The first “P” of the marketing mix deals with the product. The actual feature sets of the new and existing products won’t be covered within this report. See Product Management for more information about defining the product, market research, the Market Requirement Document, etc. Instead, we will deal with positioning, packaging, and format.
As part of our positioning, we will be redoing the company logo. The new style will have a hipper, less formal style using brighter, more marketable colors. Preference is given to name treatment since it is stronger whenever the name and logo are combined. If that is not possible, then a logo and mark will be attempted. The logo will also help define the company colors and style.
In addition, all upcoming products will have new packaging that is in line with the enhanced company and product positioning. All upcoming packaging should follow a few essential guidelines:
- Tell what it does. Our products should clearly state what they do in their titling and tag lines.
- Use the bottom half of the box. The product name and key message need to be located on the bottom half of the package so it can be seen if placed on the bottom shelves in retail.
- No hidden designs. It is crucial to have a design or picture that clearly symbolizes what the product does. A software box has an average of three seconds to attract and sell a consumer as he passes the shelf. Hidden messages and designs that are not clear are not effective and must be redesigned. If a box designer has to explain what his image means before it is understood, then it needs to be changed.
- Sell on all sides. The box should be able to sell from as many sides as possible in case it is not “faced” forward by the resellers. Touchstone and CyberMedia containers are the best examples of boxes that can sell from any angle.
- Sales message. The front or sides of a box should display the sales “tickler” to get a prospect to pick up the box, enough so that in 8 seconds or less they will want to read the back where the concentrated 30-second scannable sales message is delivered. Most messages should also be conveyed in just a few major non-technical points–it is critical to include as much detailed technical information as possible… but not on the back. Select one of the side panels to include all the pertinent technical features.
As a case in point, Microsoft, the “marketing machine,” even made a mistake with their sound card. They had a good sales message but neglected to state whether their product supported internal CD ROM hookups or allowed 16 bit, 44 MHz recordings. Consumers would often select another package rather than risk a mistake. Their packaging violated a critical rule: A confused prospect never buys.
- Colors. We should never forget the attention capability of “blink twice” colors. McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell use yellows and reds in their packaging and identification.
- Screenshots. It is a serious error to release any package without appropriate screenshots. In addition, all screenshots must have call-outs so the user understands what he is seeing. Screenshots also allow the vendor to highlight the product’s main selling points and key in on unique features.
- Fold-out box. A box that has a fold-out cover is the most effective since it contains a built-in brochure. It also has more real estate so the features can be shown with graphics instead of just text. For a new category like Animal, we need all the graphical selling space we can get.
(Note: Please register (names used for Chanimal networking only) with the Chanimal site to gain access to a special section of this Website (the Chanimal “Cave”) that contains additional free content–specifically, the Chanimal Packaging Guidelines (9 pages of information on effective package design).
With the introduction of the new box designs, we will also be publishing exclusively on CD ROM format with a coupon to order 3.5″ disks. This will allow us to cut our cost of goods and will increase our width of distribution to CD only locations such as Mr. CDROM. CD ROMs are also copied less frequently, especially if the CD is full because of the perceived time involved to transfer 625 meg of data.
The Widget2 CD will be the first Acme product to include four platforms, MAC, Power MAC, Win3.1 and Win95 all on one CD. This will help defer the cost of printing four boxes and will reduce the cost of platform-specific returns; if one platform has weak sales the product can be re-shelved in a different, better-selling section. The license will need to specify that the software can only be installed on one platform at a time. Of course, as always, honesty and conscience will be our primary protection against potential abuse.
Another advantage of a multi-platform CD is that it will allow us to include additional content (browsers, galleries, shareware, Gidget, etc.) at no additional material cost. This approach increases the perceived and actual value of the package and helps to further establish a competitive advantage on the shelf.