Packaging design is a crucial element in selling your products. The visual design is frequently a shopper’s first encounter with your brand, your first chance to win them over. And even before it gets to the consumer, durable packaging keeps the product intact and in good enough condition to sell when it arrives at its destination.
Here are three things to keep in mind when approaching packaging for your next product.
1. Build quality
Before you get to the fun stuff about designs and color schemes and so on, there’s an even more fundamental function of packaging that you have to bear in mind: protecting the product.
Your materials should be durable and able to protect your products from moisture, dust, temperature variation and impact. The relative importance of these different kinds of protection depends on the nature of your products. Socks, for example, need limited impact protection compared to glassware, which in turn needs less protection from from water and moisture than electronics.
Consider using environmentally friendly materials, not only in response to growing consumer demand for sustainable products, but also to protect your own living environment and, in some cases, reduce costs in the longer term.
2. Shelf visibility
It’s easy for new products to get lost among the competition, particularly if they have only a small share of retail shelf space. Shoppers simply never notice the product, let alone consider buying it.
According to Packaging Strategies, the key is contrast.
“Visual contrast (relative to other brands on shelf) can come from several sources, which typically include color blocking, the use of unique packaging structure-and/or a very bold visual icon.
“As a rule of thumb, color is the strongest tool-and the smaller the brand, the more important it is to “own a color” on shelf. While there is no “magic color” for creating contrast, we can say that the best solutions often involve “breaking the rules” of the category.
“Wrigley’s 5 gum is an excellent example, as it broke from category norms of colorful packaging that suggest flavor to “own” the color black within the gum display.”
If the packaging is for a new version or variant of an existing product, aim for at least 50 percent visual continuity from the established version to leverage your brand equity, while changing one primary design element such as color or shape, to clearly show the new product’s difference from what has come before.
3. Product delivery
It’s not enough to create an attractive promise with your packaging design. Your packaging must create realistic expectations about the product inside. “The reality is that when shoppers buy a new product, they are bringing with them a set of expectations created largely by the packaging,” says Packaging Strategies. “Their satisfaction (or lack thereof)-and their likelihood of re-purchase-is a direct function of any “gap” between these expectations and the product delivery. Thus, as the old adage goes, the best way to kill a bad product is through a good package.”
You also need to do that efficiently. “Hurried shoppers gravitate toward packaging that presents the most pertinent information in the most prominent and organized fashion,” says industry magazine Packaging World. “Limiting and prioritizing copy and design elements on your package are 101-level fundamentals, yet it’s so tempting to throw in one more claim or symbol, or introduce yet another font style—but this is an urge that can bring overwhelming disorder to the eye.”
Clarify your value proposition and do it fast, before their eyes wander to the next brand over.
Looking for practical, in-depth insights on product packaging? Tune in to the upcoming Buyer Fireside Chat.
Global Sources LIVE Sourcing Talk
How to Optimize Product Packaging to Delight Customers & Save Costs
In this month’s Buyer Fireside Chat, discover the power of packaging, its crucial role in impressing customers, and how does it impact your business. Join us LIVE as we talk about how to optimize product packaging with two experts on the subject – Product Development Academy Founder Steven Selikoff and HONU Worldwide co-founder Afolabi Oyerokun.
Host: Meghla Bhardwaj