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Packaging Your Product For Major Retail Success

Postby Michelle » Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:07 pm

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Michelle
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Just wanted to let folks know there is a helpful article on packaging products here at [url=
http://inventorspot.com/articles/packag ... il_success]InventorSpot's main site.
[/url]

Packaging is essential to your success with Major Retailers. Therefore, it is imperative that you spend more time and effort on packaging! I've seen amazing product concepts not get realized by Major Retailers because of packaging. Truly, packaging can make or break a buyer's decision as to whether they buy your product or not.

Re: Packaging Your Product For Major Retail Success

Postby jackbnimble56 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:58 pm

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Oy Michelle, I just got 90% of the way through a detailed response to this post and I lost it all! There's a LOT to be said about packaging for which the article only scratches the surface. I try to re-compose the whole thing again tomorrow, too tired now!

Jack
Nimble Jack Enterprises - Innovative Solutions to Everyday Problems
To purchase the Magic Toob product visit: http://www.magictoob.com/

Re: Packaging Your Product For Major Retail Success

Postby Michelle » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:30 pm

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I am sorry you lost your work? Was it the site?

Yes, Karen is just scratching the surface. I am sure she will cover more in future posts but we'd love to hear your thoughts and lessons learned.

Michelle

Re: Packaging Your Product For Major Retail Success

Postby jackbnimble56 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:34 pm

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I don't know what happened Michelle, I think I must have hit the wrong button or something. In any event, my additional thoughts on packaging follow.

I would expand a bit on what Karen wrote first by pointing out that for many products, the cost of the packaging often exceeds the cost of the contents contained within. When you consider some of the requirements that must be met you can begin to see why. Packaging covers both Labeling and Advertising and these are two things that regulators care a LOT about! Before designing anything in the way of a packaging configuration it's a good idea to look at some regulations that may apply. To get a taste of what you could be in for check out this Federal Trade Commission link:

http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fplajump.shtm

Here are some of the main headings:

Sec. 500.4 Statement of identity

Sec. 500.5 Name and place of business of manufacturer, packer or distributor

Sec. 500.6 Net quantity of contents declaration, location

Sec. 500.7 Net quantity of contents, method of expression

The point here is that it's a bad idea to think that you can just throw something into a package and it's ready for store shelves. You need to make sure that you're meeting the minimum requirements contained in the applicable regulations. I spent many years working in drugs and pharmaceuticals and I can tell you that the number one cause of recalls is mislabeled product!

Beyond the basics, you also need to determine if additional requirements must be met. I'm sure Roger Brown can tell you how important this is for things such as toys which are marketed to children. In this case some statement regarding the age appropriateness of the toy is probably required. You may also need to include statements about things like toxicity, flammability, choking hazards, etc.

Assuming you have all your regulatory ducks in a row you also need to think of your “primary” customers and what their needs are. When I say primary customers I'm not talking about the retail customer who walks into the store, I'm talking about YOUR primary customer and that's the person you're wholesaling your product to! Here are some examples using my humble little Magic Toob.

My first thought for a packaging configuration involved a plastic bag designed to hang by a hole in a heavy paper tab that's used to staple the bag closed. It's beautiful because of its low cost and simplicity. You can readily buy the bags in large quantities and sizes and the tabs you can produce on a any printer. (Attached is an example of the prototype I first used for the Magic Toob.) The problem with this type of configuration is that it tends to get “shop worn”. In other words, it doesn't take long for the bags to begin to wrinkle and for the tabs to start tearing at the holes. For this reason, hanging bag configurations are not preferred by retailers because they simply don't hold up as well over time.

Another option I considered is what's called a blister pack or blister card. (An example of some connectors made by GE in a blister pack is attached.) In this case all of your labeling and advertising gets printed on the card, the product goes in the blister and it's heat sealed to the card. This is a step up from the hanging bag configuration but the cards can still get worn and the holes used to hang them can still tear.

A third option which I ended up using even though it's more expensive is a PVC “clam shell”. This is a single molded piece of plastic that can be snapped closed. (See attached image.) Usually the clam shell can be heat sealed in a couple of places or around the entire perimeter. I opted to have mine simply snap closed in a way that they can readily be re-opened. This is because my product isn't very expensive so the risk that people will try to steal it from inside its packaging is fairly low. However, more expensive items packaged in PVC clam shells often are sealed around the entire circumference which requires the user to cut the package open. I hate that type of packaging because it's difficult to open and there's a real risk of cutting one's self on the sharp edges of the plastic. The last thing any of us needs is to get sued by a customer who was injured trying to open the product!

In my particular case I was trying to develop the product and market it at the same time. I opted for the flexibility of a clam shell that simply snaps shut because I didn't know for sure how many toobs I wanted to put into the package. But by choosing a configuration that offers maximum flexibility, I can assemble a package that will adapt anywhere from three to fifteen lampshades. In addition, the labeling is completely separate from the package (unlike with a blister card) so I can easily change it and have done so MANY times.

These are all things one has to consider when determining how best to package one's product. It's entirely possible that if I'm able to successfully license my product the licensee may decide to opt for something like a blister pack to save costs. But by that time all the logistics of how many per package, etc. will have already been worked out. Just remember, as important as it is to have your packaging appeal to retail customers, it's equally important that it satisfies the needs of the retailers who will be selling it!

Jack
Attachments
Prototype Package F 1.JPG
GE Twist On F Connectors Package Front A.JPG
Magic Toob Lampshade Levelers 15 Pack.jpg
Nimble Jack Enterprises - Innovative Solutions to Everyday Problems
To purchase the Magic Toob product visit: http://www.magictoob.com/

Re: Packaging Your Product For Major Retail Success

Postby dughorn » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:31 pm

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Don't forget about get a UPC barcode for your packaging. The most affordable way to purchase an authentic legal UPC barcode for your business is from a company reselling there unused ones. Don't buy your UPC barcode from a company unless you can verify their company name in the GS1 US website. Many companies selling UPC barcodes are not the owners. They are just licensing someone else's barcode which puts you at risk. Try looking at www.authentic-legal-upc-barcode.com

cron