Tag Archive: packaging


Why only 7?!?

Recently, my wife and I picked up some new Brita filters from Sam’s club. Now, while 7 filters for $30 is an amazing deal, what I couldn’t help but think is why are there only 7 filters?

You see, when you open up the package, you’ll find a very commercial looking box which looks like it could be sold as it’s own separate unit containing 4 filters, and another box with the same amount of detail, but only containing 3 filters.

…and then you’ll find the plain white “filler” box, which you can see in the picture.

This plain, white box does more than just serve as a placeholder so the 3-filter box doesn’t slide around, it also serves to be quite an eyesore and a reminder that, while you could have had two fancy looking boxes with 4 filters each, you get  one less filter.

Brita, why would you not just put 8 filters in the package and raise the price a tiny bit?

If you’ve optimized your price point with 7 filters, why do you not do something more crafty or creative with your “filler”? Make the package a different shape, or at least decorate the filler box in some way instead of including this eyesore in the package!

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A picture truly is worth 1,000 words, so I really appreciated the diagram included on the packaging of the driver disc for my Wacom Bamboo Touch Pad.

From the picture you can easily see that they want you to put in the disc, start up the software, and then plug in the Touch Pad.

The problem: The diagram was under the second flap of the case containing the disc. This means that the only people who would see this fancy diagram are the people who were already going to get the disc – these are the people who would have followed these instructions anyway.

What would be more effective than the pictures on the inside of the disc packaging would be the same pictures on a tag on the USB cable near the end that plugs into the computer, so, when someone went to plug the touch pad into the computer, they’d see that they must install the software first.

Yes, a picture is worth 1,000 words, but the placement of those pictures has the power to subtract several hundred of them.

Takin’ it in stride…

Packaging, packaging, packaging…

Once again it rears its ugly head…

Dear Stride Gum,

I understand that you need to use a little adhesive so your sticks of gum don’t come sliding out of the package, but can you please not use so much that I tear every wrapper of every single piece that I try to take out of the package?

I’d really love to offer my friends a piece of gum without having to wonder if they think I’ve given it a test chew or two, and I’d also like to be able to take a piece out of the package and put it in my pocket for later without worrying about the gum becoming lint-infused due to a damaged wrapper!

Why doesn’t Trident have this issue? Perhaps you could see what they’re doing correctly!!!

It’s just a little snack…

My bag of Jimmy John’s chips has only 150 calories. Wait a minute…There are two servings in this tiny bag of chips?!?!

Serving sizes (and how they’ve been determined) have always eluded me. It sometimes seems to me like companies make a game out of ‘fractioning’ their food into servings so they can report lower amounts of calories, fat, carbs, etc.

This led me to do some digging

Apparently the FDA provides information to manufacturers of these food products to determine how much a person is likely to eat in one sitting.

The issue – much of this data comes from surveys performed by the Department of Agriculture back in the 1970s (and, let’s face it, people ate less back then).

So, perhaps my tiny bag of chips could have fed a young fledgling newlywed couple in the 1970s, but what about now (when this bag of chips is just the side to my gigantic sub sandwich and liter of cola)?

Apparently, if an individually-sold product contains less than 200 percent of the “reference amount customarily consumed” (again, determined by the government surveys), companies may list the serving size as “1 bag” or “1 container”, etc, but you can see how companies would want to read over this clause or to split their servings anyway (as it would allow them to only put “150 calories” on their bag instead of “300 calories”).

Well, the FDA actually prefers that the manufacturers label their container as a single-serving “if the entire contents of the package can reasonably be consumed at a single-eating occasion” with no regard to size, but again, it’s no surprise that companies would prefer to stick to the scale set in the 70’s.

Just another way to try to trick the modern consumer…

Meijer Butter Fail!

Dear Meijer:

Why did you put the salted butter in a box with a red stripe and make the wrapper blue and put the unsalted butter in a box with a blue stripe and make the wrapper red?

Until I saw them side by side, I was making all kinds of mistakes assuming that my quarter stick of butter in the red wrapper was salted and vice versa!

Who thought this mixing of the color scheme was a good idea?

Packaging Frustration

A quick note about packaging…

If your product features a label or sticker that is intended to be removed by the end user, please make sure that it is, in fact, removable (without the necessity of excessive energy exertion).

To the left is what remained of my Weber brush label after 1 minute of digging at the label with my nails (I also scratched the brush a little bit, which is a bummer).

Below is what remained of the sticker that came on my new throne after a solid 3 minutes of picking at it. I am now going to have to move in with a chemical solution…

When designing product packaging, we must always keep in mind that a consumer’s perception of a product (and the company of which said product is representative) is formed, not only from the product’s performance, but also by the way in which it was packaged. If the product it gets damaged while being removed from the packaging, or a label won’t come off without leaving sticky residue, we have negatively impacted the customer’s perception of our product in an easily avoidable way.

When you stop and think about it, it’s quite evident that it’s not uncommon to “over-package” a product so it looks great on a store’s shelf or so it could survive a nuclear attack, but seldom is the damage caused by this over-packaging contemplated (and, having worked in manufacturing, I can easily say that this problem is even worse than most realize because every single part which goes into a finished good, whether the good is an iPhone or an automobile, is heavily packaged).

I think the most effective solution to this issue is to just reduce consumption, but those words are the enemy of most marketing departments and are not easy to swallow for most consumers (Heck, we call them consumers after all!).

That being said, I feel that the best/only real option is to create better packaging (whether it is “Biopackaging” or simply less packaging), as it is the only thing in our control.

Encouraging recycling is a pleasant thought, as is developing proper waste management, but these are far beyond the scope of most companies, and we’d be crazy to think that we could change people’s attitudes or habits in such an extreme way.

What are your thoughts? Answer the poll here.

CabralGoat ··· Marketing

The “dark side” of product packaging, would you dare to face it?

I present to you the #Midway project, an awakening project of the consequences of our products and it’s packaging. We work so hard on them, making them look shiny attractive without realizing the dark side of it all, the great impact of our creations on our nature and indirectly, on ourselves.

“The #MIDWAY media project is a powerful visual journey into the heart of an astonishingly symbolic environmental tragedy: On one of the remotest islands on our planet, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic from the #Pacific Garbage Patch

Join the journey, go to: www.midwayjourney.com

We can all contribute to solving this problem. I recycle but I am certain that is not good enough (plus it is still not globalized). How do you think…

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