A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Intelligent Packaging

As a small business owner, you spend the majority of your time working on your products or services and business model. But as your company matures, you realize that your goods don’t always appeal to the audience you’d like to target. Or worse, you realize that your audience doesn’t find your goods as useful or accessible as you’d like.

You may seem surprised to learn that your marketing, specifically your packaging, can put your company back on track.

The shape, practicality, and content of your packaging can prove nearly as important as what you put inside it. In this blog, we discuss some of the ways you can make your boxes, envelopes, and bags work for you through intelligent packaging.

What Is Intelligent Packaging?

Intelligent packaging, also known as active packaging and smart packing, consists of using retail containers to improve a product or customers’ experience with the product. Most intelligent packaging affects industries where products are particularly fragile, perishable, or otherwise sensitive.

What Features Does Intelligent Packaging Offer?

Designers make advancements in regards to what packaging can do on a regular basis. Today’s intelligent packaging can lengthen a product’s shelf life and improve customer education.

Common packaging features include the following.

1. Chemical Indicators

Advanced intelligent packaging often contains indicators intended to monitor the presence of specific chemicals in the product. For example, in the food industry, a chemical indicator may report the chemistry of the food contained in a package. Commonly, these food industry packages let you know when your milk or meat products have expired.

These indicators provide much more reliable guidelines than expiration date estimates because they report the chemical changes found in spoiled food. Use of these indicators can save businesses money in inventory and reduce food waste overall.

2. Identification and Tracking

Your products don’t have to be perishable to be sensitive. Tracking tags and other security measures also fall under intelligent packaging. Common packaging security measures include:

  • Article surveillance. You probably have cameras on your property, but did you know that you can surveil specific high-risk items? Electronic article surveillance devices adhere either to the product or the package to decrease the risk of theft.
  • Counterfeit indicators. Many products, such as designer accessories, are subject to counterfeiting. One of the most effective ways to detect counterfeit articles is through security
    printing. This process produces specific labels that are difficult to duplicate or replace.
  • RFID tags. Radio-frequency identification chips provide you with tracking information for products of all shapes and sizes.

These important security measures reduce loss by theft, employee misconduct, and warehousing issues.

3. Time and Temperature Indicators

Many products have specific condition requirements. Intelligent packaging reduces the risk of mistakes that compromise your inventory. For example, time and temperature indicators in the pharmaceutical industry report how long an item has been out of refrigeration, as well as the actual temperature. This data helps employees keep life-saving medication and other important items in good condition.

Additionally, much of the extensive customer information found on well-designed packaging falls under intelligent packaging. This information may include special disposal instructions, safety warnings, or dispensing guidelines.

Think your packaging could use an upgrade? Work with a marketing and printing expert to pinpoint any issues with your current packaging. Then, these professionals can help you take specific, calculated steps to make your products more convenient, eye-catching, and functional.

As a small business owner, you need all the advantages you can get. Use your packaging to optimize the way your customers interact with your company and products.

To learn more about improving your business through marketing strategies, printing technologies, and print advertising, browse our blog section.