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Why your product packaging matters (and how to get it right) Posted by Kerrie Brooks

Packaging is so much more than just protective casing. Whether sat on a shelf or displayed in an online store, it tells people about your product and speaks volumes about your brand. Get it right and your product will stand out, get picked out and push customers to purchase. Get it wrong and you can wave goodbye to those profits, regardless of what’s inside.

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The power of packaging

How many times have you grabbed a product in a shop or made a purchase online purely because of the packaging? We all do it – even highly rational people. We naturally gravitate towards things that appeal to us, both visually and emotionally.

A study published in the Journal of Psychology and Marketing found that attractive packaging activated brain activity associated with rewards. This stimulated positive emotions which, in turn, prompted impulse purchases – even when there was no initial intention to buy.

The takeaway here is that packaging has a real influence on what we feel about products which directly connects to our buying choices. In addition, decisions based on first impressions can be made much quicker – perfect for efficient shopping.

The last brand contact

You can spend thousands of dollars getting all of your other marketing elements right, but if you skimp on your packaging it’s money wasted. Why? Because as the brand touchpoint closest to purchase getting it wrong can prevent a sale in one fell swoop.

For example, if you’ve been marketing your product as high-end but your packaging looks cheap and is poorly designed, all trust is gone. The same is true if you claim to be a young, passionate brand then your packaging is dull and uninspiring.

In instances where a customer knows nothing about your product or brand but just spots it when they’re browsing, if your packaging doesn’t appeal to them or clearly communicate features and benefits, they’ll move on.

Because of the power packaging has to stop a purchase in its tracks, it deserves your time and investment. Keeping it functional, attractive and consistent with your brand is vital.

How to get it right

In order to nail your packaging design, you need to know what to focus on. Colour has been shown to be the most important element in attracting attention and conveying messages. Other elements to consider include typography, graphics, materials as well as label and overall shape and size.

While the direction you take will largely be dictated by your product, industry and target audience, here are some high-level tips to getting it right:

  • Stand out – for people to buy your product, they first need to notice it, so consider how you will make your packaging shout the loudest. This includes looking at the packaging of your competitors and thinking creatively in terms of what would set you apart. It could be a bold colour choice, an iconic graphic element – think the CocaCola contour wave – or a clever shape or design which uniquely showcases your product.
  • Keep it simple – with only a few seconds to work with, forget the cluttered look and stick to only the core elements you need to get your message across – think bold text, block colours and straightforward messages that communicate your products benefits or features.
  • Use eco-friendly materials – reducing their carbon footprint is a high priority for consumers today, so if you can keep your packaging green you’ll tick another box. Use less packaging, biodegradable material and create something that can be repurposed after opening.
  • Connect it to digital – add value to your product by making clever use of QR codes. Provide additional information such as nutritional facts, backstories or reviews. Alternatively, link to a social media landing space, your website or a competition.

Stuck for creative ideas?

If you’re seeking some packaging design inspiration, here are some sites worth a look:

Interested in getting your product packaging designed or refreshed? Let our experienced graphic designers help you get it right – contact us today.