Thoughts on packaging

Just reading in another topic how much people appreciated the packaging of a product. In a way this surprises me.

If I look at something like the Naim Highline, it comes in (from memory) a foam former within a metal box in a cardboard box. I believe the powerlines are packaged in a similar way.

I can see why it’s important to protect things during shipping but… surely this is all over-kill and is just to add a sense of ‘premium’ to the product- loading cost onto the product that gets picked up by the customer.

I remember extended discussions about this when I was working about premium packaging for mobile phones- my view was (and remains) that packaging should be functional, it gets used rarely and doesn’t add to the utility of the product, just the initial experience of ‘unboxing’.

Wouldn’t we all be better off (financially and ecologically) if companies used the minimum packaging needed to be effective?


You’re not human are you?

There’s targetting, the chase, the kill, the first mouthful of flesh as the warm blood fills your mouth - a belch and, sometime later, perhaps a fart.

It’s the sublimated aesthetics of the hunt.


I agree, almost. Presumably you saw my note about the Witch Hat cables showing up…

You’re right; when they were handed over they’re in a well made cardboard box with the speaker cables separated as loose coils wrapped in dark tissue paper. It looks nice and realistically is the least you’d expect.

The Morganas are also in a cardboard box, but within that are in a glossy wood (effect? I haven’t looked since) box much like a jewellery presentation case. Overkill? Probably. Does it add to the cost? Definitely, but not by as much as we might believe. So in the end it’s a lovely set of cables that look the part and at first encounter certainly sound great, presented as the premium product that it is. When the time comes to sell them on the packaging will be useful to retain some value.

It does seem a little bit OTT, but if they’d arrived in a used Co-op bag it might have made me wonder. The engagement ring I bought years ago came in a nice box too.

You are of course entirely right. From memory, the last PowerLine I bought didn’t have the metal tin, but still had specially made foam inserts. The tin is of course recyclable, whereas the foam isn’t and that’s really where the effort should be being made.

I’ve been very impressed with this simplified cardboard packaging that now seems to the fashion.

In the “old days” Rega used to lead the field in unimpressive packaging.

Customers loved it - not.

We would explain.

Elaborate packaging could give you confidence when selling it on. That other purchaser will be just as delighted to open it.
Although elaborate packaging on an item that isn’t expected to last for long or beyond first user is unacceptable.

This thread reminds me of the famous quote from the late Steve Jobs;
“Packaging can be theater, it can create a story”

Still, waddit he know?

Spot on there, as much of Apple’s packaging is so slick, that the opening process, and resultant reveal can be quite smile inducing.

Cardboard packaging is a pain for me at the moment. During lockdown, naturally a lot of our shopping is done online and the house feels like it is full of boxes! The council dont supply a big enough recycling bin for card and the local tip is closed for lockdown.

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Interesting you should raise Apple. What did Jobs know? A fair amount and when we looked at the iPhone packaging (at the company I worked at) there were two things that jumped out:

i) It was simple and probably relatively inexpensive (at the time there some other handsets were in heavy cardboard, hinged boxes with satin type material presenting the handset.

ii) It was executed extremely well with tight tolerances in manufacture, giving a really good ‘unboxing experience’ without a need for significant expenses

I’ve not looked at an iPhone recently, but I bought a macbook a few months back, it’s still the same basic packaging design, well executed in sturdy cardboard.

Then there’s box candy. Those little extra things supplied within.
Ordered online a case of beers and it literally had two mint chocolates in a little net bag included.

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Oh, that sounds pretty essential to me… No complaints!

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