Packaging is a vastly overlooked area of marketing that I wish more companies would focus on. At a minimum, the package should get the product from the manufacturer to the consumer in good condition, and if the product can then be stored and used in its original container, even better.
An example of a good packaging idea that was executed poorly is the Kraft Cracker Cuts package. The product is a block of cheese slices packed in strips of three slices in a zip-top see-through package, with paper in between to prevent sticking. This would be a great concept if convenience were the only factor, because the package is space-saving. If the zip-top bag worked properly, it would be convenient to use and would preserve the cheese nicely, as well. However, about every other bag incurs a package failure where the zip top separates from the bag, and the bag can no longer be closed. Since the bag is a space-saving design, there is no extra bag material that can be cinched up to shut out the air; the only solution is to remove the product and put it in a Zip-loc bag of your own.
A product that is nicely packaged is Blue Diamond whole natural almonds. These are vacuum-packed in a compact pull-top can with a reusable plastic lid on top. The packaging keeps the nuts perfectly fresh until opened, the pull-top design makes the package easy to open, and the reusable lid makes the package useful for storing the product in until it is gone. The compact can design is easy to toss into a backpack or keep on a desk, and the empty can is even useful for keeping loose pins or screws in.
Most packages are not very well made or useful for the consumer, in my opinion. The tin can, for example requires the consumer to buy a special gadget just to open it. The cardboard box requires denuding of our forests to manufacture, is easily damaged, and does virtually nothing to keep food fresh—not to mention that it is difficult to tell how much product ...