The packaging is very important in the retail industry. The packaging is the first visual cue which the customers notice about the product.
The packaging, its layout, colors, etc. significantly influence the customer’s decision to purchase the product. The packaging also helps to differentiate the product from the competition in the market.
Effective plastic packaging helps to protect the product and keep it safe during transit. It also helps to increase the shelf life of the product.
The packaging should stand out from the competition and sway the customer towards purchasing the product.
The effective packaging also helps to create awareness about the product and the company and reinforces the product in their minds which can influence them to purchase it again later.
The packaging of successful brands has remained consistent over time which creates brand recognition.
Successful Plastic Packaging
Successful packaging can attract customers and influence them into purchasing the products. There are examples of successful plastic packaging which has led to environmental conservation and also increased the sales of the products.
One example of successful plastic packaging was done by Heinz. It unveiled its new bottle for its famous Heinz tomato ketchup. Heinz was the pioneer of the top down bottle of ketchup.
In a shift from its traditional design, the ketchup bottle was made from a different type of clear plastic which can be recycled and the customers can clearly see the ketchup inside.
By shifting to the new design of bottle using the new clear type of plastic, Heinz was able to reduce the total weight of its Heinz tomato ketchup bottle by 9%, which resulted in saving almost 340 tons of plastic each year.
Another innovative and successful example of plastic packaging is from Dairy Crest.
The company developed a low waste milk packaging alternative to the plastic bottles and the tetra pack called as the milk in a bag system.
Under the milk in the bag system, the milk is supplied in a recyclable bag which is made from a recyclable and durable low-density plastic material. The milk bags fit into the reusable jug and forms a no-leak packaging.
Bad Plastic Packaging
Bad plastic packaging can be dangerous. It can pose a threat to the environment and also hurt the sales of the product.
Customers are becoming increasingly aware of the bad plastic packaging and tend to avoid purchasing such products.
The typical snacks chip bag used by companies like Frito-Lay, PepsiCo, etc. use plastic packaging which is made from up to seven layers of foil and plastics.
The companies like this packaging form as it is lightweight, easier to transport, take less space on the retail store shelves and is easier to print graphics on.
The flip side to this kind of packaging is that it is very difficult and sometimes impossible for machines to separate these layers of plastic, hence, it becomes non-recyclable.
Due to this, the plastic packaging ends up either in a landfill or in the ocean bed which is very hazardous for nature.
Another example of bad plastic packaging is used by companies which prefer plastic packaging which is smaller and consists of a mix of materials.
Most single serving foods like yogurt, coffee etc. use this type of packaging. Especially the companies selling yogurt like Danone use this type of plastic packaging.
They use packaging which is small and made from difficult to recycle plastics which are a serious threat to the environment.
How to fold a clear plastic boxes
Here is a video about how to fold plastic PVC boxes from the beginning:
The process of Designing a Plastic Packaging Box
A plastic packaging box should be designed carefully as it is the first thing the customers will notice. The material of the packaging box should be made of recyclable plastic which is the norm now.
The packaging box should not be oversized and should hold the product in a manner which ensures that the product is protected by it.
The packaging box should be ergonomically designed which provides utility to the consumer in terms of holding the packaging and allows them to access the products inside the packaging easily.
The color and font should be consistent with the packaging box which the customers can instantly relate with and recognize.
Considerations for Designing Plastic Packaging Boxes
Designing a good plastic packaging box can be a tricky task. It needs to be visually appealing to the customer and also be of utility. Some of the major considerations for designing plastic packaging boxes are as follows:
The material is the first thing which needs to be decided on making the packaging boxes.
The material is decided based on factors like the type of product, transportation needed for the product, end use of the product etc.
In case of food items and other perishable products, the material which will keep the food fresh for longer should be chosen.
For convenience food which needs to be heated in an oven or microwave before consumption, the material should be such that it can be used directly in the microwave or the oven, which will provide utility to the end consumer.
Ease in Accessing the Product
The customers today are very particular about the packaging and the ease of accessing the product. They prefer packaging boxes which are easy to handle and access the product from.
A well-designed box will not serve its purpose if it is cumbersome to open it and access the product inside it. Hence, it is important that the plastic packaging boxes are designed in a manner which provides utility and ease of access to the customers.
The packaging box should be minimalistic in design and offer more in terms of utility to the customers which allow them to ease in using the product and disposing of the packaging box.
When it comes to the packaging box, the first thing which the customers notice is its color. It is visible from a distance and the first visual cue which attracts the customers.
Colors have psychological implications and different colors communicate different meanings to the customers. It is important to understand the target market and its characteristics and select the color of the packaging box accordingly.
It is recommended to keep the colors simple and use at the most 2-3 complimentary colors.
Customers prefer simplicity and clean designs and using too many colors may not communicate the intended message to the target audience clearly.
The shape of the packaging is something which can set the product apart from the competition. Most of the marketers focus more on the graphic aspects of packaging only and not much on the shape of the packaging.
A uniquely shaped packaging attracts the customer’s attention and gets them influenced to purchase the product.
A well-designed and ergonomically shaped packaging can lead the customers towards impulse buying.
The packaging shape should also lead to the ease of accessing and using the product.
The shape of the packaging should improve the everyday experience of the customer while using the product and make it easier for them to hold the product also.
The growing trend in plastic packaging boxes is to make them lightweight. The packaging should be lightweight and minimalistic in design. The lightweight packaging helps in the transportation and storage of the product.
Due to the lightweight packaging, more quantity of products can be transported using the same fuel or energy consumption, reducing the carbon footprint during transportation, which contributes to environmental conservation also.
The lightweight packaging boxes also make it convenient to use for the end consumer. Plastic polymers like PP which are the lightest among all the plastic polymers are therefore quite popular in packaging products.
Plastic packaging boxes have come for criticism recently due to the concern for the environment. It is highly recommended that the plastic packaging boxes should be made of completely recyclable material.
Due to this, plastic polymers like PET and PP are quite popular as they are completely recyclable. These plastics can be completely recycled and reused multiple times.
It significantly reduces the chances of these plastic packaging boxes to end up in landfills or in the ocean beds and thereby causing any damage to the environment.
The recyclable and eco-friendly packaging material also influences the customers towards the products and into purchasing them.
Designing Plastic Box for Cosmetic Products
The importance of packaging is very important in the cosmetics industry. Packaging has the potential to attract customers and influence them in buying cosmetic products.
Cosmetic products make wide use of plastic box packaging. The first thing to consider is the mood and personality of the plastic packaging box.
The current trend is to opt for a minimalistic design for cosmetic products. Once the style has been finalized, the illustrations and design elements should be decided.
The plastic packaging box should make use of colors which match the brand personality, stand out from the competition, and should be able to grab the customer’s attention.
The fonts should be chosen in a manner that they are consistent with the brand and the customers can instantly recognize them on the shelves. The plastic packaging box should display all the relevant information about the product on the packaging.
In addition to the above, the plastic packaging box should be able to provide ease of access to the product. The customers should be able to easily access the product from the packaging.
The material used for packaging should be recyclable and eco-friendly. This gives a positive image of the product to the customers and also help to contribute towards environment conservation.
Common Mistakes while Designing Plastic Packaging Boxes
Some of the common mistakes while designing plastic packaging boxes are as follows:
Non-Catchy Packaging and Information Overload
The packaging is important as it makes the product stand out from the competition. If the plastic packaging box is not visually appealing and catchy, it can be easily ignored by the customers.
The packaging, if not done properly, will be unable to influence customers into making a purchase decision. Another problem with designing the packaging box is putting too much information and details on it.
Too much technical details and cramped jargons on the packaging box can be distracting and the customers are more likely to ignore such products.
The plastic packaging box should feature only the most relevant details with a neat and simple look.
Customers these days want an ergonomically designed plastic packaging box.
The packaging should provide convenience and utility to them. Most customers do not prefer products packaged in boxes which are difficult to open. In a recent étude, it was revealed that 62% of the customers will not prefer to buy a product the packaging of which is difficult to open and they are less likely to purchase the same brand again.
The shape of the packaging should also be ergonomic and it should enhance the customer’s experience of using the product. The packaging should be easy to hold on to and it should be easy to access the product from it.
There are frequent complaints from the customers about misleading packaging. It is quite common for customers to open the packaging box and find that the product quality or the quantity is not as promised on the packaging.
This can mislead the customers and they can lose faith in the product and the company quickly. The packaging box should not make any false or misleading claims which will not be fulfilled once the customer purchases and opens the package.
The businesses should always design their packaging boxes in a clear manner avoiding any misleading claims and potential chances of customer dissatisfaction.
The packaging should not be oversized. The purpose of packaging is to secure the product and hold it in a manner to ensure its safety and prevent any damage.
An oversized plastic packaging box will be unable to protect the products effectively as the products will be loosely packed and this can lead to damage or spoilage.
Oversized packaging boxes also pose challenges to the retailers to carry and place the product. It may limit the amount of space which the product gets in the retail store.
Unnecessarily larger packaging boxes will also cost more for materials and storage of the product, thereby adversely impacting the profitability.
Using Non-Recyclable Material
One of the gravest mistakes which any marketer can make is to make the packaging from the non-recyclable material.
There has been a growing awareness among the customers on the impact of non-recyclable materials on the environment and they prefer packaging made from recyclable and eco-friendly materials.
The non-recyclable packaging materials end up in landfills or are disposed of in the ocean bed. Non-recyclable plastic packaging boxes in the landfills and oceans pose serious threats to the environment.
Such packaging also holds the product and the manufacturer in poor light among the customers and they would not prefer to purchase such products.
Consumers want utility and convenience from the packaging. They do not prefer packaging which does not offer them utility and is cumbersome to manage.
One common mistake which marketers make for packaging of convenience food items is not to make the packaging box from microwave ready material.
If plastic packaging boxes used for packaging convenience food which need to be put into a microwave or oven before consumption, are not made from microwave ready material then it offers no convenience to the customer.
They will have to put the content in a different microwave ready container for heating before its consumption. The plastic packaging should be made of a material which can be used in the microwave or oven directly.
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