What is Package Engineering?
As supply chain challenges derail global commerce, many brands are turning to packaging engineers to creatively optimize their product packaging. For the uninitiated, package engineering is a specialized field that combines engineering, marketing, logistics, and graphic design.
Because this combination of expertise is exceedingly rare, packaging engineers help companies outpace their competition with masterfully designed packaging. Read on to learn how package engineers can create striking, cost-effective packaging for your online or brick-and-mortar retail business.
Why Packaging is Vital
Many marketers refer to packaging as the “silent salesman” because it can attract customers with a compelling, aesthetically pleasing presentation. Product packaging makes the first impression on a customer and serves as the most critical part of a company’s brand image.
Imagine if Apple sold its products in ordinary cardboard packaging. By using luxurious white paperboard in its packaging design, Apple creates a sense of value and exclusivity before a customer even views the product. Think of packaging as an extension of your marketing department, making a decisive statement about your brand values and identity.
What is a Packaging Engineer?
Not only do packaging engineers have a keen eye for design, but they also balance variables like supply chain issues, material costs, and marketing, synthesizing this information to guarantee you have the best packaging available.
For example, your brand might need durable packaging that can withstand international shipping and simultaneously promote your luxury products with a chic design. Package engineering allows you to find materials and processes that meet both of these criteria, all while keeping costs low.
What Does a Packaging Engineer Do?
You can hire a packaging engineer to design your product packaging strategy from scratch, optimize your existing packaging, or launch a single product with a new design. These are the primary responsibilities of a packaging engineer.
- Test materials
- Design packaging
- Plan logistics
- Ensure compliance with worldwide ISO regulations
- Boost sustainability
- Communicate with manufacturers
Benefits of Partnering with a Packaging Engineer
Consider collaborating with a packaging engineer if you have a great product but need packaging design solutions. Increased sales almost always outweigh the cost of hiring a packaging expert.
Reduces Packaging Costs
Materials represent one of the single greatest expenditures for many businesses. Package engineering allows brands to replace expensive materials with more cost-effective alternatives and hammer out kinks in the supply chain that might lead to increased costs.
For instance, if your supply chain relies on raw materials from a country that just raised tariffs, a packaging engineer could help source equivalent materials from another location. Even small discrepancies in your cost-per-unit add up to massive savings at scale. Count on packaging engineers to maintain your brand image while minimizing costs.
Enhances Packaging Design
It’s challenging to stay one step ahead of global marketing trends. Packaging engineers can work with your advertising department to ensure your packaging is appealing to your target demographic, and eye-catching on the shelf.
Combining durability and beauty is a difficult balancing act, so it helps to recruit a packaging expert. A packaging engineer’s creative problem-solving goes far beyond graphic design and incorporates materials sciences, marketing psychology, and macroeconomic trends.
Helps with Retail-Ready Packaging
Limited shelf space can make getting your product into storesa long and demanding process. Further complicating the situation is the fact that different stores have different packaging requirements.
E-commerce requires compact packaging and Amazon, in particular, has a strict set of rules and regulations. Big box club stores like Sam’s Club, BJs, and Costco—which offer an extremely lucrative merchandising opportunity for businesses—have their own packaging requirements. A packaging engineer will help you navigate different retail scenarios and find the ideal packaging for each one.
Provides Optimal Packaging Solutions
The rise of e-commerce created numerous opportunities for businesses to reach new audiences. But it also increased wear and tear as products traverse the globe. Product safety is an essential focus of package engineering that goes beyond simply keeping products intact. For example, if you sell a photo-sensitive product, a packaging engineer can determine a number of packaging design solutions that prevent light from ruining your merchandise.
Using their wide breadth of knowledge, packaging engineers can communicate between teams to make sure your marketing, design, and logistics departments are all on the same page.
Offers Sustainable Packaging Solutions
Most major brands are making concerted efforts to lower their carbon footprint and implement sustainable packaging design. Aside from the ethical implications, sustainable packaging is also a huge selling point for businesses. In fact, 92% of consumers are more willing to support a brand they consider environmentally conscious.
Packaging engineers can take a magnifying glass to your supply chain and look for more sustainable options, including cost-equivalent recycled materials. By reducing your total waste ratio, you can save money on materials and give your marketing team an easy way to pitch your products to consumers.
Elevate Your Business with a Packaging Engineer
If you want to attract new customers with eye-catching packaging, save money on materials, and simplify your supply chain, you should consider enlisting a packaging engineer. With knowledge in a wide variety of fields, a packaging engineer is like a marketer, engineer, and logistics expert rolled into one.