It’s that time of year and consumers are on the warpath more than usual and all the grinches come out to play.
It’s an instant headline when you either talk about how angry people get when they try to open a package, how many trips they had to take to the hospital because of injuries in opening packaging or how they have been mislead by bad packaging. Numerous magazines and websites have even taken to giving out awards for the worst packaging examples. Consumers can’t wait to send in their examples and vent how they are unhappy.
Its one thing to antagonize a consumer with your packaging it’s another to solve the problem. Solving packaging problems makes happy consumers.
This year there are three basic categories of angry consumers about packaging.
Angry over hard to open packaging (Wrap-Rage):
“Wrap-Rage” (Extreme anger caused by product packaging that is difficult to open or manipulate) was even the runner up word in this years Webster’s new word competition.
Predominately associated with plastic clamshells that are almost impenetrable (never mind that there is a reason for it.) The very hard ones are sonically welded shut and you could never pull them open.
Anybody Recognize This?
Enterprising companies have come up with tools to help you open them too. I’ve received an assortment that do really work.
Enjoy Zibra OpenIt
But guess what they sell them in a clamshell too.
Thus far no one has come up with a suitable alternative although companies are trying to reduce the plastic profile to as minimal as possible.
Smaller Plastic Bigger Card
Angry over being mislead (packaging misinformation):
The most recent problems have been coming from consumers being mislead by product packaging. Either health claims or misinformation about the contents inside. Its doesn’t matter what type of claim just the fact that its wrong is what’s pushing people’s hot button. And the FTC and FDA are on the case too.
One campaign against so called “Smart Choices” lead to all the packaging being changes after consumer objected to what they considered good food choices.
Was this label telling the truth?
Read the FDA Guidance for Industry: Letter Regarding Point of Purchase Food Labeling @ http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/GuidanceDocuments/FoodLabelingNutrition/ucm187208.htm
In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that it will soon begin to target any logos or labels or symbols on cereals, snacks and other food packaging which may be making false claims to mislead or confuse the consumers. So the outcome is not yet known.
But in any case before you rush your package to market be sure and check the latest labeling guidelines and the pulse of the consumer. What you say on the front of your packaging could be misconstrued and case significant packaging problems.
Angry because the packaging is getting smaller (packaging shrink):
This is not a new phenomenon. Packaging has been getting smaller over the years (look at an old cookbook). It’s just more common place now as companies shrink the size of the package and contents to keep prices the same instead of increasing them.
When Is A Half Gallon Really A Half Gallon OR A Quart A Quart
Sorry, but we now have an educated customer that’s reading labels and taking notes. Not only are they reading them but they are comparing like products, making informed shopping decisions. Branded merchandise was already loosing ground to private label products, now even more so with the down turn in the economy. If your product shrinks or provides an unsatisfactory experience and the consumer isn’t happy they WILL look for alternative especially if they are less expensive. So do you shrink your package at the consumer’s expense?
What makes the consumer happy? Not having bad packaging to vent about. So go out of your way in 2011 to consider consumer anger touch points as you design your product packaging. Avoid “Wrap-Rage, Packaging Shrink and Misinformation wherever possible.
Got Angry Consumers? I can HELP!
You know that I’m one of the foremost consumer product packaging experts and I want to ensure you don’t make the same mistake. I’ve created a packaging “review” program tailored just for you if you have new product packaging or have just completed a packaging makeover or are introducing a new product.
It’s very simple, you provide me either with art work or physical packaging samples along with a description of your target consumer and I’ll send you a written report explaining why your packaging is or is not connecting with them.
The packaging evaluation consists of several things.
- First, I will tell you the overall impression of your product packaging.
- Second, I will cover how connected you message is to your core consumer.
- Third, I will comment on general areas of improvement or change.
- Lastly, I will cover any packaging trends that might impact your product packaging.
Sounds simple? It is, affordable too! Email me for more details on how to make your consumer want to buy your product because you have the RIGHT packaging.