Think Outside the Box
PP: With so many different types of packaging visible on the shelves, what influences a customer's decision to choose one above the rest?
DZ: We find our customers look for unique custom designs that are functional and practical. A product development team with experience in printing and materials is essential in working with customers to find the right solution. Besides the actual packaging design, using unique materials and methods along with the decorating method and graphic design also play a major role in catching the consumer's attention to take a closer look at a particular product. One particular marketing kit we produced included materials with varying textures and decorating techniques that make a person want to pick it up and feel it. We used leather straps, ties and snaps along with overlapping materials with smooth and textured finishes. In addition to that, we added a "tip on" (wing logo) that really made the piece pop. Plus, a combination of silk screen and foil stamping.
DY: For our products, the decision is based on fit and functionality. Graphics and print are usually added, which enhance the visual appearance of the piece as well as providing additional marketing and product information. These are great for giveaways and demo discs. Because our products can be used on CD insertion equipment, costs are much lower than hand assembly options.
PP: How does a company most effectively brand itself, and communicate its intended message through packaging? Are certain decorating techniques more popular than others?
DZ: Being a business-to-business company and less direct to consumers, our job is to give companies the tools to present their product effectively. Whether it's a sales marketing kit or ring binder to hold samples of materials, the packaging they present must present their brand in a professional, high quality way. Consistency is also key. Branding logos, colors, graphic design, all need to be consistent throughout a variety of products including packaging for actual product, boxes, marketing kits, brochures, booklets, etc. Offset/litho printing with film lamination is more common in our industry. This method of decorating can be used in a wide variety of products including binders. Digital printing also is quickly becoming a great option as the technology rapidly improves in speed and image quality.