For any company that makes their profits from selling products, product packaging should be a huge part of their marketing mix. As people, we are drawn to things visually; our brain can translate images much faster than it can text. With this in mind, it’s important that brands do what they can to capture the customer’s eye as soon as possible and choosing the right packaging for products is a big part of this.
Over the last few years, packaging design has grown to be a huge business as more and more brands realise the link between good packaging and an increase in product sales. In most cases, your packaging is the first opportunity you will have to make contact with the consumer, so it must catch their eye. Whereas in the past, businesses relied on how good their product was, in a consumer world that is now more competitive than ever before, no matter how good a product is, if it has poor packaging, then this may play a big part in stopping it from selling.
When brainstorming creative packaging ideas for products, there are at least 5 key considerations to make:
- First of all, packaging for products should be eye-catching, not just as it stands alone, but also on a shelf with a wide selection of other similar products. With the market so competitive, when generating packaging ideas, you must make a big effort to make a special impression on the consumer. Appearances are essential for making a good first impression – if packaging draws the customer’s eye, even if they don’t buy there and then, they are more likely to remember a product with impressive packaging and come back to buy later. As well as experimenting with shape, you can also consider using metallic foils, or varnishes to distinguish the finish of your product packaging from others on the shelf.
- As important as it is to design product packaging that stands out on the shelf, a successful packaging design should always represent not only the product you are trying to sell, but your brand and what you stand for. Even if your packaging ideas are innovative and eye catching, if the consumer comes in for a closer look and finds that your product and brand was completely misrepresented, then there is little chance of a sale in this instance.
- Whilst aesthetics are a big part of creative packaging, functionality is also key. There are a number of points to take into consideration with regards to making sure your packaging is functional:
- Does the packaging provide sufficient protection for your product whilst it is stored and in transit?
- Can your packaging fit on a shop shelf? Can it be stacked or stand up properly? Packaging will not look so visually interesting if it can’t be displayed in the way intended.
- Think about what customers want. As packaging is all about attempting to capture the customer’s interest, as well as coming up with a design that stands out on the shelf, you need to think about your target audience and what they want to see – the customer ALWAYS comes first. When it comes to the words and labelling on your packaging, customers want honesty – packaging should state exactly what the product is.
- Think about what materials you will use for your product packaging. As well as ensuring that packaging materials are durable enough for their purpose and will provide the required protection, you must also think about your target audience. If they are concerned about the environment, rather than using traditional packaging materials such as plastics and cardboard, you should look into using alternative materials such as recycled card, bioplastics and other biodegradable materials.
Whilst it is true that many consumers will often be driven to a brand or particular logo when looking to make a purchase, you can’t ignore the power that creative packaging designs can have in increasing sales.