In a growing business, making sure that a product stays relevant in the minds of the consumer is always a daunting task. However, measures are available to entrepreneurs to remedy this problem, one of which is to update or improve your product packaging design.
Updating your packaging can help any business revive a mature product, attract new customers or maintain the interest of your existing customers.
According to product development manager Larry Vibas of toll manufacturer Selar\\\'s Inc., updating can include tweaking the packaging design or improving the functionality to make the product easier to use and more appealing to your customers. He says that communicating the change to your customers will help them understand and accept the changes you will be implementing.
Vibas has over 20 years experience in toll manufacturing and distribution. Toll manufacturing is defined by BusinessDictionary.com as an "arrangement in which a firm (which has a specialized equipment) processes raw materials or semi-finished goods for another firm." Vibas zeroed in on a basic tenet of redesigning your packaging: it must be done with a specific purpose in mind.
"Before deciding on whether to update your packaging design, be clear on what you want to achieve. Too many packaging changes over a period of time can lead to customer confusion and make it difficult for customers to recognize your product. Also, you need to consider the costs involved with the change including the design and production costs as well as the remaining inventory of the items sporting the old packaging," he said.
Vibas gave some basic tips in coming up with an improved design:
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH
You need to know what the current market perception of your product is. The underlying premise, according to Vibas, is that a successful product redesign must take cues from the market and competitors as well. He says taking some elements from customer feedback and other similar products in the market can help you decide which direction to go.
"Once a customer comes in contact with your product, it should be able to sell itself. In order for your product to do this, its packaging must reflect your brand positioning, be highly visible and stand out from your competition. The only way to do this is to do your homework, research about existing products, and make the adjustments depending on the preference of your target market," he said.
2. DON\\\'T FORGET BRAND EQUITY
If you\\\'ve been in the business for quite some time, then your product is bound to have gathered some goodwill along the way. It\\\'s important to know the value of your existing \\\'look and feel\\\' so you can know which parts of your old packaging you should keep and which can be safely discarded. Seeking professional help at this stage will help you focus on the business side of things rather than fiddling with minor details.
"A good packaging designer can help you figure this out and should be able to help you update your brand without alienating customers who are familiar with your old product. Most business owners are great at running businesses, but would benefit from the expertise of a designer when it comes to their brand\\\'s visuals. You need to look for a designer that specializes in what you need," Vibas said.