Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Packaging Design

Kshocolat Packaging, Edinburgh. Photo by Equalizer.

The Pot by Chocolat Factory, Madrid. Photo by Equalizer

Kitschy Arabic Packaging. Photo by Equalizer

How important is packaging to any product? Infact the concept of packaging is trivial compared to the quality of product. However over the years, packaging has evolved from a functional element with a clear message to an aesthetical element with a luring message. As the world becomes more and more competitive in quality and marketing takes on a bigger role, forms of differentiation begins to take shape.

How do you quantify an intangible vague concept such as aesthetics? and how does that manipulate the perception people have to a certain product? Can you enhance peoples perception of your product? How much should you spend on packaging?

  1. An aesthetic element is purely seen from a cultural perspective. What you see as beautiful in one culture, might be ugly or less beautiful in another. However cultural interactions over time tend to mold aesthetical perceptions together. Also what is too common becomes normalized in peoples minds. People examining other peoples texts, like Arabs examining Chinese text, might find it amusing and probably beautiful, because they are not used to it. A good understanding of cultural perceptions and their receptiveness to ideas can be used to create an efficient aesthetical image.
  2. By creating an good aesthetical packaging solution you can manipulate how people perceive the product in two main aspects; quality and target audience. A lot of the confusion of packaging, occurs at the design level, where designers have the slightest idea of what the target market really appreciates on an artistic and aesthetical level. Also the lack of differentiation means that they would follow a line similar to others. In order to make the product stand out in a jungle of other products, the design has to have unique elements to it. Enhancing the image of a product has to be closely followed by product quality enhancement, because continued sales is not reliant completely on packaging design, however it would assist in reminding buyers to make a purchase again.
  3. Packaging design is usually considered a cost attached to the product, therefore would be given certain constraints to keep production costs down. However, if you assume the added cost of better packaging design as a marketing cost, then it would be part of your marketing budget. In an evolving consumer world, marketing channels are evolving with it. This means that traditional forms of advertisments are shifting into new techniques and methods, such as web and email advertising, indirect product buzz agents and instore marketing. A more direct focused approach rather than blanket advertising would lead to cost savings in one respect and alowing you to focus on other channels such as packaging.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Arabic packaging ..tacky and cheap.. but do they really care?

11/22/2006 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Shurouq said...

Kitschy, yet environmentally friendly.

I very much like your blog :)

11/22/2006 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger Equalizer said...

3abeer: Well I tend to see things in very different angle. I tend to appreciate things because they reflect a certain cultural understanding. This Arabic example has a lot of history. It reflects a time where printing presses were not that advanced and copmputer graphic design was non existant. I think this specific packaging looks good because it is historically relavnt. Contrast that to most packaging you see in the supermarket like Americana and the likes and you will understand how graphic / packaging design digressed in a VERY ugly fashion.

Shurouq: Environmentally friendly is one aspect that I like about it, the other aspect is that once you see it , you get an immediate imagery of the whole place. You can see busy markets and bazaars, and people going about their daily business. It captures all your senses. Isin't this the whole point?

And I like your blog too :)

11/22/2006 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Intlxpatr said...

Sometimes I will buy something JUST for the packaging - one year, Galaxy Candies were packaged in a Ramadhan style lantern. Hate the candies, love the lantern. . .

But for the product - even good packaging won't get the product loyalty if the product is inferior.

Actually, I like the Arabic sack the best. And sometimes I buy rice bags just for the design, repackage and give away the rice . . .

11/22/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Zaydoun said...

Packaging is everything... it shows that the makers have put some thought and care into their products, and hey if it looks cool on your table, kitchen counter etc.. all the better!

11/25/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Lady H. said...

The Packing is the product sometimes ... I am sure you are aware of the pepsi and coca cola experiment when 2 cups of each where placed infront of a group of people who were asked to taste each and comment the majority said that the drinks where similar but when they were asked to comment drink from the pepsi and coke bottles the responses where tottally different. Some said that coke was tasted better and others said pepsi ... This and many experiments have demonstrated the importance of packaging in creating the perception of the product in the customers mind...

As for the intangible aspect of branding is easily quantifiable; there are companies whose sole task is to estimate the money value of a particular brand. This is used when a brand is sold.. It also appears in accounting I will try and remember the heading it is put in :)

11/27/2006 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Equalizer said...

intlxpatr: That is why companies spend millions just to have the right kind of packaging, and I guess they got to you.

Zaydoun: I have so many products that I just kept on the table for its looks. Just too good to be consumed!

Lady H.: You mean Good Will. This is when a company pays for a brand a certain amount of money that is not quantifiable. Even though there are companies that can specialize in brand evaluation, they would use tools to "guestimate" the value, but at the end of the day it is left to the market place to give a value to a brand. As for the Pepsi & Coke experiment, they have done the same with water. Tap water vs. Evian, guess who got the better review?

11/27/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Lady H. said...

Equalizer, Am curious are you do you work in advertising ?

11/27/2006 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger Equalizer said...

Lady H.: Nope and never been in advertising. Why?

11/27/2006 11:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Lady H. said...

Well, you sound like someone involved in marketing, adverstising or design because of the blog about the Shake Bar & the one about packaging :)

I came across this site while I was researching Chocolate. Thought you might find it interesting.

11/28/2006 02:42:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home