Advantage Amazon

Traditional brick and mortar retailers have a packaging problem and Amazon has the solution. Before you read any more check out this YouTube video and you’ll get it.

In the last several years many of us have worked on some fascinating design development assignments for our clients that address two hot issues; packaging material reduction and ease of product access.

We recently worked on a great one for a game company that has the possibility of really revolutionizing how game packaging is manufactured, shipped, displayed, as well as how it is used and stored at home. It would be a big win for everyone, including the consumer. But its adoption will require tough decisions and major changes in the manufacturing and retailing conventions of the game marketers, manufacturers and retailers. It could happen, it should happen . . . we’ll see.

But Amazon has taken hold of these issues and is using them as a clear competitive advantage over traditional retailers. Now to be fair, they start with none of the display and security issues of traditional retailers, nonetheless they seem to be taking the lead with what they call “frustration-free packaging”.

It has been a personal initiative of Jeffrey Bezos since announced in November 2008. And consumers appear to be responding. Compared to the traditional versions of the products, frustration-free products have earned on average a 73 percent reduction in negative feedback on the Amazon site.

Procter & Gamble, with brands like Duracell, Bounty and Tide have introduced frustration-free package alternatives that consumers have responded well to.

Amazon is doing a great job of featuring these frustration-free products in a special section of their site. And for more info on the subject, read this piece in the NY times last week.


About Richard Shear

designer, husband, teacher, blogger, father, athlete, author, historian Richard has over 25 years of brand identity and package design experience, with a wide range of clients such as Ahold, Coca-Cola, Hasbro, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Pernod Ricard and Procter & Gamble. He began his career working with the legendary advertising art director, and AIGA Medalist, George Lois and the British design manager Clive Chajet. In his next design management position at Lippincott & Margulies, he worked with Walter Margulies learning the complex skills of global corporate identity. He then became Creative Director and Partner at Peterson & Blyth, one of the premier brand identity and package design firms of the time. He is a founding faculty member of the Masters in Branding Program at New York’s School of Visual Arts. He publishes the blog The Package Unseen, and has been a guest lecturer at colleges including FIT, Trinity College and Tyler School of Art. He is a graduate of the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Richard is a Board member of the AIGA MetroNorth Chapter, past President of AIGA‘s Brand Design Association, President of the Package Design Council and a member of its Board of Directors. He is a member of USA Cycling and US Rowing, a nationally ranked masters bicycle racer, and a member of The Saugatuck Rowing Club, the 2010 Masters Club National Champion.
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