What exactly makes for “good” packaging and what are the driving factors that make something effective in this market? During one of my weekly visits to Best Buy, I decided to highlight a few examples of some really good consumer tech packaging, and why I think so. Now, some of these examples have been around for awhile, but the fact that they are still relevant and very effective only reinforces the reason why they are making this list. Turns out even in consumer tech packaging, there are oldies but goodies.
Lifeproof smart-phone cases
The primary function any phone case is to protect, but most case makers project their own marketing spin at retail. Speck is fun and creative, Incase is sophisticated and fashion forward. Then along came Lifeproof. This case, much like Otter Box, is all about protection. Which would make sense, given their brand name. So, did they also try to spin you a story about their fabulosity? Nope, they went in the opposite direction and employed a visual language that actually shows the shopper real life examples of the trauma your poor phone puts up with. The graphic style is nothing short of Photoshop porn for the eyes with potential phone disasters exploding out from their cases. It’s simple, well executed and extremely effective.
Other headphone companies make a line of athletic headphones, and most focus on an urban lifestyle approach (beats, SOL, Urban Ears, etc). Yurbuds in contrast has a far more simple position in the market: at least for now, they make only water resistant ear phones that won’t fall out when workouts get sweaty. The packaging shows a virtual 360 degree view of the athlete with the subject’s ears on the sides showing the product in use, and on the front a facial image with the product name written on their face like war paint. These are products that go to battle with you, glaring out on the shelf next to their competitors. It’s a great voice, almost daring you to be tough enough for their product.
Tablets by Wacom
Tablets enable a hand-rendered experience on a computer, and that’s exactly what their packaging depicts…no explanation needed. Hand drawn illustration eminating from the product, done and done. Granted this is not something that everyone needs or wants, but for the doodlers and designers out there this product packaging just nails it. The almost minimal voice means that there is an “in the club” approach to the box…if you don’t already want or benifet from their product you might not “get it” and that’s ok.
Logitech G peripherals
You’ll hear me talk about creating crave a lot in terms of how product packaging helps in spurring on sales. Logitech’s G (gaming) totally creates crave! The products look like space age weaponry and the packaging is so sci-fi inspired that I’m ready to watch the movie and play the game. X-rays, space ships, laser vision…where do I sign up? This is a great example of a company that has nailed the voice of their audience, and then hits it dead on without apology. Great job!
With all the choice, noise and commotion vying for your attention at your local Best Buy, it makes the act of choosing far easier when you can communicate what a product is all about quickly at a glance. Catch my eye yes, but do it in a way that intrigues me and helps me understand why I should care about your product or your brand for that matter. Keeping things simple is a great start, but remember that you also need to keep things awesome! Technology is fun and people WANT to crave it but as marketeers it our job to help them to do so.