All Press Releases for February 11, 2008

Consumers, Products and Packaging: Can't they all just get along?

Global Packaging Expert T.H.E.M.(Technical Help in Engineering & Marketing) CEO Neil Kozarsky takes a look at the dysfunctional relationship between Consumers and Packaging

    /24-7PressRelease/ - MARLTON, NJ - February 10, 2008 - Consumers actually love packaging most of the time, they just don't know it. That's because when the design is done well, people don't notice the boundary between the products they adore and the package delivering the goods. Like a referee in a sporting event, the job is considered well done when the package is not a focal point detracting from the "main event".

In reality, there is no product in many cases (no pun intended) without the package. Obvious examples include tissue "boxes", gas-propelled whipped cream and six-"packs". What many consumers don't realize is that many of their favorite foods, beverages and medications are extremely vulnerable to ever-present elements such as air, moisture and light. If not for the wizardry of the materials, in many cases sophisticated combinations thereof, their prized potions, passions and pieces would arrive in decidedly unacceptable conditions.

Frustration and discontent abound when packaging fails to function properly, whether there's difficulty in opening/closing, or if a mess results. Breakdowns in product/package marriages can also be a result of the package being too good; like when cherry pie pieces don't measure up to pie crust pictures. In these situations, superior packages with dazzling graphics 'help' product marketers learn sooner than later that a given product is not living up to expectations. It can also leave a consumer with a bad feeling about a product or brand for a time period measured in decades.

In some cases, consumers understand that a certain amount of inconvenience tied to packaging is necessary and beneficial; for example, when they have to remove a tamper-evident band from atop a bottle. In other situations, they are less sympathetic or unaware of retailer concerns about theft which result in certain products being packed in over-sized plastic 'shells' that effectively are welded shut.

As a certain generation used to say, what we may have here is a failure to communicate. If consumer goods marketers spent a little more time focusing on the precise way in which a product is expected to be experienced, they'd necessarily do a better job of narrowing the perceived gap between that product and its' package. A certain amount of responsibility must be traced back to the consumer as shopper and retailer pressure to keep prices as low as possible forces many companies to cut corners in final execution.

While the USA is fortunate to have an extremely safe and efficient supply chain, there certainly is room for improvement in the level of satisfaction being derived from the current product, package and user relationships. Product makers have to redouble efforts to think through consumer use occasions, and consumers may have to accept paying a little more in exchange for a better end result. If this were to occur, perhaps the true consumer and marketing combatants would stop throwing punches at the 'referee'.

Founded in 1973, T.H.E.M. has served as the gateway for North American companies to find innovative packaging solutions. By monitoring packaging trends globally, T.H.E.M identifies innovations from all over the world for application in a diverse range of industrial and consumer product companies in North America.

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