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4 Retail Packaging Pitfalls That Kill Your Presentation

Everyone wants his or her moment in the spotlight. As packaging professionals theorize, test, and improvise their way to becoming superstars on the store shelves, we can’t help but notice a few red flags that downplay the power of retail packaging. You likely invest a lot of time on getting your presentation just right, and it’s a real buzz killer when your strategy completely tanks.

What could have gone wrong?

Without knowing your exact situation, it’s a bit hard to say. But there are quite a few common stumbling blocks that can really trip up your presentation packaging.

If you’re scratching your head wondering why customers aren’t falling at your feet, the following situations can help shed some light.

Packaging Presentation Pitfalls


Pitfall #1: You Didn’t Connect With Your Customers

As marketers, there’s a big responsibility on your shoulders to connect with your customers. While there are several methods of establishing a customer/consumer connection, packaging can help cover several bases.

For instance, one connection that you can create with customers through your product packaging is building trust. Quality packaging that holds up in the store shelf as well as the home can keep your customers returning to your brand time and time again. You built a relationship based on trust by delivering a quality product with top-notch protective packaging. Once your customer connects with you through that sense of trust, returning to your brand quickly becomes a no-brainer.

Another packaging connection you can make is an emotional one. For example, you can increase your chances of an emotional connection by showing part of your product through a clear window in flexible packaging such as custom stand up bags. A photo of your product doesn’t quite compare to the real thing. Showcasing a tangible product with texture and color can speed up the connection process through your retail packaging and brand.

Customer connections are powerful. Build a strong one through retail packaging.

Pitfall #2: You Didn’t Offer a Solution

In one way or another, your product is someone’s solution. It can be as simple as satisfying a hungry customer, but flexible packaging presents its own list of solutions.

For example, let’s say your product is a popular snack that people enjoy on the go. Nuts would be a perfect example for this. When people eat and travel, they typically look for signs of convenience that will make their lives a bit easier. You can include a zipper feature on custom stand up bags to keep your snack products fresh, but also re-sealable when your customer has had their fill.

Nothing is more annoying than a spilled package of nuts or trail mix. Give your customer a better solution than plastic sleeves that can’t hold your contents and consider custom stand up bags or other type of flexible retail packaging.

Furthermore, your solution can lie within the message printed on your package. If your product is ultra fresh, low in calories, heart healthy, or anything in between, use your protective packaging to highlight this message. Health-conscious people are always on the lookout for dietary solutions to help meet their goals. If you can help a customer become healthier or improve their lives in some other way, don’t be afraid to shout it from your front panel.

Even if your product isn’t food-based, take some time to brainstorm what makes your brand a better solution than anyone else.

Pitfall #3: You Don’t Stand OutHow We Work

If nothing about your packaging says, “pick me,” you can’t blame your customers for not taking a second look. You don’t necessarily have to be a risk taker in terms of your stand up bags, but at least give your front panel a unique edge that sets you apart from the competition.

Setting yourself apart in the industry is critical to building your brand and creating a killer presentation.

First, look for high-quality graphics that pop. If you are using custom stand up bags for food or non-food products, rotogravure printing gives businesses the biggest bang for their buck. You’ll score bright, crisp images that are perfect for making a statement. When your print is on point, it opens the door to truly nailing your product presentation.

Moving forward, another element of making killer presentation packaging is selecting one characteristic to be the focal point of your packaging. This can consist of interesting shapes, colors, or a message that really hits home with your customer.

Your next goal is to not get lost in the mix. It’s OK to go with colors that are popular with other brands, but try different shades to set yourself apart. Color resonates with customers and is one of the first things they notice when shopping at the store. Select your color palette carefully.

Pitfall #4: You Didn’t Consider Quality And Customer Experience

We talked about quality a bit before, but it’s important enough that we really want to hammer the message home. Good quality retail packaging sets the tone of your brand and shows that you are concerned about the needs of your customers. Not to mention, stand up bags create a much better customer experience than packaging made with flimsy, bargain films.

Customers can feel the difference just by picking it up off the store shelf. If your product packaging is really low quality, it won’t even stand upright for long enough to make its presence known. Do you really want to be known as the company with slouchy custom stand up bags?

Invest in high quality packaging that stands up straight on the shelf and makes an impact. It’s too easy to kill your presentation packaging by cutting corners and going the cheap route. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get good quality, but at least don’t buy your bags from the bottom of a barrel.

In closing, your packaging is the voice of your brand…ask yourself, what is your packaging saying about your product?  As always trust your packaging professional for guidance and direction.

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Topics: Custom Printed Flexible Packaging

David Marinac

Written by David Marinac

What LEGO’s Sustainable Packaging Teaches Us About Overseas Innovation

Since 1949, children across the globe have fawned over tiny, plastic, interlocking bricks.

LEGOs are a not only a classic toy but a staple in many households. Many kids beg their parents to take them to the majestic LEGOLAND, an amusement park where all their wishes and dreams could come true.

Why Nestlé, Unilever & PepsiCo are Banning Oxo-degradable Plastic Packaging

Originally marketed as an eco-friendly packaging material, new evidence regarding the potentially negative impact of oxo-degradable plastics has led a number of companies and governments to restrict their use.

More than 150 companies and global organizations, including Nestlé, Unilever and PepsiCo, have recently endorsed a total ban on the material in light of its potentially negative environmental impact.

Oxo-degradable plastic packaging, which includes select plastic pouch bags, is often marketed as a solution to plastic pollution because it claims to degrade into harmless residues within a period ranging from a few months to several years. However, oxo-degradable plastics do not degrade into harmless residues, but instead, fragment into tiny shards of plastic that actually contribute to plastic pollution.

Often, consumers think that because a material is biodegradable, it can be composted or even littered on the ground, because, it is thought, the material will break down into nothing over time. This actually ends up leading to an increase in pollution, since consumers don’t end up recycling or repurposing the material, and misconceptions about how the plastic will degrade leads them to end up putting it back into landfills.

What is important to note in this case is that although oxo-degradable plastics are biodegradable, being biodegradable does not necessarily mean that a material is eco-friendly. Although these plastics do break down over time, the tiny pieces they break down into are still plastics that contribute to pollution — they do not degrade into nothing or into another usable substance.

For companies looking to make the switch to sustainable packaging, it is important to consider that sustainable packaging does not necessarily mean biodegradable packaging, and vice versa.

Why New FDA Guidelines Could Bring Big Changes to Pet Food Packaging

Today’s consumers are demanding transparency and accountability from all types of products, and pet food is no exception.

Greater scrutiny over pet food ingredients, and an increasing demand for responsibility, sustainability and complete transparency from pet food manufacturers is driving change within the industry. As the consumer demand for “clean” pet food labeling evolves as a major topic within the world of pet packaging, FDA guidelines are shifting.