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How Packaging Plus Promotion Equals Profit

I have had this discussion before. You might remember it. Let me try again.

“All you need is good content. Content is king. Write good stuff and the visitors will come”

“Ugly sells”

“Don’t judge a book by its cover”.

Yeah, right.

We think we buy products but what do we actually buy?

Packaging. Promotion.

We tell ourselves we just want the product but we buy packaging and promotion all the time.

Does that t-shirt with the logo really provide more value than the t-shirt without?

Imagine two breakfast cereal boxes, the store brand and the name brand, one has a dowdy, functional design and the other has a wild cartoon theme in garish colours – which is the kid going beg his mom for?

Picture two businessmen, one is tall, got good hair, nice sharp tailored suit. Clean nails, shiny shoes. The other is in overalls, a bit tubby, grease down his greying shirt, over his hands and face, looks like he cuts his own hair. Which is the CEO? You know rationally they could well both be or neither, but if you had to place a bet …?

As human beings we use visual signals to make snap decisions. We are bombarded with information so we use crude filters to chunk the masses of information into managable bites. Biases, prejudices, correlations, stereotypes and approximations proxy for investigation and research. The taller candidate with the good hair becomes president.

Packaging combines design with convenience. We choose the choice with the better packaging instinctively.

What happened to “Content is King”?

Well consider this; what is a King? A King is just a man. Without the crown and an army he is no different to any other. Swords and gold make kings, not genes. Packaging and promotion.

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Comments

  1. I would take it one step further, when we buy something, we are not buying the thing but the “idea” of the thing. Which is why we get buyers remorse.

    It’s the same with peoples blogs, the acutal content may not be that interesting, but it’s the idea of the blog I am consuming. I see this a lot with “A list” bloggers who are resting on thier laurels. Whilst unknown bloggers who have not yet developed their brand, or “idea” produce killer content that does not get the attention it deserves.

  2. I would take it one step further, when we buy something, we are not buying the thing but the “idea” of the thing. Which is why we get buyers remorse.

    It’s the same with peoples blogs, the acutal content may not be that interesting, but it’s the idea of the blog I am consuming. I see this a lot with “A list” bloggers who are resting on thier laurels. Whilst unknown bloggers who have not yet developed their brand, or “idea” produce killer content that does not get the attention it deserves.

  3. I would take it one step further, when we buy something, we are not buying the thing but the “idea” of the thing. Which is why we get buyers remorse.

    It’s the same with peoples blogs, the acutal content may not be that interesting, but it’s the idea of the blog I am consuming. I see this a lot with “A list” bloggers who are resting on thier laurels. Whilst unknown bloggers who have not yet developed their brand, or “idea” produce killer content that does not get the attention it deserves.

  4. That’s an excellent point. People ask me “which blogs should I read?”, I tell them to read the ones you like, just because a blog is well-known, popular or a-list doesn’t mean you *should* read them. The A-list is another form of packaging.

  5. That’s an excellent point. People ask me “which blogs should I read?”, I tell them to read the ones you like, just because a blog is well-known, popular or a-list doesn’t mean you *should* read them. The A-list is another form of packaging.

  6. That’s an excellent point. People ask me “which blogs should I read?”, I tell them to read the ones you like, just because a blog is well-known, popular or a-list doesn’t mean you *should* read them. The A-list is another form of packaging.

  7. Content is still king – a badly packaged product that over-delivers gives more long-term satisfaction than a well packaged one that deliver *the exact same* benefits.

    However, the better packaged product will move more units off a supermarket shelf. Or, a nicer-looking website will shift more widgets or pageviews. Here’s an example of how design can immediately affect the bottom line:

    http://www.informationweek.com/773/design.htm

    And yes, being famous is just packaging.

  8. Content is still king – a badly packaged product that over-delivers gives more long-term satisfaction than a well packaged one that deliver *the exact same* benefits.

    However, the better packaged product will move more units off a supermarket shelf. Or, a nicer-looking website will shift more widgets or pageviews. Here’s an example of how design can immediately affect the bottom line:

    http://www.informationweek.com/773/design.htm

    And yes, being famous is just packaging.

  9. Content is still king – a badly packaged product that over-delivers gives more long-term satisfaction than a well packaged one that deliver *the exact same* benefits.

    However, the better packaged product will move more units off a supermarket shelf. Or, a nicer-looking website will shift more widgets or pageviews. Here’s an example of how design can immediately affect the bottom line:

    http://www.informationweek.com/773/design.htm

    And yes, being famous is just packaging.

  10. But who is going to know about the over-delivering badly packaged product? Or put another way, sometimes it’s not what you say but how you say it.

  11. But who is going to know about the over-delivering badly packaged product? Or put another way, sometimes it’s not what you say but how you say it.

  12. Jen / domestika says:

    If a writer submits a manuscript that’s hand-scrawled in purple crayon on odd scraps of coffee-stained paper, instead of printed out clearly and cleanly in standard easy-to-read MSS format, a publisher will fire it right back out the door. And rightly so. D*mn straight, the packaging counts! And it’s partly about having the proper respect for your own product/writing/blog.

  13. If a writer submits a manuscript that’s hand-scrawled in purple crayon on odd scraps of coffee-stained paper, instead of printed out clearly and cleanly in standard easy-to-read MSS format, a publisher will fire it right back out the door. And rightly so. D*mn straight, the packaging counts! And it’s partly about having the proper respect for your own product/writing/blog.

  14. Chris – great thought once again. I’m going to stop saying that because it takes up the readers time to tell them something they already know. OK? Just remember I think highly of you, coffee drinking and all.

    Now, about today’s topic. It is very hard to get noticed quickly. Everyone has probably read the Washington Post story of Joshua Bell and his fiddling in the DC subway.( Pearls Before Breakfast One of my favorite quotes from some CEO I heard was “You can’t polish a tennis shoe.” In other words, the package limits the height which the viewer will allow you to reach.

    A quality, consistent, and concise message will eventually reach the right audience. It just may take 20 years. If you know the story behind the marketing of the Kiwi fruit you’ll know what I mean. If you don’t…well there’s something to research. IF you need a map, let me know.

    Have a nice weekend.

  15. Chris – great thought once again. I’m going to stop saying that because it takes up the readers time to tell them something they already know. OK? Just remember I think highly of you, coffee drinking and all.

    Now, about today’s topic. It is very hard to get noticed quickly. Everyone has probably read the Washington Post story of Joshua Bell and his fiddling in the DC subway.( Pearls Before Breakfast One of my favorite quotes from some CEO I heard was “You can’t polish a tennis shoe.” In other words, the package limits the height which the viewer will allow you to reach.

    A quality, consistent, and concise message will eventually reach the right audience. It just may take 20 years. If you know the story behind the marketing of the Kiwi fruit you’ll know what I mean. If you don’t…well there’s something to research. IF you need a map, let me know.

    Have a nice weekend.

  16. Chris – great thought once again. I’m going to stop saying that because it takes up the readers time to tell them something they already know. OK? Just remember I think highly of you, coffee drinking and all.

    Now, about today’s topic. It is very hard to get noticed quickly. Everyone has probably read the Washington Post story of Joshua Bell and his fiddling in the DC subway.( Pearls Before Breakfast One of my favorite quotes from some CEO I heard was “You can’t polish a tennis shoe.” In other words, the package limits the height which the viewer will allow you to reach.

    A quality, consistent, and concise message will eventually reach the right audience. It just may take 20 years. If you know the story behind the marketing of the Kiwi fruit you’ll know what I mean. If you don’t…well there’s something to research. IF you need a map, let me know.

    Have a nice weekend.

  17. Joshua Bell, kiwi fruit – proves my point, concert hall, subway, names and context – all packaging :)

  18. Joshua Bell, kiwi fruit – proves my point, concert hall, subway, names and context – all packaging :)

  19. Joshua Bell, kiwi fruit – proves my point, concert hall, subway, names and context – all packaging :)

  20. When I updated my blog theme to look more professional someone mentioned that they were about to unsubscribe from my feed, because they hated the old theme (too unprofessional looking). They were glad I updated my theme and so was I.

    I think changing the look of my blog has impacted my traffic. I could do more with it, like post images in every blog post. Most of the A-listers seem to do that…

    Also, without promotion, it’s very hard to get found.

    Content is not the only important thing, but in my opinion it is THE MOST important thing.

  21. When I updated my blog theme to look more professional someone mentioned that they were about to unsubscribe from my feed, because they hated the old theme (too unprofessional looking). They were glad I updated my theme and so was I.

    I think changing the look of my blog has impacted my traffic. I could do more with it, like post images in every blog post. Most of the A-listers seem to do that…

    Also, without promotion, it’s very hard to get found.

    Content is not the only important thing, but in my opinion it is THE MOST important thing.

  22. When I updated my blog theme to look more professional someone mentioned that they were about to unsubscribe from my feed, because they hated the old theme (too unprofessional looking). They were glad I updated my theme and so was I.

    I think changing the look of my blog has impacted my traffic. I could do more with it, like post images in every blog post. Most of the A-listers seem to do that…

    Also, without promotion, it’s very hard to get found.

    Content is not the only important thing, but in my opinion it is THE MOST important thing.

  23. Visibility is the first criteria that you can sell. That’s why all the packaging and promotions required. Just writing a good content is not sufficient. Thousands of bloggers have written about blogs, the same thing all over , but who promote their blogs, only their articles are read.

    RajeshShakya.com

  24. Visibility is the first criteria that you can sell. That’s why all the packaging and promotions required. Just writing a good content is not sufficient. Thousands of bloggers have written about blogs, the same thing all over , but who promote their blogs, only their articles are read.

    RajeshShakya.com

  25. Visibility is the first criteria that you can sell. That’s why all the packaging and promotions required. Just writing a good content is not sufficient. Thousands of bloggers have written about blogs, the same thing all over , but who promote their blogs, only their articles are read.

    RajeshShakya.com

  26. We advocate the same philosophy. Well, I guess any business in the corporate identity sector would advocate the same.

    However, I believe that have a great image or packaging would help not only in creating the right impression but also motivate the company in putting more into their service or product.

    You know what they say about being dressed for the occassion. If you start off with a great packaging then you are automatically motivated to make sure the content/substance is upto the same standard. Well may be not all the time but more often than not.

  27. We advocate the same philosophy. Well, I guess any business in the corporate identity sector would advocate the same.

    However, I believe that have a great image or packaging would help not only in creating the right impression but also motivate the company in putting more into their service or product.

    You know what they say about being dressed for the occassion. If you start off with a great packaging then you are automatically motivated to make sure the content/substance is upto the same standard. Well may be not all the time but more often than not.

  28. We advocate the same philosophy. Well, I guess any business in the corporate identity sector would advocate the same.

    However, I believe that have a great image or packaging would help not only in creating the right impression but also motivate the company in putting more into their service or product.

    You know what they say about being dressed for the occassion. If you start off with a great packaging then you are automatically motivated to make sure the content/substance is upto the same standard. Well may be not all the time but more often than not.

  29. Chris,

    You’re absolutely right. Packaging sells product. And promotion sells the packaging …

    It brings in the first time buyers. But to bring back repeat customers, the cereal has to taste great. That’s the content. Food manufacturers live and die by both packaging and content.

    So should bloggers.

  30. Chris,

    You’re absolutely right. Packaging sells product. And promotion sells the packaging …

    It brings in the first time buyers. But to bring back repeat customers, the cereal has to taste great. That’s the content. Food manufacturers live and die by both packaging and content.

    So should bloggers.

  31. Chris,

    You’re absolutely right. Packaging sells product. And promotion sells the packaging …

    It brings in the first time buyers. But to bring back repeat customers, the cereal has to taste great. That’s the content. Food manufacturers live and die by both packaging and content.

    So should bloggers.

  32. Yeah I agree, once you have torn open the packaging the contents have to match up to expectations :)

  33. Yeah I agree, once you have torn open the packaging the contents have to match up to expectations :)

  34. Yeah I agree, once you have torn open the packaging the contents have to match up to expectations :)