How Good is Your Plastic Package Design? A Scorecard.

Design Checklist CMG PlasticsIn our hyper-competitive world, differentiating your products is critical. It’s also harder and harder to do. Many factors go into product differentiation such as price, quality, availability and, of course, packaging design. Our last post emphasized the importance of smart, considered, custom package design. This one brings a designer perspective to the question, “What constitutes a good design?”

The Design Management Institute asked over 100 industrial and corporate/consultant designers to define their criteria for good design. They got back a wide range of opinions. Some respondents focused on the customer-side of the experience, believing that great design starts with deep understanding of how the customer feels about and interacts with the product. Others focused on brand appropriateness. And still more on how design plays into business performance and results. But, of course, in the end, all of these things are part of a good design.

So when it comes to custom, plastic packaging design, our suggestion is to eliminate disagreement by ensuring that your marketing and product teams have a shared checklist for what constitutes an effective design. While this needs to be tailored to your business, here’s a possible list based on both the DMI study and our own experience:

  • Is it attractive to the target?
  • Does it provide a great user experience for the customer?
  • Is it innovative – does it help separate you in a good way from your competition?
  • Is it consistent and supportive of your brand’s story?
  • Does it effectively communicate key messages?
  • Does it meet all other functionality requirements (e.g., protection, shelf life)
  • Is it completely supportive of business goals/desired results (e.g., costs, profitability, run speeds)?
  • Does it meet regulatory requirements?
  • Does it work well where it is going to end up at POS?
  • Does it meet environmental goals – both yours and the customers?

As custom, plastic packaging manufacturer focused on the food, healthcare and packaged goods industries, CMG Plastics can produce a wide range of custom package designs. Our expertise can also help you get to your own definition of what constitutes an effective, functional package design. For more information on any of our capabilities, please contact Jens (pronounced “Yens”) Duerr at 908.218.7997 ext. 203.

 

1. Design Management Institute study authors; Julie H. Hertenstein, Marjorie B. Platt, Robert W. Veryzer.

The Value of Custom Plastic Packaging Design and Production Capabilities

SensaIn the words of the American Chemistry Council, “plastic packaging must serve many masters,” including marketers, regulators, logistics engineers, recyclers, consumers and more. The roles it has to play are many and varied:

  • Protecting product as it moves from manufacturer to end use
  • Meeting regulatory requirements, a higher hurdle for most food and healthcare related packaging
  • Minimizing the costs to make it and fill it in terms of materials, shipping, handling, processing and packing times
  • Maximizing run speeds
  • Meeting the functionality requirements of the end user (e.g., ease of storing, opening, resealing), perhaps even offering some unique functionality that differentiates it from competitors
  • Meeting the recyclability/sustainability expectations set by the product’s manufacturer, and the people who use it (e.g., made from readily recyclable resins and/or bioplastic)
  • And of course, presenting the brand image that will get the product shelf space, communicate brand messages and ultimately help give the product “shelf impact,” interest and appeal

All of this puts a serious premium on smart, considered package design. It also puts a premium on the custom manufacturing capabilities of your packaging suppliers.

At CMG Plastics we are a custom plastic packaging manufacturer focused on the food, healthcare and packaged goods industries. We offer a range of sophisticated customization capabilities, and the ability to produce custom packaging with excellent consistency at high-speeds. In fact, we have just added an automated high speed, thin-walled plastic packaging and printing system to our Somerville, NJ facility. You can read about it here. For more information on any of our capabilities, please contact Jens (pronounced “Yens”) Duerr at 908.218.7997 ext. 203.