Our 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.