The Sixth “P” of Marketing

P is for Packaging 
Packaging is an essential part of a customer's experience with your products. The traditional "four Ps" of marketing are price, product, promotion, and placement. Sometimes "people" is added as the fifth P. I'd like to offer a sixth P: "packaging." From the way the products are packaged when shipped, to the packaging protecting the products themselves, packaging is very, very important.

That's one of the reasons I love buying products from Jill's Boutique on Etsy.com. Jill takes the time to wrap each of her headbands in beautiful tissue paper and a ribbon before shipping them (pictured on the right). When customers open the package, they are greeted with that beautiful paper and it sets the tone for the product. It shows that headband was created and packaged with care and makes it feel special right out of the box.

More than Meets the Eye 
Yet, the importance of packaging extends far beyond consumer-packaged goods. It applies to the experience a customer has in the waiting room at your doctor's office, the hold music your customers listen to while waiting to speak to their financial planner, and the cleanliness of the carpets on the floor of your restaurant. The entire customer experience — the "packaging" of your service — is very important to acquiring new customers and keeping existing ones happy.

Add This to Your To-Do List 
When was the last time you thought about the packaging of your product? If you ship items to your customers, what message are you sending with the way your boxes are packed? If your business has a retail location, think about the tone you set from the minute your customers enter the door. What tone does your reception area set? How are customers greeted? Maybe now is the time to do a thorough review of your packaging. You might be surprised by what you find. 

There's never a lack of ideas.

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