There’s an old saying, that is “never judge a book by its cover”. But, if we’re being honest, that is exactly what we, as consumers, do. For instance, how many times have you seen a film because the poster was cool, or bought a book where the cover promised something that, ultimately, disappointed? There’s a good reason why marketers try to embellish their products and that is to sell their goods.
We’ve spoken before on the blog about how to get the most out of packaging, and while the physical packaging itself is important in terms of basic design, ease of shipping, durability, etc, the presentation of your product is just as important.
Let’s look back at the mid to late 90’s for a moment and use Apple a quick case study. Believe it or not, Apple were struggling. During the late 80’s and early 90’s there were quickly becoming eclipsed by Microsoft and verging on bankruptcy. Steve Jobs, who had been ousted from the company, returned, and gave the brand a well needed shot of adrenaline. At the 1997 Apple Expo, he revealed the iMac, a slick looking piece of equipment that was unlike any kind of home computer that had been released up to that point. Consumers went nuts. To most, it didn’t matter what the thing actually did – it was, ostensibly, just another computer – but it was presented in such a way that it made it the next must have accessory.
Even for small companies, this kind of tactic can be used as an advantage. So, you don’t have much in the way of a marketing budget? Get creative. If the only material you can afford to use for product packaging is corrugated cardboard, then say as such. Swing the other way from, say, a book with a great cover that’s actually bad, to a product that’s so great it doesn’t need fancy packaging to sell it. You could be selling yoyos, but so long as you’re fully behind that product, and allow your enthusiasm to show, there’s no reason why a simple product couldn’t be the next big thing.
So, next time you’re wondering how you can sell, say, a box of boxes, maybe play on how silly that notion is, or that boxes are so important for shipping that they literally ship themselves. Not every product is as exciting as a new piece of technology, but there’s no reason why you can’t make it appear that way.