Product packaging is often underestimated and underappreciated for its impact on product marketing, manufacturing and distribution. Product packaging is perhaps your first and only chance to capture the attention of customers who have limited time and money. Product packaging must also be inexpensive – expensive packaging will only serve to inflate the price of your product thereby reducing its marketability. It’s also important to remember that your customers are buying your product – its packaging will quickly be discarded – don’t spend anymore money then absolutely necessary.
Product packaging must be durable. Whenever a product or its packaging is damaged, the manufacturer is responsible for its replacement and any profit made is quickly lost. Plastic clamshell packaging is now commonly used because it’s extremely tough and will safely protect the product within. Transparent clamshell packaging also allows for visual presentation of the product itself, which is important for communicating the nature and quality of the product to potential customers. Clamshell packaging also helps prevent in-store theft due to the fact that it’s extremely difficult to open. This however can be a detriment once the product is purchased – sometimes it’s nearly impossible to extract the product without damaging it or yourself. Clamshell packaging can also be more expensive then cardboard packaging and leaves little room for marketing information unless it’s made significantly larger than the product.
Product packaging should in most cases be kept as small as possible. While it’s extremely important to capture the eye of your buying audience, retail shelf space is at a premium. Therefore, the message that needs to be delivered on the packaging must be captured in the smallest possible size. This will reduce the cardboard and plastic used in the packaging, which will in turn reduce the cost to make it and will minimize landfill waste. An added advantage to reducing the size of product packaging is that it will reduce the size of the master carton shipping container, which again will save money.
Product packaging is without a doubt a challenge – several requirements must be considered and difficult trade-offs must be made. The product packaging for NightStar flashlights has undergone over 15 different design changes. The very first package was a simple triangular cardboard box with a viewing window on one side, but it was crude looking and too large for most retail stores. At one point a transparent tube was used. The tube was eye catching and space efficient but was expensive and extremely fragile. The tube was eventually abandoned for clamshell packaging which worked quite well, however there was a demand for smaller, easier to open, and more environmentally friendly packaging. Now, NightStar and LightStorm flashlights are packaged in high gloss cardboard boxes and the artwork is printed using bio-degradable ink. The wall thickness is only .02” and each box is only slightly larger than the lights themselves. After nearly 13 years NightStar flashlights are now contained in a durable, compact, attractive, theft resistant, environmentally friendly and inexpensive package that’s lightweight and easy to ship…and hopefully the only changes that will be made in the future are updates to the artwork announcing unique product advancements and capabilities!