Creating a premium product is no longer enough for people in today’s ultra-competitive landscape. If you really want to show that your company is a premium brand then not only will the product itself need to look and feel great, but so will the packaging it comes in. First impressions matter.
Apple was one of the big leaders in this space. Whenever you buy an Apple product, it comes in a reassuringly heavy box that open softly but without difficulty and all of it explains to customers that they have bought something of a higher quality, something that all their competitors are merely trying to recreate. Packaging, it turns out, is the first step in proving your company’s premium credentials.
We cover a lot of gadgets on these pages and it has been interesting to see the shift from plastic to metal alloys these days in the builds of almost all premium laptops, and the shift from plastic to glass in premiums smartphones. Plastics are perfectly durable and can look good, but in the hand metals and glass feel different. They feel premium. For years phones were getting smaller and lighter, but the flagship phones today choose to be a little heavier as the weight instils the idea of a premium product made from premium materials.
And packaging is no different. Plastics are functional, but premium products today will come in cases made from natural materials, whether that is a leather case or a metal box. Even for a product as simple and cheap as a packet of biscuits, you can easily spot the premium biscuits on the shelf because of the metal biscuit tins they come in. Not only does that tin mean demonstrate that these are a more premium biscuit than mere Hobnobs or Digestives, these are the sorts of biscuits that warrant leaving the tin out on the counter-top where people will see.
A second, and less often discussed, benefit of premium packaging is the ongoing advertising that it can do for a brand. If we continue with the biscuit example – the tin of those premium cookies will be used and re-used for years to come, which means the manufacturer can have their brand and logo seen and re-seen by people on a daily basis reminding them of the quality product that tin once contained.
Other packaging may not be used quite as often as biscuit tins, but premium metal cases and leather boxes are used and re-used every day by people looking to make their birthday or Christmas gift look and bit more premium and expensive beneath the wrapping paper. For the relatively minimal cost of some premium packaging a company will have a seriously impressive return on investment (ROI) if viewed in advertising and marketing terms.