Packaging can be simple cardstock tags printed or stamped in black ink (e.g., on machinery, tools, clothing, etc.), or unique, one-of-a-kind containers that are more valuable than their product contents (e.g., imported, hand-blown crystal oil and vinegar cruets).
For service businesses, "packaging" represents the way the firm communicates its sources of uniqueness to buyers and end users. Packaging for service companies can be a collection of logo identifications on clothing, uniforms, tools, stationery, forms, hang tags, and other paraphernalia.
Packaging can also be the unique style in which a company provides its services. For example, certain elite hotels are distinguished by their concierge services as much as by their guest rooms and physical amenities.
Consulting companies strive to differentiate themselves with their packages of services by bundling areas of expertise together (e.g., tax return preparation and estate planning services).
Transportation companies (e.g., car rental, bus, train, and airline firms) as well as phone and telecommunications companies offer a combination of both products and services. These industries package their products and services together in promotion and advertising. For example, "You get more than a ticket when you fly BIONIC AIR. You're flying the fastest, healthiest, most luxurious cabin in the sky!" Ads may show flight attendants in designer uniforms serving gourmet foods to delighted passengers who are breathing the "freshest air above the planet."
For example, long-distance telephone service providers (e.g., AT&T, SPRINT, MCI) offer a dizzying array of different feature and benefit packages to help differentiate one company from another. Consider also the "bundling" effect of selling season tickets to professional sports events.
Package design essentials apply to both service and physical product companies and must do all of the following: