business consulting for aviationOur practice focuses on marketing, but often we provide business consulting for aviation, which includes packaging products and services.

In the aviation industry, we know that our customers are smarter than average.

Our products also tend to be more complex and technical, and have fewer natural competitors than the typical consumer product. Many aviation products and services are sold to businesses, rather than to individual consumers. Also, products are often sold online or at trade shows, rather than in a physical store.

Perhaps these are the reasons that people marketing and selling aviation products and services tend to overlook the basic marketing principles of merchandising and packaging products and services.

Of course, as marketing professionals, we cringe at this inattention because we know that packaging is such a vital part of the marketing process.

When doing business consulting for aviation, we’ve seen aviation products handed over the counter in a plastic baggie, or in no packaging at all.  We’ve heard of service clients that receive no physical object from their service provider, except for an invoice.  They don’t even get an instruction sheet or a pen!

The problem with this inattention to packaging is that people who buy aviation products and services are just that – people!

As anyone who has ever walked into a  high-end car dealership knows, there is a lot that goes into the buying decision besides sheer practicality of finding the best solution for the current problem. Even very smart, practical people don’t buy the cheapest car that will reliably get us to work, the cheapest shoes, or the cheapest sandwich on the menu for lunch.

We buy things for many reasons, but among them are these:

  • We encounter them in a place where we are spending time anyway.  (This is why we spend $6 for a glass of iced tea in the airport!)
  • An eyecatching display captures our attention.
  • The packaging is informative  and gives us visual clues about the quality of the product inside, and the attention to detail of the company that produced it. We may not even realize that we’re intellectually processing this information, but anyone who has ever unpacked a new product from Apple or Keurig (the coffee maker people) have experienced very sophisticated packaging design.
  • The package includes the information and accessories we are likely to need while using the product.  Some effort has been expended to anticipate our needs.

If you’re charging a premium price for your product or service, it is well worth the time and effort to ensure the packaging and merchandising is at the level expected by consumers in this price range.

business consulting for aviation sometimes includes packaging advice

Whether you sell a product or service, you can “package” it in a way that enhances the value. We send our Marketing Toolbox to consulting clients so that they have reference materials at their fingertips.

Even services can be packaged!

If you sell a service, you can (and should) create thoughtful physical package that includes information in several formats, perhaps a DVD or book on the topic on the subject of your expertise, a related accessory, and a small thank you gift for making the purchase.

This way a person who purchases your service leaves your office with something in his hands after making a purchase.  (Or receives it in the mail.)  The package provides useful information, prevents buyer’s remorse or second thoughts as questions come up, and starts the relationship off on the right foot.

In our consulting practice, we’ve learned what questions come up most often. We have put together our aviation marketing Toolbox over the last few years. It includes CDs and reference materials on the most popular topics in aviation marketing and sales.

As a personal touch, we’ve added a small notebook and pen for great marketing ideas, imprinted with our contact information to make it convenient for our clients to get in touch with us anytime.

Give some thought to the physical packaging and merchandising of your product or service. It can make a difference the way your product is perceived, and can improve sales, repeat sales and referrals!s.