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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.

Discover the Keys to Effective Packaging

Last week, the Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) tribe learned why fire businesses can differentiate themselves by offering convenience, safety and peace of mind. This week Lucy explains the keys to effective packaging. Remember, fire = print.

By taking a trip down the aisles of “Torches ’R’ Us,” product and packaging guru Lucy hoped to provide her marketer friend Marka with a visual demonstration of effective packaging strategies being used within the fire industry.

“We can’t have packaging be an afterthought in our sales growth plan,” Lucy said. “Poorly packaged products are less likely to get bought at point-of-purchase.”

Lucy picked up a box containing a Flintstone brand torch. The cylindrical box featured red and orange flames licking up the sides and Fred’s ugly mug plastered on each end. It was ugly, but memorable.

“A well-designed package doesn’t have to feature Helen of Troy,” Lucy continued. “What matters is how effective it is. An ideal package perfectly complements the product within, reinforcing at the point-of-purchase all the positive traits we want consumers to associate with the product itself.”

Marka juggled the cylinder and said, “Know what else I like about this package? It’s soft in my hands, like warm hay from an Olympian farm.”

“An effective package design goes beyond visual components and engages additional senses,” Lucy pointed out. “A package’s texture, weight and size should be considered. We want our matchboxes to feel sturdy and dependable, yet light and easy to carry. Think back to the ‘Grape Pod’—that product is defined by how its package feels.

“There’s one problem with all this focus on in-store packaging,” Marka said. “I rarely buy from a physical store anymore! I do most of my shopping O-line, and so do my friends. The growing numbers of Olympians using the O-web to meet their shopping needs makes the idea of an attractive, user-friendly package less relevant.”

Lucy started flailing her arms. “The emergence of O-line retail is far from the death knell of creative packaging! If you don’t believe me, answer this question: What’s the first thing you see after signing the ‘Hermes Express’ slip for your just-delivered O-line order?”

“The package?” Marka offered.

“Yep. Your initial perceptions of this package will partially determine your first and future interactions with the product itself. Therefore, products shipped to the consumer via O-line ordering still need a distinctive package to set it apart. There’s a reason why Grape Pods are shipped in the same well-known packaging as used in-store. The package design creates a positive brand impression with the O-line buyer the same way an in-store package would.”

“So give me the ‘Numo bottom line’ version of this speech,” Marka said as they exited from the store.

“Once we’ve designed and produced a stand-out container for our product,” Lucy replied, “it will help us justify charging a higher price.”

“I think I can hear Numo shouting for joy from here,” Marka joked.

Today’s FIRE! Point
If your business makes packaging an afterthought, you will lose goodwill. Packaging is an important extension of your product and brand. Considerable thought should be put into its design.

There are plenty of ways to create differentiation through packaging. Consider the following in your package design: bright colors, distinctive textures and images, and memorable but utilitarian shapes. The surge of online retail doesn’t mean the demise of distinctive packaging—quite the contrary! How the purchaser feels upon initial receipt of the package determines his or her initial product impression and can impact repeat purchases.

FIRE! In Action
New Packaging Grows Jimmy Dean Brand

After consumer insights and focus groups indicated the preference for a “leaner” carton, Jimmy Dean modified the packaging of its biscuit sandwiches. This simple change drove a 13 percent increase in product sales.

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