What's in a package?

What's in a package?

Summary: Several of us in the office here are avid fans of American Idol . The singing talent show has just started its sixth run, and already, a handful of female contestants have clearly emerged as vocal powerhouses.

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TOPICS: iPhone
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Several of us in the office here are avid fans of American Idol . The singing talent show has just started its sixth run, and already, a handful of female contestants have clearly emerged as vocal powerhouses.

But, as caustic judge Simon Cowell often spouts: It's not just about the voice, it's also about the overall package. Not one to shy away from spurting politically-incorrect comments, at least by today's standards, Cowell doesn't hesitate to tell contestants to lose some weight, change their hairstyle or stop dressing like their parents.

To some extent, the same can be said about product packaging and design.

Michael L. Sheffield, co-founder and chairman of Multi Level Marketing International Association, said that "preparing and promoting a product via packaging is critical to retail competition".

Apple is one of the first that often pops to mind when it comes to great product packaging and design. Case in point: the iPhone.

Just after the launch last month, I listened insipidly as the people around me ooh-ed and ahh-ed over how sleek the iPhone looked and how cool it was to be able to 'pinch' your way around the phone.

I couldn't understand how and why they seemed oblivious, or perhaps chose to ignore the fact that the phone sorely lacked the most basic, primary feature in mobile phones today--3G support.

I'm not an Apple fan--geesh, it took some courage to admit that in public--but I must admit the company has done a fantastic job creating products that are completely in a class of their own. It obviously has a crystal ball view and appreciation of what exactly it takes to package a product that customers would desire.

How important is product packaging to you?

Topic: iPhone

About

Eileen Yu began covering the IT industry when Asynchronous Transfer Mode was still hip and e-commerce was the new buzzword. Currently a freelance blogger and content specialist based in Singapore, she has over 16 years of industry experience with various publications including ZDNet, IDG, and Singapore Press Holdings.

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  • As a both a Mac and PC user at home, I enjoy the benefits of both, but seriously, packaging is only as good as the capabilities offered. More than a decade ago, a girlfriend told me she bought a HP desktop because it looked better than anything else out there (at the time). I was aghast. Don't you care about what's inside the computer, I asked her. She didn't. She didn't even know what chip powered her PC.

    It's true today too. Glance around and see how many people have ignored the fact that Motorolas (generally) handle like pigs (no offense to the legion out there) and gotten themselves a Razr cuz they look nice and svelte. Having said that, in the age of miniaturization, there's really no reason to neglect "design" in a "package". When there're so many gadgets to choose from (yes, choice is good for consumers), why should anyone pick a box over a piece of "art"?
    anonymous