September 28, 2017

Is Your Package Pretty or a Problem Solver?


Good vs Great Product Packaging

Is Your Package Pretty or a Problem Solver – Good packaging accurately portrays a brand and helps to shape its creator’s reputation in the market place. However, great packaging does all of this AND helps to solve the customer’s problem as opposed to being just the container the solution comes in.

When a consumer has an issue, they seek out a product–ideally yours–to resolve it. Packages that are optimally designed to become part of the consumer’s solution earn a home in everyday culture. They also earn loyal, recurring customers who may even become champions of the brand.

Some examples of great problem-solving packages are:


Chinese Take-out Box

I say “Chinese” very loosely since the classic Chinese takeout box was created by an American, in America, making the package, well, American. While the iconic brand conveys Chinese food–that is actually American Chinese food, which is drastically different than the food in China—the box is highly functional. It’s engineered from a single piece of material that folds eliminating any seams. This is to prevent liquids or food particles from seeping out. In addition to being a food pail, if you remove the wire handle, the box may be unfolded and act as a plate. Or if you’re like me, you leave it folded and eat directly from the carton, which acts as a bowl.


Coffee Sleeve

Many people start their morning with a cup of Joe. However, the thin coffee cups can sometimes run too hot or cold for those of us with sensitive skin. If you’re on the go, it may not be convenient to pour your beverage into a ceramic mug. Instead, you can opt to slip a Java Jacket around the paper cup. In addition to creating an optimal user experience, the coffee sleeve doubles as a marketing tool. Vendors who utilize these products, such as Starbucks, will print their logo on them. Or, for seasonal marketing to highlight their products such as the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte in the fall, Eggnog Latte around Christmas and Red Velvet Frappuccino during Valentine’s Day.


Salt Spout

Most spice packages are accustomed with a cap that includes a full pour and/or a sieve depending on your cooking needs. Prior to that, Morton Salt created a package that included a single spout designed to prevent moisture from getting inside the package. This is because any condensation causes salt to clump making it more difficult to pour and use. While other salt makers have utilized this solution for their own salts, Morton was the first to come up with the sound design.


Crayola Crayon Box

It’s truly amazing how something as simple as oil sticks can bring a lot of joy to children all over the world. In 1958, Binney & Smith debuted their iconic 64 set Crayola Crayon Box. This box was exceptional since in addition to the box acting as storage, it provides a lot more color options than previous sets. Also featured is a built-in sharpener. It’s child safe and keeps all the crayons in ready-to-use condition.


The 57 Ketchup Bottle

Long before most ketchup bottles were redesigned with plastic, Heinz ketchup was placed inside glass bottles. If you’re the impatient type, you’re probably reaching for a knife to scrape out the ketchup inside. However, that simple action is completely unnecessary. The bottle’s elongated neck is designed to let the ketchup pour smoothly. It’s also engineered that way to expose the minimal amount of air possible to preserve freshness. When the bottle is held at an angle and if the number 57 is tapped, ketchup flows out. Since the original bottle was made out of glass, it was also recyclable making it a sustainable product.


At EPE, when we meet a new customer to discuss their product packaging needs, we always consider how the package can become part of the end user’s solution. One of our customers has a fleet of drivers who transport electronics. After a day of installations, drivers would have loads of packaging waste in the back of their vans from unpacking the electronics and installing them in customers’ homes. They needed a packaging solution that would transport the electronics safely and reduce the waste inside the van. Since the solution was all about saving space, EPE created Safe Shelf™. In the process of evaluating their packaging needs, our engineers designed Safe Shelf to increase 50% more storage space in their tech vans.

Safe Shelf
The black Safe Shelf safely holds electronics on the left in the back of a driver’s van.

Safe Shelf is an efficient space-saving solution that protects electronics during transit. The shelf slots are adjustable so they can accommodate the thickness of many different electronic devices. This means it’s future proof. When your product evolves and your company grows, Safe Shelf can be adjustable to change with your business.


Read more about Safe Shelf on our products page.


A package that is part of the solution interacts with the consumer and their business can also save many resources and budget. In the instance of our electronic transport customer, we are projected to help them save 33 million pounds of waste each year! That level of return on investment (ROI) is what we aim for with our customers every single day.

Do you have a product that needs a sound package? Contact us today!