Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Packaging - have your say on the saints and sinners.

The hopeless quality of so much consumer good packaging does more to wreck the customer experience than just about anything else. You have spent your money on the product - got it home and then have to fight to get access to the product.

Companies have to balance a lot of factors when designing packaging. Safety, security, appearance, attractiveness and the most basic of everything - allowing the person to open the product without resort to a knife, scissors or causing a coronary arrest.

I recently appeared on the radio to discuss the subject and was surprised at the depth of feeling that people have about the subject

I was talking about this issue with the people at Grannynet and they decided to see what their web site visitors thought about the subject. They even decided to offer prize! I have seen the initial responses and they are fascinating.

One of the things we are trying to identify is who does packaging well and who doesn't give a damn.

I thought it only right that I nominate my saints and sinners. The candidates in each category keep changing but this is what they are today.

The new beer packaging, used by most bottled beer manufacturers, is really difficult to lift from the supermarket shelf and difficult to extract the bottles. When I bought the ones in the photo, the lady on the checkout said " I hate these beer packs". It seems that lots of other customers find them frustrating. The packaging looks to be inexpensive but no thought has been given about its use by the consumer.

My saint is Finish washing-up tablets. Up until six months back the packaging was some of the worst in the industry. A brittle clam shaped plastic that needed a robust pair of scissors to open. This new packaging is a dream. It just proves that with a bit of thought, consumer goods companies can get it right.

If you have any thoughts about saints and sinners let me know. This is not going to be the last time I write about this subject. Dick Stroud

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