How Critical is Material Selection to the Success of Your Package?

Packaging materials for the consumer can be either an aesthetic plus or a frustrating minus. On the plus side, if the material enhances the brand and draws shopper attention, it’s doing its job. On the minus side, if it takes a grenade to get the product out of the package, it’s doing you harm.

What should your packaging partner bring to the table to ensure that you get the best outcome? Knowledge of the product, channels, and materials is a “must-have.”  For real success, choose a packaging partner that can do the following:

  • Ability to align budget with the right materials – Before starting any packaging endeavor, the brand team must agree on the scope of your budget and what goals you have set 
  • Ability to showcase messaging
  • Ability to target your brand persona – Whether it’s fun, friendly, or fresh from nature, the material you choose to compete on shelf could make or break the entire concept
  • Ability to be a detail freak

How a leading consumer electronics brand designed a better packaging solution at a lower cost

Electrolux®, a top name in household consumer electronics, had been using an e-flute retail package for its line of appliance secondary parts. The result was attractive, designed to capture the attention of consumers shopping for parts. But while attractive, the solution proved costly as well.

Their packaging partner recommended a switch from the e-flute design to a chipboard carton with direct printing. This simplified production by eliminating the separate operations of creating a carton printed label and applying it. The result? Lower production costs. This solution also reduced any chance that the label might be torn or damaged during shipping, lessening the shelf image of the package.

The brand used three sizes of this carton design to accommodate varying weights and sizes of its kits. Their supplier kept sizing the same by using the same die line. This helped simplified filling and shipping for both the PaperboardFoldingCarton_Household_ElectroLux4.jpgbrand and the retailer.

Printing employed a four-color process plus one spot color, showcasing an image of the complete kit. The new process was equal in clarity to the original lithographed label and clearly displays the description of contents, and other information for the shopper.

What also became clear during development was that the original design of the carton bottom – an auto-lock was not sturdy enough to hold some of the heavier kits.

The supplier fixed this and made the bottom design more robust, a glued auto-lock bottom format for strength. The final design is made from 24 pt. white, clay-coated newsback (WCCNB), which produces excellent printed results. The new carton includes a die-cut for hanging which allows packs to be displayed on a shelf or hung on a peg in a retail setting. 

The brand owner says it best

“Our packaging partner proved to us that photographic images could be printed directly on chipboard with a high-quality result; something we were not sure of at the beginning of the project. We are very proud of the result.”

Want a packager with materials expertise? Make sure they can answer these questions

  • Describe your checklist for arriving at an optimal outcome; how do you collaborate?
  • How proficient are your designers with issues such as:
    • Protection through supply chain
    • Transportation
    • Drop tests
  • What is your process for delivering a “wow” consumer experience that drives repurchase?
  • How can you optimize the design and remain cost effective?


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