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If you have a well-crafted product or service you also have a responsibility to maintain the experience around it, well after you’ve collected payment for it — with no drop off. Drop off threatens the perception of your offering as being well-crafted and frankly, it’s just disrespectful.
One area where we often see drop off is in packaging.
Unfortunately, many companies with great products see packaging as a necessarily evil, a device whose sole purpose is to provide a wrapping for their product or service, thus an expense to be minimized wherever possible. But actually there is a huge opportunity to show respect for a product and the customer by choreographing the experience and the ways that the customer encounters it, especially upon delivery.
By far, Apple excels at this delivery dance. It’s actually difficult to throw away their packaging because it’s so well done. Have you encountered a product or service that is packaged so well it’s hard to throw away? Or, at least before throwing it away, you stop to admire its intentionality as justification for the dollars spent on it?
Though your product may not be made by Apple and you may not have budgeted for an expensive package, you can still learn from their playbook.
The goal is to package your product in an intentional way, but if that’s too challenging, focus on ways you can draw new owners into the “family.” For example, you could provide them with a welcome kit containing a T-shirt, a hat, and a link to a smart phone app that anticipates their questions and provides easily available resources and instructions.
The important thing to remember is that you never get a second chance to make that initial impression.
How people first encounter your product will play a huge role in their perception of you, and subsequently the lens through which they will look at — and ultimately talk about your product going forward.
Make it so the buyer has to think just a little harder about discarding the wrapper because of what it stands for. Packaging is your proxy, a participant in the customer journey. What kind of impression is yours making?
Another opportunity we often see go untapped is in the transportation of products. If you are trucking heavy equipment, chances are it is wrapped in anonymous shrink-wrap, making no brand impression as it makes its way across the country.
What a missed opportunity!
Branding the wrap not only makes that haul a giant rolling billboard, it creates a lot of excitement as it pulls up to the dock of its final destination.
Our position is that spending on the wrapper or welcome kits are far from extraneous. Because, if what makes you special is being well-crafted, a bland or disappointing delivery experience can end up costing you big time later, in ways you’ll likely will never know.
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