If you are a start-up selling technology, then it’s important to think about every aspect of your business model. The product itself is really just one facet of a much larger business plan, and if you hope to be successful then you need to ensure that you have arranged everything else around this to ensure that it goes smoothly and that you can get your work noticed. You need to think about marketing – how are people going to find out your product exists? You need to think about pricing – how much are people willing to pay for your product and what does that price communicate about your device? And you need to think about delivery – how can you get your products into the hands of customers and onto the shelves in stores?
One of the most important factors to consider that many people forget meanwhile is packaging. It’s absolutely crucial that you consider how you’re going to package your items, not only to ensure that they arrive at their destination safely, but also to ensure that they are desirable for the customer and that they remain cost effective. Here we will look at some of the packaging considerations for startups in the tech industry to help you ensure your items are secure and that they’re dressed to thrill at all times…
Before you begin, it’s important to recognise that there are certain industry standards when it comes to packaging that you need to follow. For starters, your files should be saved in the .ai format if they are going to work with the vast majority of printers. That ‘AI’ stands for ‘Adobe Illustrator’ which is the tool that most companies will use to create their graphics – though there are cheaper alternatives.
It’s also important to remember when designing your packaging that you need to include dielines. These lines act as placeholders, showing where you are going to need to diecut your graphics. Usually they will be saved as a separate layer in the file so that they can be removed before the final print, but it’s important to use them as a guide when considering sizing, orientation etc. It’s no good having a big image on the front of the box, but then having to fold or cut it straight down the middle.
Keep it Minimal
To get started, it’s worth looking at some examples of other devices and their packaging. How is the Surface Pro packaged? The Nexus 7? The iPad? One thing you’ll notice about all of these devices is that the packages are relatively small and minimalistic compared to what they used to be. This is something that makes sense both in terms of environmentalism, and in terms of profit margins. The less materials you use in creating your packaging, and the smaller you can keep it, the better it will be for the environment and the more money you will save on creating those items.
Minimalism is also currently very popular as a design trait – partly because of the pressures that have lead us to prefer saying more with less. Minimalism suggests class, and as it’s also relatively cheap to produce, that’s really the best of both worlds.
Keep it Safe
Of course the other important aspect of your packaging is that it needs to house the item inside safely and keep it secure. If you have a lose gadget rolling and sliding around inside a big empty box, then it will likely get damaged in transit, and that’s something that you need to avoid. External packaging when sending will help with this, but you can improve your chances by including some bracing inside the box itself and potentially foam or other padding (most mobile phones have foam inside the box these days).
Make it Desirable and Think About Branding
Finally, you need to think of your packaging in terms of branding and marketing. One of the most important jobs of your packaging is to make your item look desirable so that people walking past it in stores will turn their heads. When someone is on the fence about making a purchase a great box can make all the difference. And in case they don’t make a purchase, ensure your branding is prominent so that they can find the item again after they’ve mulled it over.
David Becker, the author of this article, is part of the team with, Beneco Packaging, leaders in graphic and structural design packaging. His hobbies include sculpting and woodwork.