You might not think that corrugated boxes and other common packaging mediums are very exciting. But think for a second about how packaging can contribute to the overall retail experience and even justify spending more on a premium product, and your view might change. One of the best possible examples of this excitement over a simple box is the overwhelming success of Apple products over the last decade or so.
If you don’t see the connection yet, all you need to do is watch someone opening up a box containing one of those precious computing devices. For the millions of people who purchase Apple products each year, from iPods to iPhones to iPads and more, the un-packaging experience is often one of the most exciting parts of bringing the new “toy” home. It seems there’s a lot for other companies to learn from this retail packaging guru, including the following valuable lessons.
Research is the Only Way to Create the Perfect Box
Packaging gurus like the experts at Apple take the time to perform careful research in order to create a fever pitch of retail bliss for consumers. According to Adam Lashinsky, author of Inside Apple, the company operates a top-secret packaging room at its headquarters where this research takes place.
Packaging Perfection Requires Dedicated Manpower
Apple’s packaging can serve as inspiration to other companies in virtually any commercial market. And this certainly isn’t by mistake. In fact, Apple even employs a full-time designer with the sole purpose of perfecting its packaging. This designer is one of the few people allowed into the company’s packaging room, with the singular purpose of opening boxes.
It Takes Hundreds of Prototypes to Get It Right
The designers at Apple have developed hundreds of prototypes that fill up the packaging room for months before they hone in on the perfect box, say insiders like Lashinsky. The goal is to create a very specific emotional experience for customers who purchase one of the products contained in these boxes. And they don’t rest until they get it right.
A Box is Much More Than Just a Box
While it may seem silly to spend so much time on a box when what really matters is the product inside, there is no denying the success of companies like Apple that create a memorable un-packaging experience for their customers. Everything from the text and arrows to colors and shapes to the tiny tabs that customers pull off to release a sticker when opening the box are carefully designed. The end result is a packaging experience that says as much about the brand, if not more, than the product itself.
The main lesson to be learned here is that simply having a good product is no longer enough to succeed in the modern marketplace. But with the right custom box features carefully chosen colors, designs, logos and other packaging details, it’s possible to sell a state of mind that exists completely separate from the product itself.