The Power of Prototypes: How Rapid Prototypes Sell Products Faster

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Not sure whether rapid prototype packaging can sell your product? Picture this: You’re an investor in a board meeting, considering two new lines of potato chips to launch in your market. The first designer shows you some sketches and renderings, describes the taste profile, and estimates the expected time to market. The second designer does the same—then pulls out an actual bag of potato chips, professionally designed and shelf-ready, and places it in your hand. Which one do you think will make it to store shelves faster?

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It’s no secret that packaging sells products to consumers. However, most of those products would never make it to the shelves if they weren’t first sold to stakeholders with the aid of a rapid prototype.

Rapid prototypes help inventors, brand managers and marketers get their products to market faster by shortening the time between creating a concept and securing a spot on the shelf. They also help increase the quality of the finished packaging by making it possible to try different colors, formats and finishes, test product size and fit, and get feedback from focus groups and stakeholders early in the process. This feedback can be leveraged to make changes to the prototype packaging in order to sell more products. 

With rapid prototypes, potential options can be vetted much more quickly, thoroughly, and economically than using traditional printing methods. As a result, products get to market faster and sell better—for a reduced cost.

What is a rapid prototype?
A prototype is a preliminary model of a product or package that is developed in order to help inventors, manufacturers, product designers, graphic designers, and other business professionals “prove out” the concept before creating the final version. A rapid prototype package is simply a packaging prototype that is produced quickly and cost-effectively through the use of digital printing techniques.

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Who needs rapid prototypes?
Rapid prototypes can be used to sell products to a wide variety of stakeholders, whether you’re a graphic designer presenting packaging comps to a client, an inventor showing electronics prototypes to a major manufacturer, or a brand manager introducing a new product line to executives, investors, distributors or retailers. Packaging prototypes can even be used to sell products directly to your target customer, while they are still in beta testing. It’s just human nature to feel more trust for something you can see and touch—and rapid prototypes make it possible.

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Use rapid prototypes to test a package design before a large-scale press run.
Let’s say you already have the package design you want—and the client has signed off on it. You’re thrilled with the design, but a little nervous about investing in a full production run. Rapid prototypes are a great way to test designs and identify potential issues before printing a full-size run.

Perhaps the product window in your package appears too high after the product settles, and you can’t see inside. Or, text in a particular color is difficult to read against a certain background. You may be surprised at the issues that arise when you test your package design. However, it’s much less expensive to discover these problems in the prototyping phase, when issues can be quickly caught and corrected—so your final press run is perfect. 

What types of rapid prototypes are available?
Graphic designers and package designers rely on rapid prototypes to create professional packaging for food and beverage items, cosmetics, consumer goods and more. Bags, bottles, boxes, jars, flexible packaging and almost any package type can be created as a rapid prototype. 

I need a rapid prototype. How fast is “rapid”?
Virtual Packaging can create rapid prototypes in 2 to 4 days, or for rush projects, as little as 24 hours. Visit today, or call us at 817-328-3900 to get our prototype gurus going on your rapid prototype.