Product packaging: Overview
Whether it’s online or the supermarket, competitors are everywhere. Growing businesses have made it difficult for the customer. It’s hard to choose between the two – they’re much of a muchness. In such situations, how would you make your product jump off the shelf?
Evolution of product packaging
The packaging was once a matter of second-thought. The product distribution was all about delivering the product to the customer. But, technology opened a whole new world of packaging.
Packaging has now become the priority. Its importance is way beyond the covering and the product. Think of your favorite brand and try to recollect the number of times they changed their packaging. In the ever-changing setup, brands are breaking new grounds with the package designs.
Brands renew and reinvent themselves with the packaging. It aims at selling the product and builds brand image. An appealing packaging compels the consumer to buy the product. It also keeps the brand alive for good.
Shouldn’t you consider it too to stand out?
Of course, it should matter to you! The packaging is undeniable if you’re in the race. You have to prove yourself better from the rest. If you’ve been there and done that, you know what it means.
Image yourself strolling down the aisles in search of the right product. How easy or difficult is it to pick from dozens of different options? About 90 percent of customers decide to purchase based on the packaging. They form their impression about your product (whether it’s good or bad) solely by the packaging.
It’s time to consider good packaging designs.
Thirteen steps to make your product fly off the shelf:
1.Simplicity is key to unlock success: If you want customers, try humble packaging. Step into customers’ shoes for a minute. Have you ever bought a product to realize a much smaller product inside it?
Now, think of your customers. Nothing freaks them out then the over boxing. If the unboxing causes stress, they wouldn’t like your brand. Don’t forget first impressions stay forever.
You don’t have to overdo your packaging. The demerit of overdoing is that returns with a flap on your face. You’re left with nothing but exhaustion.
Instead of ‘over boxing’ and ‘overdoing’, practice minimalism. Think out of the box instead of squeezing all elements in the design. It’s easy for customers to understand when things are simple.
Minimalist package designs are ageless. It’s easy to say so much with a simple design. You can be straightforward. Customers can decide as elements are not cluttered.
2.Get pro with your design: When you’re in a game, play it fair. Don’t play hide and seek when your customers are searching for you.
Products shine off the shelf when they have excellent form and functionality. While the quality of the product is good, it’s not everything. Customers look for things that go beyond the product.
Professionalism sets you apart. Your choice of colors, typography, and other elements reflect your identity. Know the design principles and the customers at the back of the hand.
Like any other profession, the design has its rules. It keeps you aware that the fundamentals are strong. When you’re ready to fly the nest, you don’t have to follow the rules. In brief, rules ensure that you don’t have a regretting moment.
Here are seven rules (elements of design) that will make you a pro overnight:
- Line: Lines are at the forefront of the design elements. It comes in various shapes and sizes – broken or unbroken. In design, it’s the connection of points. You can use lines vertically, horizontally or diagonally.
Using lines, you can set boundaries in your design to make the elements stand out. The line also helps you break the monotony in your design. It can be smooth/rough, broken/unbroken, or thick/thin.
Lines also have hidden messages. For instance, vertical lines are uplifting. They convey strength and stability. On the other hand, horizontal lines spread a sense of tranquillity.
If you have a heavy graphic packaging design, create emphasis with the lines. The line leads the customers to the element of focus. Also, it can direct the eyes towards call-to-action.
- Texture: When the customer holds your product, how do they feel? The texture of the packaging forms perception. The texture of the packaging can attract or distract them from buying.
Textures are of two types: visual and tactile. The first one doesn’t give you a sense of feeling while with the second, you can’t feel the bumps and ridges.
When you see the product, it should include both the textures. Online stores go with the visuals where you can touch and see. On the other hand, you can touch and feel the product on the retail stores.
- Shapes: All the elements in your packaging are shapes in some way. A shape can be in the form of die-cut window packaging or storytelling.
Shapes are organic and geometric. Organic shapes freehand drawings, while geometric shapes are calculative. Both of these shapes can be made digitally.
- Color: Playing with colors for packaging design is hard to harness. It’s because colors carry emotional cues. Using the right color palette, you can pique the interest.
In packaging, contrasting colors highlight one area over the other. You can also use hue, saturation, monochrome, or lightness in your design. Different colors have different story. Learn the color psychology before putting them in your palette.
Color conveys your brand story. Through packaging, you define your values and traits. Each color can influence the customer’s purchasing decision. For instance, if the product cover is pink, it’s feminine.
While colors are universal, not all of them evoke the same emotions. The way one reacts to a specific color is subjective. Hence, it would be best if you scanned your customers’ color choices before deciding the package color.
- Negative space: Elements used in the packaging need space to stand out. The cluttered elements confuse the customers. Allowing spaces between creates breathing room for the elements.
Contrary to the name, this area is within a design free from the elements. You can use this space to group, emphasize, and improve readability.
- Movement: Movement applies to any element in your design. It adds a narrative or a personality to the elements. Movement in your elements strategically makes your customers move throughout the design.
3.Relevancy counts: To have an effective packaging design, you require regular updates. If you’re scared of change, you’ll become stagnant. Nobody likes to count obsolete products.
With competition soaring high, packaging should be one step forward. Customers are well-read, and you can’t trick them with an old-world design. You’ll get the least importance when there are dozens of options.
4.Scan your target customer: Customers play an important role in marketing. They are the kingpin of the market. Aim your product packaging to please the customer. To scan the customers, first, you have to define them.
Understand the customer persona to retain them. It helps you know your ideal prospects and how you can represent yourself better. When you know the tastes and preferences of the customers, you can boost your sales.
For example, in certain cultures, white represents purity. If your packaging is white, it reinforces the surrounding beliefs. It’s the quickest way to keep your product alive.
Another aspect of customer understanding is demographic and psychographic attributes. It gives you better insight into their choices. You can make better choices when you know their background.
Age and gender should also be considered while planning for product packaging. If your product’s age group is infant, your design will differ. The packaging will have soft shapes, pastel colors, or doodles to attract them.
The knowledge of these factors helps in placing the product on the map. Whether you have a store or an online shop, you’ll get faster conversion.
5.Rescale the packaging size: There is nothing like one-size-fit-all in packaging. You lose your shelf value by forcing a product into a box. The product is likely to break if the package is small. Based on the product size, design its package.
Size of the packaging matters because it saves money and shelf space. You should also consider the durability of the product while selecting the package.
6.Make the packaging relatable: If you deal with groceries, create a connection between the essence of the product and packaging. Reliability of packaging induces impulsive action.
Packaging should include product information. Invest in detailing to satisfy the customers. When customers search for the product, they want to know in-depth. You can’t build loyalty with superficial information.
7.Let the images do the talking: This may sound cliche, but it’s true – a picture is worth a thousand words. In the packaging, it stands so true. Customers take 20 seconds to scan the shelf. Do you think they will spend time reading your story?
The answer to this subject. If the customer is keen to know about, they will read about you. But, most often than not, all eyes are on the image. People like images that speak for itself.
Simply put, if the customer can see what’s inside, the chance of purchase is high.
8.Don’t forget the USP: When the product fails customers’ expectations, it puts the brand in a bad light. Tell your customers about your product benefits. Don’t lose your customers to false promises.
You may make one sale, but in the long-run, customers can turn their back at you. If you’re good at something, flaunt it. It helps because the customers in a hurry look at what pops out.
The Unique Selling Proposition sets differentiation in the market. It makes you stand out from the rest.
9.Be sustainable: With growing environmental menace, the eco-friendly strategy is the need of the hour. Even customers have become cautious about their surroundings. They like brands that support green strategies.
For instance, people like PUMA because of its eco-friendly packaging. PUMA’s apparel bag uses biodegradable material, replacing the polyethylene bags.
If your product is not natural, your packaging can be the change you need. You can switch to sustainable packaging to promote environmental concerns.
10.Let your purpose be to the point: Don’t deviate from your purpose. Keep your feet to the ground no matter what you do. Stick to your root to have a clear focus.
The more focused you are, you know what to say. Instead of losing customers to confusion, help them make a purchase decision. Make your purpose loud and clear to them.
11.Provide merchandisers option: Your product is not meant to sit silently. It should beat the drum and catch attention. Merchandisers care about your product’s appearance. They ensure that your product is not camouflaged with tons of other products.
When you design your package, think of ways it can make some noise. Whether it’s the cap or the side displays, you can also use pop references to set yourself apart.
12.Be seasonal: Nobody likes when things are mundane. Use special events and seasons to reinvent your packaging. The change of design will give a new perspective to the customers.
For example, if it’s thanksgiving, tell your customers why it’s apt to buy your product this season. It shows how you, as a brand, adapt yourself to the ever-changing environment.
13.Customers are all ears to know you: To stand out is not daring. You have to step outside the box to become different. Customers like it when you embrace yourself.
Don’t put your worth at stake by being pretentious. You’ll not reach your full potential. Just be who you are and tell your story.
Here’s why you should make packaging remarkably:
You are here because the packaging has a legit purpose. If you made a purchase recently, take a moment to visualize the final product. What’s your impression about it’s packaging? Does it look compelling? Is the design safe? What is the durability of the packaging?
One thing common about products is that they come with a package. But, their packaging has different functions. Here are some functions to list a few:
- Customized requirements
However, the goal of every function is for one-time use. Either you directly open the cap to use it, or you throw it once it’s exhausted. In both cases, the packaging is for temporary purposes.
While many brands design packaging for one-time use, the single-use culture is generating more waste. For example, plastic as packaging material causes environmental pollution.
Due to low product designing, the majority of plastic waste goes to landfills. Out of 9.2 billion tons of plastic, only 9 per cent is recycled correctly. As a brand, your challenge is to create a positive impact on society.
Brands worldwide want to replace conventional packaging with renewable packaging. For example, you must have seen short life products with long-lasting impacts. It’s a cool strategy to reduce single-use packaging.
Reasons why packaging matters:
1.Protection: The main reason for packaging is to safeguard what is inside. When your product is in transit, packaging protects from any damage. The defective product makes the customer unhappy.
Packaging keeps the product intact. From the pickup point to customers’ doorstep, it secures the product from external factors. In the case of online shopping, you have to be extra cautious. The role of packaging differs in e-commerce.
While you ensure the product is safe, it also matters how you’re packaging it. Be simple with your packaging. Too much of anything is good for nothing. Consider the amount of waste generated from the packaging. It’s overwhelming.
All in all, good packaging is sealed correctly. There’s no overstuffing of the product. Your product packaging is destressing. When the customer opens it, there’s no dull moment.
2.Sanitation: Hygienic packaging is the need of the moment. If you deal with the food or beauty industry, packaging helps you in several ways:
- Meet the industry regulation
- Prevent contamination
- Builds customers’ loyalty
When a customer orders food, it comes with ingredients, DOM(date of manufacture), and expiry date. Packaging information ensures that customers are safe.
It keeps harmful chemicals or odour at bay. The goal of packaging is to prevent contamination. Eating or using unhealthy products can put the customer at risk.
Moreover, packaging removes toxic substances. For better understanding, customers can read the information before purchasing.
3.Attractiveness: In branding, packing plays a crucial role. Packaging can make or break your brand image. A stunning packaging can push the customer to go above and beyond to buy your product.
To make your product stand out, you have to make it compelling. If the product evokes emotions, people will reach out to you. But, here’s the challenge – you’re not the only one. There are tons of products like you.
Customers pick products that jump off the shelf. A product sitting silently on the shelf is nothing less than a nightmare. You have to design a package which is a visual treat.
You need no other argument to justify your product when it shines from the shelf. Two-thirds of people buy products because the packaging is attractive. The design has the power to impact their decision.
People like smart and social packaging. These days package design embeds QR codes, smart labels, or NCF chips. Customers can save time by scanning on their smartphones.
There are many ways to become the best selling brand. Read the 13 packaging trends to get started.
4.Usability: Consumer market demands for appropriate packaging. It should be visually pleasing and life-saving. Bad usability of product packaging can put a wrong impression.
The Eureka moment for package design is when it’s simple. Customers also seek for easy packaging. Simplicity reduces background noise and makes the product stand out.
Your packaging should give a memory worth remembering. Package rage (wrap rage) is the highest level of frustration when the product is hard to open. Suppose the customer wrestles while opening, you’re in peril. The inability to open the product is a failed marketing.
Catch up today’s trend and unravel yourself. Brands dislike the use and throw culture and want their packaging as a keeper. The usability matters because of the growing environmental issues. Good packaging doesn’t cause damage to the customer and the surrounding.
5.Sustainability: Packaging should be about development. If the packaging reduces environmental footprints, customers will value you. Your packaging says a lot about your brand image.
If you don’t support the needs of society, you can’t expect them to be friendly with you. Promote sustainability with your packaging design.
Follow the 3 R’s for adequate packaging – refuse, reuse, and recycle. Customers look for these factors while making a choice. From the material you use to the choice of colors, everything should be eco-friendly.
Follow ‘less is more’ principle in packaging. It saves resources from depletion. The more precise your packaging, it’s perceived right. You can put things into perspective with packaging.
It’s time to supercharge your package marketing.
Close the loop of packaging with standardized, sanitized, secured, and sustainable elements. Designing the right package isn’t an overnight task. It takes time to make a compelling design.
Strike a balance between creativity and innovation. The packaging is no more about product wrap up. It holds the reputation of your brand. It’s the first thing that pops up when a customer looks at you.
Don’t set yourself for failure by just focusing on the product. The packaging is as important as anything else in marketing. There are millions of brands wanting to grab customers’ attention. Your role is to make your packaging look different.
The nitty-gritty of packaging is that it’s a marketing tool. It can sway customers purchasing behavior by talking about the brand. It can either build or backfire you. When done right, the product packaging can be useful, better or even the best.
Take your product packaging one day at a time. Your product’s packaging is meant to convey your purpose – your brand story. There’s no silver bullet in packaging. Get set, and go with the thirteen steps!
Are you ready to make packaging your lifestyle?