Teacher’s Professional Resource could decide to package our product Who’s Counting™ in a plain brown box like this one. We could even stamp “fragile handle with care” on the side in purple like the image shown above. We might sell one or two, but that would probably be the end for the product. The truth of the matter is that consumers expect nice shiny packaging that can’t be opened even with a pair of scissors and bolt cutters. Packaging is not just a means of getting a usable product from a warehouse or manufacturer to a consumer. And nobody would buy a product if it came in a plain brown box at the store. Most people wouldn’t know what was in the brown box in the first place. Consumers do not care that plain brown packaging costs less to produce and therefore they pay less for the product because of lower production costs. They want something that looks nice. Take a look at this photo for example, cetaris paribus, which orange juice would you buy?
I would buy the one that looks best, I would buy the one on the left. Of course there is a chance that some people would actually buy the package on the right in anticipation of a lower cost. We all know that store brand products are cheaper than name brand products.
The issue here then becomes not which one you would buy, but how do I get you to choose my package from ll of the others at the store. And that is why we have shiny, fancy, expensive, packaging that competes with all of the other shiny packaging at the store.
So how do I package my product so that it sells in online retailers before anyone has seen it on store shelves. What attributes can I give the product to make it more appealing to its target audience, in this case teachers? We believe the answer to this question is not in the packaging design at all, but instead in the product itself. While it is acknowledged that the packaging needs to match the product; that is to say the packaging must tell the same story the product inside tells. It must be, fun, easy to understand, feature fun characters, and promote the business. The product must achieve what it is designed to achieve, in this case it must teach mathematics in a fun and entertaining way. If the product achieves what it is intended to achieve, it will to some extent sell itself. People will not initially have an opportunity to see our product in most cases. The website in a way will act as the products packaging. When visitors come to the website they will either purchase the product or not, depending on what is presented to them.
Back to the point, we are currently working to develop packaging for the game Who’s Counting™
and it is very hard work, can we get our product in Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, Target, Barnes, and Noble, how will we sell it online? These are all questions I need to figure out and fast. We need to get this product to market. Because, surprisingly when you start a business nobody walks up and says “oh, this is how you do this”. You have to figure everything out, sometimes it is easy, others are harder.
For packaging, I needed to determine what goes into the game box first, well the list is pretty short with; cards, rules, and score-pads. Then I needed to figure out what the dimensions of the box would be for a manufacturer to give me some estimates. Well standard playing card size is 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches and there are 148 cards in each deck so I will need at least double that space for the cards. Then there are the score pads and rules for the game. The rules don’t take up much space they can lay on top of everything, but the score-pads will have some thickness and they need to be large enough to hold a lot of score data in case the game is long. So I decided what the internal measurements of the box would be and then I put everything in a makeshift box I built so I could see what it looked like. I needed to include space for the plastic tray everything would go in, but not too much extra space because I want to maximize the value to the consumer by minimizing empty space and saving money on excess packaging. I will be speaking with a manufacturer later this week about volume and specifications. I have sent the dimensions to our artist for graphic consideration.
For this project, I have decided that less is more. Some of the extras we discussed adding to the game were dice for score multipliers, a trophy champions could win if they were counting, a game board, and magnetic Whozits™ to traverse the game board. After a lot of consideration and internal deliberation with myself, I concluded that while these additions would make the game more interesting and even entertaining, they would similarly increase the cost to purchase the product. The goal here is to develop a great product children love to play and teachers can use to enable learning. Who’s Counting™ does this. We will strive to keep the cost low by choosing not to add additional pieces and/or elements to the original game. There will be expansions offered to the game however, and if students and teachers fall in love with Who’s Counting™ as we have, they may consider adding the expansion components and pieces to their game to make for a more enjoyable experience.