There is no better example of a real-world, symbiotic relationship than the one between brands and retailers. The two successfully rely on one another to reach large numbers of consumers and sell products in volume. And though it is largely a happy marriage, it is not without its creative tensions.
Retailers have an intimate and close-to-the-ground relationship with their customers and can offer brands a valuable perspective. It’s not unheard of, for example, for a retailer to suggest a brand/manufacturer redesign packaging to make it stand out. Whole Foods, for example, told a maker of artisan poultry products their packaging didn’t work as is. The brand’s design firm took up the challenge and won over Whole Foods with new packaging that had brighter colors and fun illustrations to stand out in the frozen aisle.
Yet creating packaging that is retail-ready is more than just about colors. It involves a sophisticated understanding of both the retailer’s needs and the needs of their shoppers.
Here’s seven things that brands should consider when asking themselves: “Is my package retail-ready?”:
Shelf-Ready – Talk to retailers, find out what is selling, and develop packaging that is easily removed from the shipping package and transferred right to the shelf with little trouble.
Talk to Suppliers Now – Before starting a new packaging project, talk to your suppliers. Discuss the retailer’s shelf-dimensions and rate-of-sale, so you can head off potential problems and unearth new opportunities.
Remember the Stock Person – If the stock person can’t intuitively understand how to display the product correctly on the shelf, it’s not retail-ready.
Easy to Grab– You have to close the sale at the point-of-purchase. Make sure your packages are easy for consumers to grab and go.
Let Designers Design – Iconic packaging art rarely comes from a committee. Trust creative people to create and don’t overlook innovation in package design, such as giving packaging a digital identity for improved consumer engagement.
Make Packaging Efficient – Odd shapes make it inconvenient for retailers to stock and for consumers to conveniently put in bags and easily stack in their cupboard. Think beautiful, but practical.
Add Value & Function – Draw attention to a unique feature, like a new opening function or provide a clear call-to-action when utilizing connected packaging: “Scan here to get a valuable coupon.”
Read the full list of 12 best practices for retail-ready packaging by Ron Romanik in Packaging World.