When Sony developed their waterproof mp3 player, they didn’t want to just shout “It’s Waterproof” from the packaging. Marketing people love delivery, the idea that there is a moment where a person genuinely has a connection to a product. Perhaps that sentiment is what motivated the people at the Auckland Ad Agency DraftFCB to immerse the product in water. The bottled Walkman is sold in vending machines, like any bottle of water. The customer pays for the product, which is dispensed through a slot like any other vending machine, and the tech is wearable.
For Sony, telling the story was far more important than just making a solid product. It’s not an easy connection to make, but there are plenty of examples where clever packaging has created a buzz.
Make it Useful
The more your packaging can be used for the product in some way, the better. For example, a carton of eggs housed in biodegradable egg cartons that can be broken off as individual egg holders. This could be useful packaging for eggs at Easter, when families are likely to paint them. Japanese Ramun soda is another great example, where the user must push in a small marble before she enjoys the drink.
You can find cardboard manufacturers like Custom Boxes Now to fulfill any custom packaging you need. Go beyond just including instructions. If you sell toys, for instance, try to turn the cardboard into a foldable play set. If you sell bathing lotions, use boxes that function as holders. These designs show off your product and get the user directly involved with all aspects of it.
The pasta company NYC created a box that stages their pasta to look like famous buildings in the city. You can use this strategy to mimic something related to your product. Look for images or styles related to your product that might be intriguing to show off. Musicians do this frequently with their CD packaging, where they use designs on the CD itself to mimic something else. System of a Down’s “Steal This Album” was made to look like a burnable CD.
Better butter uses their packaging as a knife for their butter containers. The user can peel back the top of the container, then use the knife shaped lid to scoop out and spread butter on toast. This practicality is good for the user and almost teaches them what to do with your product. Apple sells its merchandise in cinch-strap bags that its customers can wear as backpacks, which distributes their weight evenly. Try to brainstorm methods for your customers to use your packaging while using the product, even if that use is finite or for demo purposes.
Coca Cola is excellent at designing products. They have a line of clever looking glasses and serving cups that show off a person drinking coke. They even have a line of eco-friendly packaged bottles designed at reducing their waste. These are design choices that help to reinforce the brand in the minds of users. You can do the same with your own packaging, featuring a prominent logo, or using a single color to contrast with something else.
The 90s were full of awesome toy packaging, and one of the better ideas was the cut-away trading card. A customer could purchase a new toy, with an individual trading card on the back. If the customer bought the entire line, he or she had all of the trading cards in the set. The cards were also built into the packaging, which saved money in the long run.
There are thousands of different methods for displaying your packaging in clever ways. Use that packaging to create buzz around your product and make something truly great.