While many business owners spend a good deal of time developing products designed to wow their customers, it seems they devote a lot less energy to the actual packaging.

Most experts agree, however, that what you put the product in is almost as important as the thing itself.

For every 100 new products that hit the market, only about 5 make it and become popular. While packaging is not the only reason for this success or failure, it is undoubtedly one of the most important.

We are bombarded in store and online with literally thousands of opportunities to buy every week. Sorting the good from the bad and indifferent is generally not down to the product itself but the packaging, especially when we’re presented with a bunch of similar items within a genre or product type.

The truth is, if we find the packaging attractive, we’re more likely to pick that product up and take a closer look. Unless your product can influence that first initial temptation in the customer’s psyche, it’s unlikely to be seen as ‘attractive’ and certainly won’t be purchased in great numbers.

Packaging Sets You Apart

If you’ve ever ordered a new iPhone, you’ll know what this article is all about. It’s commonly called the unpacking experience and is designed to fill the customer with all sorts of emotions. It’s tightly tied to branding and knowing what the customer is looking for. It’s less about being a box for the product to sit in as a statement that says a lot, lot more. This is something that Apple is very good at.

Bad Packaging Reduces Desire

One example where this has been shown to have at least some effect is with cigarette packaging. New laws stating that packets need to have plain boxes with no branding has loosened the appeal for customers and lowered the uptake of smoking. Of course, things are compounded by including a stark image of how cigarettes damage your health. While it’s not the only factor in lowering smoking rates, it is significant.

Treat Packaging as Emotional Leverage

The next time you walk down a supermarket aisle, take a look at the products on show and have a real think about which ones stick out and why. The chances are the stand out products will have well designed packaging. The ones that hit the right emotional buttons for customers are usually the bigger selling brands in the supermarket. They also tend to get pride of place on the shelves.

Creating the Perfect Packaging

There are some key steps to developing the right product packaging for your business but everything starts, as usual, with knowing your customer well. That’s why Apple can hit the mark almost all of the time. It knows its demographics and understands what they want.

The more you can personalise packaging so that it appeals to your favourite customers the better.

Finally, many businesses nowadays are looking at sustainable, eco-friendly packaging. The move to greener living not only creates an opportunity to develop something different from the competition, it contributes to saving the planet at the same time. Whatever your approach, however, paying a lot more attention to your packaging can mean the difference between the success and failure of your product. It’s time to take it seriously.