Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Indie Biz Focus: Product Packaging

And speaking of packing and packaging…

There are so many things that happen behind the scenes at an indie biz. Hundreds, if not thousands of small and large, even monumental decisions that must be made every minute of every day. Some of these decisions have very little impact on the customer - or are even evident to those peering into the ‘storefront’ - but are important -sometimes crucial - nonetheless.

But it’s the ones that do impact the customer and the ‘storefront’ that are the hardest decisions to make.

Packaging, in my humble opinion, is the toughest issue, and make for the most difficult decisions.

There are so many reasons why, but here are my personal top three:

1. Discovering that your current packaging is just not working - for whatever reason - means money down the drain. Investing in new packaging and discarding old packaging can become a bit of a financial burden, and can sap resources very quickly.

2. Changing packaging means not only an investment in new jars/tubes/bottles, but also in new lids, labels, product photos as well as making changes to listings, marketing tactics, etc. There’s a lot more to it that just putting a product in a different container.

3. Making a change to one product’s packaging often means changes are necessary for compatible products, as well. Keeping a product line’s packaging streamlined is very important to aesthetics, branding and appeal. It's the most professional thing to do.

It’s very rare when I can count on my first choice in packaging to work for any extended period of time.

Take for example, our LipSync Lip Gloss packaging. After several months of use, we discovered that many of the tube’s plastic inserts (you know, the part that the sponge-tip scrapes on when the wand is pulled out of the tube) were popping out after only a few uses. Not all the inserts were defective, however we couldn’t tell just by looking at them which ones were going to cause a problem. In my opinion, this was actually worse than all of them being faulty.

So we had no choice but to make the decision to scrap them all and get brand new packaging.
And the hunt was on….

After about 40 different suppliers and 60 different samples and months of testing, we finally settled on the one we thought fit in best with our LipSync line, was professional looking and quite appealing, and most importantly - each one worked perfectly every time!

After developing new labels, taking new product pics, rewriting listings, editing our printed materials, making minor changes to marketing campaigns, and announcing the changes to our sales people, we were done.

And we’d love to hear what you think of them! The top photo is of our former packaging, and the bottom pic is of our current, brand new packaging.

And if you’ve tried Bellissima LipSync Lip Gloss, be sure to add a comment - we want to hear from you!

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