The importance of packaging

Whether it’s your company, your brand, a product or even yourself, packaging can often make or break a person’s first impression.

Earlier this month, Chris Brogan wrote a blog post entitled ‘Package your business where he discusses the many elements of packaging and its various effects on businesses. Chris looks at how packaging affects the limitations of design and how it affects how you define your product or brand. He also looks at how in some circumstances packaging can work against you.

Although packaging extends to many different aspects in business, it is the role packaging plays in presentation that interests me. Image is such an important component of branding, particularly in today’s multi-media world, and a well thought-out and considered image can help a business to stand out from the crowd. Substance should never be over-looked in favour of style, but as long as the essence of something with real value is there, image, in the form of physical evidence, great presentation and a compelling concept, can propel a business or idea into the consciousness of the target market.

Packaging is an integral part of the customer experience. Think about the first impressions you form when you walk into the reception area of a hotel, a car showroom or a restaurant. The interior design, the smell in the air, the way the staff are dressed and the greeting you receive from them are all part of the package the business is presenting to you. If the presentation is wrong or if the image doesn’t fit with your values, then you immediately feel that something isn’t quite right and this can affect your purchase decisions.

Packaging is also something that individuals must think about. The fashion designer and film director Tom Ford once talked about how he spends a great deal of time every morning preparing himself for the day ahead. Part of the Tom Ford brand is Tom Ford himself, and the way he presents himself to the outside world is all part of the package. This is something that everyone should consider, especially so if you’re in a client-facing role. The way you appear to your customers will echo the ethos of the brand and company you represent and will immediately affect the first impressions of those you’re meeting and set the tone for the rest of the interview/pitch.

So how do you package yourself? Is it something you consider to be important? Or do you think physical appearances are over-rated?


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