Packaging Your Invention: Think Like A Consumer

Turning your invention into a product takes more than just coming up with an idea. If you want to sell that idea to a company, negotiate a licensing agreement or if you’re going it alone and hope to sell it directly to buyers, you’re going to need packaging. It’s the logical next step to create packaging for your invention’s product sales sample.

The invention package challenge
It’s obvious that big brand products don’t face the challenges your new product will. Big brands are backed by millions of advertising dollars, or years of consumer interaction, leaving the challenge to you – the potential competitor. For an entertaining look at how different brands apply packaging techniques, watch this fun video that rethinks Microsoft packaging of Apple’s iPod. However, with Apple they sell the iPod with a clean, sleek and stylish package, focusing little on the product’s features and more on how hip it is for the consumer. While a joke, the video does hit a few key points you should think about when packaging:

o Bullet point benefits and features
o Show human interaction with the product in use
o Keep it on brand

When you create your invention’s package, you won’t be afforded the mindshare companies like Apple and Microsoft already own with consumers. Remember, people tend to gravitate toward things they know and understand. While your invention may be at a disadvantage over established brands, don’t use that as a reason to give up.

Think about packaging this way: Imagine you’re driving on the Interstate at 65 mph. The radio is on and the kids are in the backseat. A big rig is attempting to pass you. Now, among all of these distractions you catch a glimpse of a billboard. You have two or three seconds to focus in on it before you’ve passed it. Invent Help Did you get its message?

This is a great exercise in understanding package and advertising communication. You’d be amazed how effective, or ineffective, billboards are at communicating to motorists. Apply this to packaging on store shelves. Imagine you’re in the store. You are pushing a cart and you have a predetermined list of products you need to purchase. Your children are with you again and they’re fussy. You have to get the shopping done and return home by a certain time to meet your schedule. You’re on a fixed budget and only certain items can be purchased Invent Help. In this environment, a product has even less time to communicate with a consumer. Will your invention’s packaging catch their eye? Are your invention’s benefits and features positioned clearly for easy reading? Will it convince the consumer that it’s worth their time to stop and consider fitting it into their purchasing budget?

If you can create shelf presence and get noticed by the general consumer, your invention’s packaging will definitely communicate to corporate decision makers and retail buyers – the gatekeepers who hold the key to your product hitting store shelves. And that’s the first step in getting an order for your invention, a license agreement or whatever your goal as the inventor may be.



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