Many of today’s consumers believe that the contents of a package are far more significant than the package itself. While the product—and all the time, money, and hard work put into creating it—certainly matters, no one can deny the utter importance of its external packaging. Whether that be a simple box or a more complex folding style, the design of a package proves to be just as essential as the product itself.
Retail packaging and labeling design play a pivotal role in the creation of company identity, the employment of marketing strategies, and the competitive differentiation between brands. As designer Erik Adigard once noted, “Design is in everything we make, but it’s also between those things. It’s a mix of craft, science, storytelling, propaganda, and philosophy.”
When you read between the lines, keeping these factors in mind is essential for product packaging. An effective final product packaging design not only stays true to brand values but also speaks to consumers’ minds and hearts. If you are curious about best practices, discover some of the top tips and tricks right here in the ultimate guide to effective product packaging.
Why Good Packaging Matters: The Consumer Mind
What makes packaging valuable? And why does that matter? How your product looks and feels holds great power in the modern marketplace. Consumers these days face endless marketing stimuli from a wide variety of companies. Packaging is the main player in product prominence and promotion, shaping the first impressions that potential customers have of the brand.
The majority of product first impressions relate to design. For this reason, the best packaging has the potential to tap into the minds of consumers and drive the decision-making process forward. Consumers cannot ignore or avoid the advertising power of packaging from the moment its seen or touched.
Iconic Designs Build Recognition
Product packaging is a branding opportunity—and most importantly, one that can become as subconsciously iconic as the products themselves over time. To illustrate, consider the well-known designs of Campbell’s soup cans, Tiffany’s blue jewelry boxes, Pringles’ stackable chip cans, or bear-shaped honey bottles. Each product on the market has a story and history behind its inspirational design, and its distinctive packaging is no exception.
Effective Packaging: Defining Your Brand
Similarly, your company’s package design can define your brand with elements that create positive reactions and influence buying behavior. Effective packaging can also lead with transparency to highlight the value of products first and foremost. The possibilities are endless with innovation, technology, and creativity.
The logos, colors, and fonts used in design can all help draw attention to a product, emphasize a certain mood, or symbolize specific meanings or brand values. An e-commerce concept distinctly drives genuine sentiment and emphasizes the consumer experience.
Designing Product Packaging: Aspects To Consider
Next up in this ultimate guide to effective product packaging is an overview of the main features of compelling, practical, eye-catching design. Packaging framework has numerous functions, including product protection, identification, and printed information labeling.
The Basic Requirements
When designing printed packaging, business owners or product managers should consider three central ideas: what is the product, who will buy the product, and how many of the target audience may purchase the product.
The design of effective product packaging should closely consider the product and its functional uses, the consumer profile in the specific market or industry, and the online or offline point of purchase. Specific brand requirements should also be adhered to alongside these basic guidelines.
A Smart Budget
Strategic custom product packaging holds influence over buying behavior, regardless of the exact costs used to create it. Don’t overthink the budget; budgets differ depending on business size, market maturity, and product freshness. A budget considers the price of the original design, labor, and materials.
Remember to optimize the budget for efficiency and consider sustainability responsibilities. The overall budget will include packaging, production, and distribution costs. Investing in the right co-packer, quality standards, and smooth processes pays off long-term.
Ideal Size and Quality Materials
An effective product package fits in the Goldilocks zone: the size is not too large or too small, and the quality is not cheap or too expensive. Instead, the structural design is just right to serve the purpose of the product and meet the needs of the customer. The nature of the product will determine the number of layers needed and the integrity of the protective materials. The use of premier materials can enhance the presentation, making the product stand out from the crowd.
Clever, Visible Content
Content is a package design feature that influences shoppers in brick-and-mortar stores and over the web. Virtual browsers may not be able to physically feel the product, but they can see the shape, color palettes, and labels. A product package is a blank canvas, and filling the space with descriptive copy and creative imagery helps successfully catch the perusing eye. Make the most of the total space with well-placed logos, wordmarks, and taglines.
Protecting the Customer Experience
The most pivotal part of a business-to-customer relationship is ensuring a product arrives in a customer’s hands safely—and remains intact upon opening or unboxing. From a technical standpoint, effective packaging always protects the internal value of a product. Nothing will steer away a potential loyal customer like damaged, broken, or unusable goods. Out of all the points to consider in this guide, be mindful of the fact that not all packaging is created equal. Good packaging protects products and the customer experience as a whole.
Discover Product Packaging That Checks Every Box
Consumers will inevitably turn to or use a brand again after having a positive customer experience. The same goes for the opposite—many will not rely on the same company after a negative experience. Therefore, partnering with a knowledgeable packaging supplier can help you find product packaging that fits every need on your list. Suppliers with structural engineering experts, graphic design teams, and advanced technological skills can ensure a consistently positive experience that boosts your bottom line.
If you can dream it, Golden West Packaging Group can make it. Golden West is a proud custom printed packaging partner of valuable brands around the world. Learn more about our endless design solutions for your unique brand—we’ll help create an exclusive on-brand, one-of-a-kind, and innovatively creative solution. Complete our online request form for a quote and consultation.