When strolling through stores I look for great packaging. I’m always watching to see which box, container or display is grabbing customer attention – mine included. I’ve concluded that the perfect retail package must do at least five things...
1. Grab customer attention.
2. Display and identify the product
3. Advance perception of use, need or desire.
4. Secure and protect the product
5. Facilitate closure of the sale.
What’s the chance of finding a package that follows the five rules? Does one exist? Yes. I found a great example of perfect retail packaging when wandering the aisles of Harbor Freight in Fort Myers.
I was snooping for some additional tools (which I really don’t need). A huge, colorful flat faced plastic package was hanging at eye level. Proven colors of bright yellow, deep blue and bullet splashes of red and white were shouting for my distant attention. I could clearly see four neatly spaced - big, bold and beautiful black handled crescent wrenches.
You can always use a new crescent wrench. They wear out, don’t adjust and often slip when you tug hard on a frozen bolt. Here was a mammoth selection of four graduated sizes – neatly stationed like aligned soldiers ready for assignment to duty. They beckoned closer attention.
The package was much bigger that the products needed. The wrenches were spaced in graduated length and adjustable size capability…to handle any job (big or small). The spacing allowed each tool to be enclosed by preformed plastic compartments that aligned them snugly, safely and allowed spacing for uncluttered text. The 6”, 8”, 10” and 12” graduated sizes of professional grade tools were neatly identified. They were heavy-duty allow steel, with cushioned grips, hardened precision ground heads, and SAE markings to sort sizes and adjustment ranges. A prominent bullet shouted out the limited lifetime warranty.
Pulling the package from the hook, it nearly dropped to the floor. This was substantial. The package weighed over 4 lbs and the plastic was thicker than ever. It would take industrial shears to cut it open. My perception of product quality was being reinforced. These tools were heavy weight, heavy duty and substantially packed for shipment, delivery and protection. Even a molded carrying handle was tough, defying any rip and tear. It was made to hold the weight. Clearly the tools would withstand extreme abuse – just like the package.
At check out, the product was quickly identified as intact (tamper proof) and the prominent bar code was quickly scanned by table top. She double bagged the package for safe handling, commenting one bag wouldn’t handle it. Before leaving I checked my receipt to assure the item was recorded correctly. It was. The four massive wrenches – along with the powerful package had a special price of $9.95 – for a limited time only.
I haven’t opened the package yet. I love bragging about it following my five rules of a perfect package. Remember? A perfect package must…
Grab customer attention.
Display and identify the product.
Advance perception of use, need or desire.
Secure and protect the product.
Facilitate closure of the sale.
How impressed was I? I wanted to buy another. I could open it and actually use the tools. The original purchase would remain sealed for presentation, display and video use.
Too bad! When I returned to the store – the packaged wrenches were SOLD OUT.