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Packaging as a Communicator

Three-fourths of all consumer packaged goods purchase decisions are made at the retail shelf. Packaging is a principal component of the "moment of truth"-those brief critical seconds between when the consumer first spots the package and when he or she selects the product. The success depends on how efficiently your packaging can communicate with the consumers. Implementation of packaging-driven brand strategy entails the accurate and precise synchronization of the touch points where and when the consumer encounters the brand.

The primary functions of packaging are to protect the product inside, to make it possible to distribute the product and to inform stakeholders in the entire packaging chain about the product that is inside. Additionally, packaging should make our lives more safe (e.g. unbreakable), pleasant (e.g. user friendly) and healthier (e.g. Bio-based raw materials). Consequently, an important function of packaging is that is fit for use.

Packaging can be divided in a number of distinct levels Newly developed, or redesigned packaging materials are used through the entire packaging chain, from raw material, packaging supplier etc. to final disposal or recycling of the packaging. These materials may not cause quality concessions of the packaging, the product or the product/packaging combination. The main activities of the product designer and the packaging designer are to develop specifications that guarantee optimal quality of the product and the packaging. This implies that all agreed demands are fulfilled through the entire product/packaging chain. Quality assurance of the product and packaging is a separate topic in the specification, stating quality agreements between, for example, stakeholders in the packaging chain like packaging suppliers and packaging converters.

PackagingPackaging Communication Chain In many companies, it was, and still is, habitual to define packaging materials in terms of technical specifications. Documents are used in which for example a bottle is conscientiously described with figures, numbers, mechanical and chemical properties and drawings. A more elaborate goal in packaging development is the aim to develop functional specifications for packaging materials. These specifications describe the functionality of the packaging materials throughout the entire packaging chain, involving all stakeholders. This approach guarantees that all the available knowledge in the demand and supply chain is deployed to get the most applicable packaging.

Your product's packaging performs a wide range of important functions--from protecting the contents to communicating important legal information. Finding the perfect design for your product and budget can be a challenge, but today there are more options than ever before.

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