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When it comes to physical products and consumer goods, packaging design plays a key role in grabbing attention and getting people to make a purchase decision. And while well-designed packaging often looks very simple, it requires a lot of energy and creative effort on the front end.
The Role of Packaging
You can think of packaging as your brand’s curb appeal. It plays a critical role in shaping how people see your brand and your products. In fact, according to one study, 94 percent of first impressions are design-related. That means more than 9 out of every 10 first impressions that customers have about your brand and products have to do with colors, logos, graphics, and the blend of these elements. Furthermore, another study discovered that one-third of all consumer decision-making is based on packaging. In other words, it’s a pretty big deal.
But packaging goes beyond just establishing strong first impressions. It also protects the product inside and keeps it safe from spoiling, breaking, or being contaminated by outside elements. Not only does this provide a better customer experience, but it also limits things like returns/exchanges, customer complaints, and even lawsuits.
But as important as packaging is, most companies don’t spend nearly enough time focused on this aspect of their brand. And perhaps that’s why just 11 percent of customers say they’re “completely satisfied” with today’s packaging. They report frustrations like packaging that’s difficult to open, damaged packaging, excessive packaging, ugly packaging, and non-recyclable packaging.
People want better packaging, and it’s up to you to deliver on that expectation.
Quick Tips for Better Packaging Design
The key to designing better packaging is to think like a customer. In other words, what is their experience like with your product? Are they buying it off the shelf in a retail store, or is it being shipped to their doorstep? Is opening the product something they want to do as quickly as possible, or is the “unboxing” part of the customer experience?
Think about questions like these as you design your packaging and, above all else, keep the following tips in mind:
1. Work With Professionals
There are plenty of DIY design tools that make it fairly easy to come up with basic packaging. But if you want anything more than a standard dimension box with some basic text printing, you need to work with a professional who knows what they’re doing. More specifically, we encourage you to work with a package design company that specializes in your niche.
For example, if you’re selling food or beverage products, Burd and Fletcher is the most recognized name in custom food packaging. Your first phone call should go to them (even if it’s just to pick their brain and learn more about how you should approach the packaging design process).
2. Keep it On Brand
The best packaging is totally on-brand. This means:
- It includes the same colors that are present in your logo, website design, and other marketing elements.
- Your logo is prominently featured and easily recognizable.
- You use the same font/typography that is used consistently throughout the rest of your branding.
These might seem like obvious details to you, but it’s amazing how many consumer goods products on the market today don’t satisfy these basic requirements with their packaging. As a result, it’s hard for the brand to establish a meaningful connection with customers.
3. Prioritize Simplicity
Simple sells. The more complexity there is to your product, the more confusion it creates. You want the purchase experience to be easy and obvious. Customers shouldn’t have to stare at the product to find out what it does, how it works, or what’s in the box. Keep it clean, simple, and straight to the point.
4. Follow Legal Requirements
If there are any legal requirements in your industry – like warnings, ingredient lists, or specific trade logos – make sure they are positioned exactly where they should be. Nothing is worse than designing eye-popping packaging, only to have to go back and scrap it all because you forgot a vital element.
Give Your Packaging a Refresh
It can take some time to get your packaging where it needs to be. But this is something you need to focus on. It’s not just some cardboard folded into a box with your logo pasted on top. It’s a living, breathing touchpoint for your brand. Your packaging is something people can touch, feel, see, and even smell. Make sure you’re giving it the priority it deserves!