Have you ever sold a product and been disappointed by your reviews — not of the product itself but of its package? If so, you’re not alone.
Packaging is an essential part of the purchase decision. It catches your consumer’s eye and helps them decide whether or not to purchase a product.
It’s also an essential marketing strategy for your company. As such, lousy packaging is more than an eyesore; it can ruin your customer’s experience and drive them away from your brand.
To help your designers, developers, and marketers avoid off-putting or ineffective packaging, we’ll dive into some factors that make for bad packaging. We’ll also discuss how to avoid them.
1. Misleading Packaging
Packaging is one of the best ways to communicate information about your product. Misleading packaging, however, creates a false perception of your company or product.
Here are some examples:
- Misuse of terms: An excellent example is “low fat,” which is common in many food packages. Usually, a company that uses “low fat” means “low calorie.” This misleads customers to think their food is healthier than it is. Other words commonly used on packages without a factual basis are “all-natural” and “organic.”
- False claims: Some companies make claims about their products that aren’t true. For example, a company may claim that its product treats certain diseases or conditions. This can lead consumers down a dangerous path, especially if the products are bought over the counter.
- Misleading images: Some images on packaging may not accurately represent what’s inside the package. For example, using an image of strawberries on an ice cream package when no real strawberries are in the ice cream’s ingredient list is misleading.
There are ways to avoid these misleading products and ensure you’re giving your customers what they pay for, which can in turn lead to greater customer satisfaction. For instance:
- Check and ensure the ingredients list on the back of your package is accurate. Include the ingredients in order of quantity, from highest to lowest. Remember to use words like “supplement” or “nutrient” instead of “drug” unless you are certified to distribute and sell drugs.
- Show that your company is reputable by including seals from reputable organizations like the USDA Organic Certified seal, Non-GMO Project Verified seal, or USDA 100% Grass-Fed Beef seal.
- Include the nutrition facts panel carefully.
- Sell items with clear and honest labeling to avoid intentionally or accidentally misleading consumers.
2. Difficult To Open
Consider redesigning your packaging seal so that people can easily open it with one hand. Packaging that is difficult to open sometimes leads to frustration, anger, and bad reviews.
It is especially frustrating if the product is something the customer needs quickly or on the go, like medicine or food items. However, keep in mind that some packages need to have tight seals because of the type of product inside.
For instance, child-resistant flexible packaging is necessary for items like cannabis that pose a risk to children. If any of your products require this kind of packaging, make sure to include opening instructions either on the package itself or on your company website. Mention that the seal is for safety to preserve your company’s reputation.
3. Unsustainable Materials
You want to protect your product with excellent packaging options. But it’s also essential for the packaging itself to be sustainable. As much as possible, try to avoid packaging materials that are a barrier to recycling.
Bubble Wrap is a brand of air-filled plastic sheets that provide cushioning for fragile items. It is made from PVC, a petroleum-based material that takes hundreds of years to decompose in landfills.
Bubble Wrap can sometimes be recycled, but its long lifespan means that it’s better to avoid it when possible. Instead, consider using packing products made from biodegradable materials like cornstarch, mushroom starch, and more.
Plastic Packing Peanuts
A common material in the past, plastic foam packing peanuts are messy for consumers and the environment alike. Polystyrene foam, the main ingredient in plastic packing peanuts, is non-biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to begin to degrade in landfills.
Luckily, there are now starch-based biodegradable packing peanuts that can dissolve in water and be discarded without hassle. These options offer the same protection for fragile products with none of the harmful environmental profile.
Glass is a common packaging material, and for good reason: it’s durable, reusable, unbreakable, and recyclable. The problem with glass is that it’s heavy — often twice as heavy as plastic or paper.
This makes shipping more expensive and complex, which leads to higher costs for consumers and your bottom line. Glass also breaks easily during shipping, which can cause injuries and product damage.
Glass containers are also almost impossible to recycle because they’re made of different sizes and types of glass material (clear vs. colored and smooth vs. textured, for instance). The recycling industry requires all types of glass to be separated by color and size before recycling them. This is difficult to achieve if the glass container is shattered into many small pieces or if you’re recycling large quantities of mixed glass.
4. Excessive Packaging
You’ll want to avoid using more material than necessary to cover or store your products. For example, some companies use multiple layers of cardboard or plastic to hold a product that easily fits in one box.
Over-packaging wastes resources such as paper, plastic, and fuel. It can also lead to higher domestic and worldwide shipping costs for companies, so it’s best to avoid it and keep your packaging as minimal as possible.
How Can Businesses Avoid Bad Packaging?
As a general rule of thumb, it’s good to eliminate excess packaging, use as few materials as possible, and ensure that the materials you choose for your products are budget-friendly and eco-friendly — or, at the very least, reusable or recyclable.
Research your market and learn what your consumer prefers in terms of packaging. That will make it easier to authentically design and manufacture packages that cater to your customer preferences, protect the environment from damage, and keep products safe throughout the shipping process.
Making Dymapak a Part of Your Sustainable Packaging
Many businesses choose Dymapak as their go-to resource for their sustainable and child-resistant packaging needs. We specialize in delivering eco-friendly, sustainable, and cost-effective packaging options for your business.
We’ve been in business for a long time, and we offer a wide range of products like packaging materials, pallets, totes, reusable bags, tins, and more.
We’re also committed to providing the best quality products at competitive prices to help companies achieve their goals without compromising the environment.
Leave bad packaging behind, and make Dymapak a part of your sustainable packaging process today.