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Packaging Tip: Be a Non-Conformist

Every consumer-products marketer hopes their packaging will stand out on shelves and therefore attract more attention from consumers. But there’s only so much one can do with color, copy, and design.

So why not change the whole shape and nature of the package – and thereby change the whole game. By coming up with a different type of packaging in a category, you force your competitors to rethink how they approach the whole concept of containing their products.

And you can often get a substantial lead as they scramble to catch up with your innovation.

A good example of gaining an advantage by using a different type of packaging for an established product is Target stores' Archer Farms cereal line.

As supermarket shelves become burgeoned with oversized bags and stand-up pouches of mass through premium brands, Minneapolis-based Target Corp. decided to change the game by using a resealable canister instead of the usual bag-in-box package that cereals have come in for ages.

The canister is actually the Linearpak® from Sonoco Consumer Products Co. (www.sonoco.com), used in the past for pet products through cough drops. What especially excites Target and, of course, Sonoco is the Linearpak's ability to satisfy what they perceive as consumer dislike for the traditional bag-in-box structure.
 
A Sonoco spokesperson cites the conventional package's difficulty of opening, potential for spillage and poor pantry life because the inner bag can't be resealed as several reasons why Linearpak is so suitable for cereal.

And Target doesn’t hold back in drawing attention to the new container. For instance, the back of the package says, “We've revolutionized the cereal box with a streamlined, bag-free container, an easy-flow spout, and a snap-shut lid that's recloseable for freshness. Breakfast will never be the same again.”

Sonoco hopes Archer Farms’ revolution carries over to other cereal brands. It says the annual bag-in-box cereal turnover is three billion units, valued at a total of $6.12 billion, for more than 250 stockkeeping units.

Meanwhile, Target is reaping the advantage of a great trick for drawing attention to its products. And at the same time, it’s also an added convenience to consumers – a true win-win.

Could your product benefit from this kind of thinking?

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