No excuse for poor package design

I bought an electronic timer the other day. It came in one of those ridiculously difficult to open plastic theft-proof (also open-proof) packages. You know, the ones that you have to use a utility knife to open, coming perilously close to cutting through the item, then tear the plastic, straining your forearm (and maybe face) muscles, scratching your forearms, possibly cutting your cuticles.

By the time you get through the package, you HATE the item within, wanting only to burn it, box it and send it back to the manufacturer in an equally difficult to open package, covered in a thin, invisible layer of vaseline.

If the item inside is not of a higher quality than the dastardly package, you feel ripped off. I had cut the surface of the timer with the utility knife. Upon trying it out, the chime was ear-piercingly loud, and I wished I had never bought the thing.

It is relatively easy to design good packaging. Companies who do poor package design in the name of ‘anti-theft’ or cutting costs are most often cutting long-term brand loyalty and profits.

I try to impart this simple wisdom for clients: Imagine you are packaging yourself. Do you want to be clothed in cheap, ugly materials, or would you prefer to be packaged in some nice threads? Which do you think will be more appealing to others, and which will leave a positive lasting impression?

Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.


Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

Thank you! This is going to feel good.

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