I come across a lot of Garmin watches and have been a fan of the brand for quite some time. At any given point, a number of Garmin watches arrive at my metaphorical and physical desk for testing – it's a lot of work, but I wouldn't change it for the world. However, I'm getting bored of looking at the samey-samey boxes the watches come in; it's time for Garmin to switch things up a bit!
I'm not an expert in all Garmin products – I know next to nothing about sat navs – but ask me what's the best running watch, best triathlon watch and best outdoor watch from Garmin, and I'll be able to give you an answer. My brain is completely saturated with Garmin-related wearable info, from battery life to screen ratios and more.
One thing that never disappoints – or gets me excited, even – is the packaging design of even the best Garmin watches. The company is infamous for presenting its wearables in what I would describe as the planest-looking grey box in the universe. Don't get me wrong; you'll instantly recognise a Garmin product on the shelf, thanks to their uniform box design. I wish there were a bit more variety, though, to distinguish the different product categories.
Garmin watch box design – Seriously underwhelming
There have been quite a few new Garmin releases this year, meaning I had many grey boxes delivered to me. This made me think: how could Garmin make its boxes more appealing? Are there any good examples of good wearable packaging design on the market right now? Most importantly: would anyone care if Garmin actually put more effort into its packaging design?
Id' like to think that the answer to that last question is yes. Garmin is often criticised for creating products with similar features, making it harder for beginner Garmin users to know which is best for them. Should you get the Garmin Forerunner 55 or the Garmin Forerunner 255S? They look kind of similar and offer similar features; no wonder people who aren't intimately familiar with Garmin products get confused.
Would it not be better if the box told you what the watch is for? For example, the packaging of the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar could have some triathlon-related illustration on the cover. Even better would be to distinguish the base model from the solar edition by somehow incorporating a picture of the sun in the mix.
The lack of diversity in box design is most apparent in the case of the ultra-premium Garmin Fenix 7X and Garmin Epix Gen 2. These very expensive smartwatches come in the same plain boxes as the others; the difference is that you have to shell out three times as much money for a Fenix 7X than a Forerunner 255S. I'd imagine a more premium packaging would sell the idea of these being premium watches a bit more efficiently.
It would not only help people to know what to expect from the watch, but it would also help Garmin to drive the message home that, yes, the Fenix 7X is a premium watch. Even if you aren't into running/cycling/hiking, you get a superb wearable that's up there with the best dive watches in terms of build quality and features.
I'd like to think that Garmin has enough in-house designers to be able to tackle this issue, and I'd also like to think the company would benefit from putting a little more effort into its box design. In the age of social media, the flashier the products/cooler the packaging, the more people will interact with the products, meaning they would have even more interest in their product launches.
No matter how hardcore of an athlete you are, you'd appreciate it if the wearable you spent your life savings on would delight you from the minute you set your eyes on it. Customer experience starts with reassuring people that their purchase was well justified, and the first step of this aftercare is encasing the product in a box that radiates quality. Garmin, please make this happen!