Product packaging is the first interaction a potential customer has with your brand. Even if your product is the best solution they have ever seen, badly designed packaging will turn them away. The package your product comes in and the way you wrap your products for shipping are both opportunities for you to grab attention and make an emotional connection. Don’t let that sale go to someone else!
When should you start thinking about product packaging?
You should think about your product packaging as soon as you start brainstorming your brand strategy. An extra-large letter at the start of your business name will work for your website, but will it fit on your product? Will that awesome shade of purple translate well?
Here are 6 key steps you must consider when packaging your product:
1. Reflect Your Brand
Your brand strategy needs to be consistent across all areas of your business. I know that there are pretty pink shipping labels on Pinterest, but if the packaging doesn’t match your brand, your customers won’t be able to visually recognize it and associate it with your work. You want your customers to walk into a store or visit a website and immediately recognize your product.
What if Coca-Cola stopped using their signature red and went with a bright orange instead? Then canary yellow? Would you recognize the soda can to be Coca-Cola right away?
2. Use Typography They Can Read
This seems like a no-brainer right? If they can’t easily read your label, they won’t take the time to try and read it. That means you just lost a sale. You are designing your product with your ideal customer in mind. If you are marketing to sweet suburban moms, than the edgy graffiti font that you love is not going to work. If you are marketing to men, then a cute handwritten font in baby blue won’t sell them either.
3. Be Creative
Differentiate yourself from that of your competition. When at a store, you want a customer’s eyes to scan the shelf and stop at your product. People are visual creatures. If every bottle of water had a similar label, what’s going to make the customer choose yours? Use creative colors and graphics, but remember to stay within your brand for recognition. You can always do something special with the package after the customer uses the product. For example, use a card that has seeds embedded in the paper that your customer can plant next spring. You now gave yourself three opportunities for customers to see your product: 1) purchasing the card 2) giving the card to someone else 3) planting the card in the soil. Genius!
4. Use Proper Grammar and Spelling
The only exception is your business or product name. Use proper grammar and spelling for the rest of your product information or labeling. When a customer is drawn to your product and picks it up to read the label, they want the facts. Who are you? What is your product? How does it solve my problem?
5. Make the Packaging Convenient
The size and shape of your product is just as important as the color and graphics. If your target market is organic, environmentally conscious wine connoisseur, would your ideal customers prefer a wine bottle with a recycled label, or a wine bottle housed in a log? They want to see your product reflect their beliefs. A double package for a wine bottle may not go over well with that market. When thinking of the packaging, also think about how it will hold up during transit. Will it get crushed when shipped to the store? Is it fragile?
6. Keep it Simple
This is the best tip of all. Keep your product packaging simple. Simple works. Complicated packaging can deter a potential customer. Have you ever seen a product that has so many different styles of typography, six different neon colors, and you can’t really tell what they are selling you? I have too. Guess what? I didn’t buy it.
Start thinking of your product packaging when designing your product and how it will be presented to the world. Great design creates an emotional connection with your customers. Packaging influence is subconscious. You only have a few seconds to capture your audience.
Remember, if it makes them happy and solves a problem, they will buy it, keep it, and recommend it. If there is no emotional connection, then they will glance over it, forget it, and your product won’t sell.