The Fifth P – Packaging!

9Marketers know that there are more than just the traditional four “Ps” in marketing – product, promotion, price, and place. The fifth P should be “packaging” as this P has the most point-of-sale impact of the factors. Many times a flawed design on packaging deters shoppers from buying the product; and then there are other times where the package has a direct influence on the product sale and brand image.

Consider Apple’s clean white packages and limited graphics. We get the point – this company is clean, innovative, and elegant – and so are the people who buy Apple products. Packaging and design is also an important element for Beats by Dr. Dre. From the product design to the elegant packaging of headphones and speakers, Beats shouts that everyone who buys from it is knowledge and cool about music.

What are top package design rules? According to Omnicom Group’s Hornall Anderson, a design shop based in Seattle, the shop identified ten top elements for great packaging.

  1. Don’t over-explain.
  2. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  3. Be real and honest.
  4. Use copy as a design element.
  5. Create urgency with limited editions.
  6. Go classic.
  7. Make it global.
  8. If you’re the leader, act like it.
  9. Don’t pink-wash.
  10. Cooperate

Look in your bag and on your shelf. What packages caught your attention – and dollar?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Have students show any packaged item that they have in their bags or backpack.
  2. Discuss: What are the key design elements? What works? What doesn’t work?
  3. Poll students: What are packages that they remember? Why are these memorable?
  4. Show the Ad Age Daily article with the 10 package illustrations:
  5. Divide students into teams. Using the 10 design rules have students design a new package for a product of their choosing. (Note: They must utilize at least five of the concepts listed and explain why.)

Source:  Ad Age Daily, 4/24/13

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