The Sonic Series: Packaging Barriers to Entry Part 1: User Experience
The Sonic Series: Packaging Barriers to Entry Part 1: User ExperienceWed Jul 5, 2017
Apple. Google. Microsoft. The most successful companies in the world share a common value- a commitment to delivering a superior user experience. UX, or user experience, is the way people interact with a product and the experiences they receive from that interaction. In today’s competitive market, UX has a tremendous impact on a product’s success or failure. Delivering a superior user experience is about creating a product that conforms to the user rather than forcing the user to conform to a product.
While most brands are aware of this and have prioritized funds towards R&D for the development and design of a product, packaging somehow gets lost in the mix. Despite extensive research which continually links poor packaging design to a negative user experience, packaging is often treated as an afterthought and cost-prohibitive endeavor.
Like a physical product, packaging has the power to make or break the user experience. If a brand doesn’t prioritize packaging, the best product in the world runs risk of failure. Packaging affects how we experience a product as well as the opinions we form as a result. It’s all related to the brand experience and our perceptions.
PACKAGING FOR UX SUCCESS
So, what’s important to consider when packaging for an optimum user experience?
EASE OF USE. In today’s competitive market, both the product and its corresponding packaging should be designed with usability and user needs in mind. In most cases, it’s not the superior product that comes out on top, but rather the one that’s easiest to use. Does the product’s packaging make use easier or more difficult? A positive user experience will not only encourage brand loyalty, it will also increase the amount end users are willing to pay for a product. Similarly, if a product’s packaging makes it difficult to use, people will avoid it.
CONVENIENCE. Great product packaging not only affords ease of use, it is also convenient. Does your packaging have features that add convenience in distribution, handling, stacking, display, sale, opening, re-closing, using, reusing, dispensing, recycling, and disposing?
PROBLEM-SOLVING. Great packaging is designed to work with a product to meet a need or solve a problem, further enhancing the user experience. Packaging that alleviates user pain points and minimizes frustration goes a long way.
PROTECTION & PRESERVATION. Great packaging guarantees the health and safety of both the product and the end-user. It is about stability and the compatibility of the interface between the product and package.
BRAND LOYALTY & “THE NETWORK EFFECT”. Like all things in life, experience and relationship are interconnected. The products we use are no exception. Packaging that creates a positive UX builds barrier to entry organically; nurturing the ongoing relationship between products and end users. When a great product and great packaging come together, it results in the most powerful marketing tool of all: word-of-mouth referral and “the network effect”.
Your product packaging is an opportunity. It is the final touch point to develop brand favorability and loyalty amongst target users. Your packaging can either create a competitive advantage for continued sales or redirect users to a competitor. The choice is yours.
For examples of packaging designed for an enhanced user experience, click here.