These are made of composite materials with layers specialized for protection of product. A milk box is the example.
Made of wood, metal, plastic, corrugated or any thick material, are often used to pack sensitive items for storage for shipping.
Blister & Clamshell Packaging
Is a perfect solution for small products that require both security and product visibility. Blister pack has two parts, clamshell and card insert. The card is often printed with product details. Clamshell is just like a cavity or pocket made by a method known as thermoformed plastic molding. Clamshells hold the product in and give it visibility from the front and the back of the package.
Are the most important product of packaging industry. Today's packaging industry is created by folding cartons, the most commonly used item across the world. There are many types of folding cartons, known by product names, materials and their styles.