Passion for Packaging Innovation

Interlocked package designs – Innovation or bust?

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Occasionally, we come across interlocking package designs. This particular design, which is for a medical drug promotion, interlocks two mirror image packages in jig-saw fashion, one for hand sanitizer, and the other for hand moisturizer. Bundling complementary products in interlocking package designs is not new. But is it innovation?

For us at, at its most basic form, there are three different kinds of products. These are;

  • better
  • cheaper
  • or just different

Better products naturally deliver better product performance, such as better usability, or some better attribute like package transparency. Cheaper products deliver same product performance at a lower cost point. In the packaging world, this may be down-gauged PET bottles, for example. Just different products deliver arguably same performance and value, but they are differentiated through branding. i.e., Coke vs. Pepsi, Evian vs. Aquafina.


For us, bundles like this are not better package products, because they typically do not improve on the most basic promise of a package product, which is the functionality of the package. Nor do they address a previously unaddressed consumer need. If anything, they are less usable packages. They are also not cheaper, even though it is hard to claim that they are more expensive. They may have a small disadvantage in distribution efficiency depending on the design.

Which brings us to just different, which typically requires a branding drive. This kind of package may actually have some rather minimal branding, or even co-branding advantages.

Just Different

So, innovation or bust? For us, this is a definite bust!

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