Manufacturers Discuss Key Elements of Product Packaging

Genie Davis

Product packaging is almost as important as the product that packaging contains. According to manufacturers nationwide, keeping packaging new and tied into branding is key for success.

Tara Stravinsky, owner of Tyes.by.Tara, says her packaging has evolved since her company began. “I started with a hanging backer card with my logo, and have gone to a clear top box with a visual graphic to help convey a message about the product.”

Packaging dramatically helps us to sell. The upscale look and sexy design shows customers that we’re special. People need to feel confident about buying our product, that it would make a good gift, for example. — Jeff Baker President, Magic Silk

She’s a firm believer that packaging impacts sales. “It helps create interest, interaction and conversation which helps increase the conversion rate.” Stravinsky offers different packaging sizes. “Based on feedback I’ve gotten from stores, they tend to like smaller packaged items with a large margin to maximize the sales per square foot. I try to keep this in mind when designing my packaging.” She believes what best serves retailers is the versatility of her packaging. “It can be both hung or placed on a table.”

To serve shoppers, Stravinsky tries to create product copy that stimulates an experience. “Growing up, I always loved reading the back of beauty products because the words created an experience, and taught you more about the product. So I translate that interest to my packaging.”

She feels the best way to display her products in a retail shop is on a table or end cap next to complementary merchandise, in order to promote cross-selling. “Since I sell ancillary products to lingerie and dance-wear, it makes it easy to add on if it’s in close proximity to complementary products. The idea is that the customer sees how they could wear it and what they could wear it with.”

At Dreamgirl International, Marketing Director Lar Hovsepian said the company updated its packaging last August. “With our 2015 catalog, we introduced new packaging. Our diamond packaging is our signature, and the shape didn’t change. But we enhanced the front package graphics by 40 percent.” Hovsepian notes that packaging drives customers to them. “We have different colors to indicate different programs. The red diamond is our packaged lingerie, and encompasses all styles. The purple diamond is our club and dance wear, white diamond is bridal, pink diamond is our Encore line for spring and summer. Black diamond is our hosiery. I know that when I walk into a store, our products have an impactful, attention-getting look. The faceted 3D shape really pops. And in regard to the imagery, we make sure the printing quality is excellent. Lastly,” she says, “we have two large windows on the box so customers can see the actual fabric.”

To assist retailers, Hovsepian adds in counter top spinner racks with specific amounts of products, while shoppers are assisted by the visibility of the product, explanatory text on the back of the box, and inset images that show consumers alternatives for wearing the item, such as criss-crossing a halter. “We also have a banner that notes if an extra item such a novelty feather tickler, is included.”

Hovsepian continues, “In our catalogs we have retail planograms. We suggest a diamond wall. We offer point of purchase magnetic blades to really make our items stand out, and create a mini-shop of Dreamgirl products. We come out with new graphics that can be switched out on the blades for different seasons. Hooks are what most retailers showcase our items on.”

Jeff Baker, president of Magic Silk, has seen his packaging evolve to become more upscale. “Through textures such as embossing and special effects on the box, we’ve improved the design,” he said. “Packaging dramatically helps us to sell. The upscale look and sexy design shows customers that we’re special. People need to feel confident about buying our product, that it would make a good gift, for example. The package is the first thing everyone sees and is very important.” Baker tries to keep packaging “as sleek as possible. The proportions have to feel right in your hand.” To assist shoppers, his packaging offers front and back views, a description of the collection, fabric, and size charts. The packaging also shows additional styles from the collection, and sometimes includes a window to the actual item. In terms of displaying his products in stores, Baker says, “We offer headers which go back to our marketing materials and growing our brand. We have large canvas prints stretched over frames which products can be displayed beneath. And we’re actually developing free-standing custom floor displays. Currently, our products are usually displayed on a flat wall.”

Veronica Rajadnya of Baci Lingerie has seen the company make “subtle changes” to packaging, primarily in regard to how information is displayed. “Our packaging allows retailers and consumers alike to know everything about the included garment at a glance. With our After Dark Hosiery collection, we chose to present items in a completely new style package while still using elements that remain consistent with our other lines.” Like Baker, she too believes that packaging drives sales. “It’s often the only chance we have to communicate with consumers. It’s pivotal in their decision to purchase.” Baci’s packaging varies by collection. “We do keep a consistent height and width within each group, only varying the box depth to accommodate bulkier pieces.”

Rajadnya believes product photography is the key packaging feature that assists retailers. “Next would be the requisite product information every store needs to simplify inventory management. We work hard to make that portion of the packaging fit our design aesthetic.” To best serve shoppers, packaging includes information on sizing, color, number of included pieces plus style numbers for separately sold but complimentary items.

“We have taken great care to design consistent packaging that hangs well on a slat wall, down to providing custom header cards that mark each collection’s space on the wall,” Rajadnya said. “For retailers who prefer to unbox the garments, our hang tags feature full color photography to help the shopper identify the items.”

Cathy Whorley, sales executive at Seven to Midnight in El Monte, Calif., asserts that the company’s packaging is new and exciting. “Our packaging used to consist of a pretty standard rectangular black box. From there it went to a curvy box with polka dots — plus size boxes had bigger dots. This year we’ve emphasized a lace motif. It’s a very popular fabric for us, and as a pattern on the box, it’s quite unique. It’s not seen anywhere else.” Whorley says sales are certainly impacted by packaging. “Our amazing photography, the lace print on the box — they both drive sales. We also offer clear vinyl bags with inserts, and the ability for retailers to place our products on hangars if the bags don’t work for them.” To better serve shoppers, plus size boxes are marked with the slogan “Baby Got Curves.” In terms of display, boxes are placed on retail store wall racks; hanging items are suggested for display on hangers. “That way customers can see, touch, and experience the quality of the garment.”

Conclusively, packaging is a vital and effective sales tool for lingerie and clothing across the board. Shape, style and color are all important packaging elements designed to attract shoppers.