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Can packaging help you sell in a new way?

March 27th, 2012 · 24 Comments · Business Owner/Leader Stuff, Psychology, Sales, Strategy

How we package our products and services often communicates more than we think.

Sometimes — a fresh look at packaging can introduce you to a new buyer, make you more attractive to prospects you’ve known for awhile or reinforce a buying decision for your current customers.

I was in Walgreens the other day and a end cap display caught my attention.  They were little boxes of pills but rather than being named/described as some generic brand — they were packaged according to why you might use them.

  • “Help, I have the sniffles.”
  • “Help, I have an achy body.”
  • “Help, I can’t sleep.”
  • “Help, I have a headache.”

I thought it was a brilliant strategy.  Rather than get into a brand war with the category leader, why not just re-define how the category is packaged and go right at the consumer’s need.  I’ll be curious to see how this new line sells.

We had a bit of the same problem at McLellan Marketing Group.  Everyone assumed that we could only work with large clients with really big annual budgets.  While we love those kinds of clients — we also love working with entrepreneurs and small businesses.

But how do we communicate that to the marketplace?   We repackaged ourselves.

We knew that this group of potential buyers had very unique concerns about working with an agency:

  • I won’t know how much it’s going to cost
  • I don’t have a big enough budget
  • I don’t know what I’d be buying

And we repackaged ourselves to eliminate those worries.  We literally created packages — with a pre-determined monthly fee.  Think of these packages as the garanimals of marketing.

The buyers can pick and choose from the menus and with our help, create a custom package that fits their business’ needs.

(You can download a PDF of the MMG packages for easier reading by clicking here)

But they have 100% control over the cost (because they decide which monthly fee they want to pay) and they can see all they get for their small budget and they know exactly what they’re going to get.

This packaging strategy has brought us a whole different category of clients — who are enjoying agency expertise at a price they can afford (and control!).

How could you re-package yourself or a particular product or service to either overcome buying hesitation, to introduce yourself to a whole new audience or to do an end run around the category leader?



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24 Comments so far ↓

  • Dennis @ Brochure Boxes

    I have actually bought those pills for the same reason. I thought the straight forward message and simplistic package was refreshing. What is wrong, there is an app for that, or a pill in this case.

  • Kyla

    Fresh look, good packaging easy to introduce your product. Thanks for letting me visit your site.

  • Scott Townsend

    Love this idea. Stealing it now, thank you. :)

  • Rosalie

    Hi Drew…Packaging is definitely a big help in a product and it can play a major role in marketing and even sales…

  • Packaging

    Every business owner know very well how to grow up our business and how to attract more customer product packaging is one of the best marketing idea for present and sell new product and attractive packaging can attract more customer. This is nice and informative post thanks for sharing.

  • Chicago Garage Builder

    I wish grocery stores had these on the aisles. Thirsty, Here’s the Drinks. Snacks, We have sweet and salty. Categorization is what makes the world go around. Like states, cities, subdivisions, etc, we like grouping and then sifting through ourselves.

  • Chicago Suburbs Events

    I am all about the packages here. If its too much for one, we have a bigger one. Everything is laid out in front of them and it protects everyone. No one can say, I didn’t know it would cost that much or you said you would do “this”. Everything is in black and white so no one gets shorted or burned.

  • Amy

    This would definitely catch my attention. Great blog!

  • ebroidery melbourne fl

    Target has done a very good job at packaging, even their prescription bottles are color coded depending on what color ring you choose, as for their over the counter medication it has good packaging! :)

  • Tracy K

    Funny, the same display caught my eye last week and if I hadn’t already been holding four items I’d picked up in addition to the one I came in for (what IS it about Walgreens?) I might have succumbed as well! Creative packaging here and I really like the approach you’ve taken with packaging your company’s services as well.

    Finding new ways to create opportunities is part of the challenge–and fun–of what we do every day. I hope it’s very successful.

    • Drew McLellan


      For me, Walgreens and Target are the killers. I never, ever leave with just what I went in for. Ugh. Maybe it’s not them, but me? Nahhh, couldn’t be.


  • Lacey

    Packaging is one of a great strategy to have to attain a new twist of improvement in a stuff…

  • Leslie42

    You have shared with us a great ideas, I do agree with you ideas that repackaged ourselves can eliminate worries…

  • Heidi19

    Packaging is a really a big help in selling your product . Because it attracts a lot of consumers.

  • Born25

    It’s a big YES! Packaging is one of the important parts of the product itself. It is the one who will attract the customers first. Some customers are more specific of the packaging of the product, especially on food.

    • Drew McLellan


      And yet….we often don’t stop and pay attention to this aspect of our marketing. We get caught in the rut of “everyone does it this way” and don’t stop to think about how we might break the mold.


  • Timmy Howard

    Very clever strategy. It would be nice if more products were packaged and promoted in this way.

  • WayneLifestyle

    Yes, packaging is the effective idea of sell in a new way.

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