PACKAGING plays an important role in the production, distribution and marketing of your products in local and export markets.
Getting it right will ensure that you have a product that sells. This is often a challenge of many local entrepreneurs — trying to find a packaging style that will appeal to customers.
"The truth is, no matter how much time and money your marketing team spends on promoting your product, if your pack fails to deliver at point of sale because it doesn't look good then all that investment spent elsewhere is largely wasted."
There are many examples of packaging that have made local products a hit in international markets.
Pure Fiji beauty product is a prime example for its convenience and ready to use designs which come in various sizes which can be packed in handbags, or put on wardrobes, or bathroom shelves. Other examples include Fiji Water, the Noni Kura bottles which are a hit overseas and now set to also enter the Asian markets.
Food Processors Ltd have found a neat and convenient manner in packing ready to use garlic paste, ginger or other spices convenient for people always on the go and need not spend too much time in cooking. These are sold on Fiji shelves at around $5 per pack and have also started appearing in Australian outlets.
Fresh produce or fruits from Fiji are well known in the region and the greater metropolis of Australia and New Zealand for its quality and health value.
The challenge however, is packing it right to endure the long transportation process from the producer, through freight or shipping to the supermarkets and onto the shelves in a manner which will also catch the customers eye Fiji already has companies which can supply the plastic packaging materials and labeling requirements, this can all be sourced locally.
The following are the common pieces of advice for making your brand designs fly off the shelves:
1. Make your product stand out
First of all, we have to recognise that our products are competing for a few short seconds of attention. In any one supermarket there are thousands of different products on display and the average shopper spends no more than an hour in a store during their weekly shop. So you'd need to register more than 10 products per second if you were to see every product! The first and most important rule, therefore, is to get your product noticed — it must stand out rather than blend in.
2. Break with convention
Next time you go shopping, take a look at the small Pure Fiji coconut cream pack and see how something so small fights above its weight. When it launched into the highly colourful category of beauty products, it went with a very white pack as opposed to the category norm of using pictures of fruit with similarly vibrant fruity graphics. Finally, shape is the first thing the human eye recognises. The square shaped Fiji Water bottles make it unique in a business where all brands come in circular shapes.
3. Add personality
Building on the idea of leveraging a brand's authenticity, the next step is to bring packs to life with a strong personality (what we call 'authentic attitude'). In short, think about language and imagery that helps to tell an engaging story rather than just being matter of fact. The Fiji Water story engages the mind and is thought provoking when one hears of water collected in a mountain reserve for over thousands of years.
4. Feel-good factor
We live in a frightening world, a world of anxiety fuelled by the media's exposure of terrorism, food scares, global warming, child abuse and abduction. An solution for this is to make people smile and/or remind us of the time when life appeared to be safer. Anything you can do to make your designs resonate with today's anxious consumer will give you an advantage. So packs that bring a smile to faces, are the order of the day.
5. Keep it simple
With so much to say about health, nutrition, cooking or usage instructions on your products and yet a desire to cut back on the amount of packaging, the key is to keep things simple. Going back to the principle of 'standout', make sure you don't compromise legibility by over-complicating packs with too many messages.
* This is a contribution from the Fiji Export Council.