As with the console cartons, the primary goal of the new packaging was to improve the user experience in opening the packages, while also being intuitive and familiar to consumers, says David Dunham, lead packaging program manager for accessories. Two important changes were switching to a paperboard carton and eliminating clamshell packs, which consumers found difficult to open. These changes resulted in lower plastic use while also reducing energy consumption by eliminating the need for blister sealing, although clear plastic cartons are used for special-edition products.
“The previous clamshell, while durable and cost-effective, stopped the seamless experience in its tracks for the time it took and the frustration involved in opening,” Dunham says.
As with the console packaging, Microsoft designed with an eye on supply chain optimization. The accessories packaging delivers economies of scale at retail and in shipping by systemizing both carton size and structure.
Each accessory product fits into one of five carton sizes and can be displayed either hung on a peg or standing upright. This option gives retailers merchandising flexibility. In addition, brand-blocking is achieved with the green header positioned at the same height on each carton.