How to Apply Discovery to Your Packaging Strategy

How to Apply Discovery to Your Packaging Strategy

checklistA packaging strategy is not just about marketing or getting product out the door quickly. Your resources, systems, and objectives should support the goals of the origination as a whole. To ensure this, you need to evaluate your goals and objectives in a way that allows them to flow down as guidelines within your packaging department. For example, a company that values green practices will want to consider sustainability in package development.

Applying a discovery phase to your strategy development will greatly help you pull these objectives into practice.

Seven Basic Functions

Before you engage a discovery phase, it’s important to understand the seven basic functions that packaging serves:

  1. Safety. Packaging objectives should be determined with user safety in mind. It also can encompass operator safety when it comes to the process itself.
  2. Functionality. What attributes of your product need to be protected with your packaging? Is it fragile? Perishable?
  3. Differentiation. How does your competitor’s packaging influence your own objectives? Does yours need to stand out? Blend in?
  4. Branding. Does your packaging need to be created in a way that your brand is immediately recognizable by the shape, color, or design?
  5. Promotion. Does the package itself need to promote the product within it?
  6. Convenience. This includes both how easy packages are to open and dispose of. For some companies, return packaging is also a factor.
  7. Communication. What messaging needs to be visible on the package itself?


The discovery phase is about uncovering all the details that are important to your business, target market, and industry. It can be broken down into two general categories.

Industry Analysis – This actually can include the market analysis if you use a comprehensive model like Porter’s 5 Forces. It’s worth your time to familiarize yourself with the information in the link provided, but the basic five forces are:

Threat of new entrants

Bargaining power of customers

Bargaining power of suppliers

Threat of substitute products/services

Jockeying for position among all competitors

Stakeholder Goals – The other piece of discovery is understanding and prioritizing the goals of all the stakeholders within the company. For example, your marketing group may prioritize brand recognition, while operations may focus on efficiency.

Take all of these goals, rank how strong they are, and use them with the information from your industry analysis to apply them to the seven basic functions of packaging.

With a comprehensive understanding of your organization’s goals, you can develop a packaging strategy that supports the entire company. If your company needs specialized containers or custom industrial packaging, talk to Packnet. Our engineers can anticipate challenges to your goals that you wouldn’t know to consider. Request a free assessment or call us at 952.944.9124.

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