September 11, 2014

5 Irritating Package Designs Solutions

5 Irritating Package Designs Solutions

Any packaging design company worth its salt knows that frustration free packaging should be a top priority. Seriously, if your job is creating a package in which to safely deliver a product from factory to consumer home, and you can’t do it without creating more frustration, you need to go the way of the dodo. Think “wrap rage” isn’t real? Guess again. If, however, your packaging design company aims to create beautiful, functional, frustration free packaging that won’t give consumers an aneurysm or prescription for anger management, join us on a quick tour through some of the worst examples of irritating packaging. These six offenders make us want to pull our hair out and might even drive some consumers to the ultimate betrayal: giving up your brand for one with packaging that’s less freaking frustrating!

1. Clamshells

Need we say more? Has your blood pressure already risen through the roof? Are you, like Network’s Howard Beale, “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore?” Have you ever considered slicing your own wrists with the jagged edge of a clamshell package rather than opening the thing? What’s wrong with you people? Make something better! Retire the clamshell!

2. Oreo Cookies

Like diminutive Hollywood stylist to the stars Rachel Zoe, we #literallycanteven with this. Seriously, Oreo, the most beloved of cookies and frequent perpetrator of unsightly black crumbs between your teeth, cannot hire a packaging design company to come up with a better wrapper for its delightful little sandwiches than the flimsy container that isn’t reliably resalable? Who needs milk to dunk ’em in when they’re stale after three days in that non-airtight package that opens from the top? We just literally can’t even.

3. Cereal Bags

Yes, we said bags, not boxes. When you think of enjoying that bowl of Cheerios, you think more of the cardboard outer box than the cloudy plastic bag inside that – yes – doesn’t reseal. Come on, people! We know our processed foods are nice ‘n loaded with preservatives that are supposed to keep things fresh (while slowly pickling our livers), but sometimes all that added formaldehyde isn’t enough to keep things crisp. Have cereal makers really not come up with a cheap, frustration free packaging alternative to the non-sealing plastic bag that barely preserves the crispy contents? Check out our alternative packaging for Dee’s Cereal – it’s resealable!

4. Excessive Offenders

Some irritating packaging is also socially irresponsible. What about the crime against humanity that is excessive packaging? Ever order something from Amazon and discover you also received enough excess packaging to create cardboard rocket ships for all the kids on your block? Environmental responsibility fail. Packaging design companies should be more responsible with regard to the amount of unnecessary materials they use to seal products for shipping and shelving.

5. CDs

It’s all right, these will be gone soon. But really, could CD packaging be any more ridiculous? First you have to get off the tricky tape and vacuum seal. Then the double layer of protection that will cost you a manicure and precious minutes off the end of your life due to stress. Next there’s the incredibly flimsy and yet impenetrable jewel box. While we can’t the blame packaging design company (entirely) for the demise of the CD, it surely didn’t help their case for relevance. But here’s the takeaway: if annoying packaging is enough (or at least one of the contributing factors) to influence people giving up certain products, do you want to risk being in that group? It hasn’t stopped Oreo, but could your product’s packaging be turning off the very people you want to court? Next time you don’t take the relative degree of annoyance involved in opening your product’s packaging seriously, remember the cigarette example. Anger consumers at your peril, and bring on the frustration-free packaging!


by Kevin Smith
SmashBrand helps brands create, optimize, and launch successful products, services, and customer experiences. Our data-driven process is the key to accelerating sales and minimizing risks.

We use a strategic combination of market research, design, and consumer testing to solve complex brand problems more effectively, create differentiation, and forge more meaningful connections with customers.

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