Packaging & Labels. Attractive Designs Made Simple!
When developing a product for retail, quality should be first and foremost in your mind –but don’t forget that your packaging design can be just as crucial for your product’s potential to sell. Oftentimes, the success or failure of a product can hinge entirely on an eye-catching label that will grab a consumer’s attention.
It’s all about that critical signal your package sends to the consumer, pulling that PURCHASE TRIGGER in their brain. If you plan on having great sales, prepare to design a unique, marketable package design. Here are a few pointers to consider while designing your new packaging, to ensure that your product flies off the shelf (at least in a perfect world). Make yourself a “to do checklist” as you go through each of our helpful tips.
Make sure your packaging design “pops”. While there’s a ton of boring package labels, there are some that POP and it’s those that pop, that get noticed most (kind of like the old saying, “the squeakiest wheel gets the oil”).
In order to create a design that pops, it important we begin by taking these design elements into consideration. First, think about what colors you plane to use. The best strategy is toconsider using colors that grab attention. We suggest using bright, contrasting colors to create a dynamic visual palette, or to prominently feature a picture of your product in the packaging itself (these are the two prominent methods used by most successful branding companies).
While you experiment with what colors that will help make your product stand out, don’t lose sight of the core purpose of any label – to provide information about your product and to do so in a way that appeals to your target audience.
Whether it’s through words or imagery, makes sure your label gets your products point across with at the glance of an eye. While customers franticly browse through shelves stacked with competitor goodies or whether it’s shopping online, your package has mere seconds to grab their attention!
For start up’s and companies with minimal advertising budgets, it becomes all the more important to have an eye-catching package design – especially since you’ll likely be competing against the marketing power of larger competitors.
Don’t be afraid – take inspiration from the packaging of preexisting products and determine what makes those products so appealing. Ask yourself, what aspects of their packaging pops? What is it about their label that really draws you in? Is there something about their packaging that I could improve upon? These are all question you need to brainstorm about as you develop your design.
Knowing your demographic – Make sure to know you’re demographic, it’s the difference between making it big or making it to the poor-house. There are a variety of factors to consider when tailoring your design for maximum appeal. In thinking about your target demographic, you’re going to want to consider your ideal customer’s age, sex, weight and lifestyle. The visual aesthetic of your packaging should reflect the interests of the consumer who’s most likely to buy it.
Make it practical. The visual appeal of your packaging is what will spark initial interest in your product – this in turn should translate into sales (be it you have a decent product at the right price point). Asides from the visual appeal of your packaging, it’s all for nothing if the actual construction of the package fails to protect the contents within.
The physical act of shipping and handling can take a toll on your products, and it’s important that your packaging is able to withstand the beating and arrive on the shelf in much the same condition that it was when it left the assembly line. It’s imperative that the package be properly sealed and insulated to protect against damage caused by temperature, impact and moisture.
Make sure it’s helpful – If your product requires multiple steps to ensure its correct usage, a helpful series of step-by-step instructions on the packaging can do wonders to convince a customer that the product is safe, efficient and easy to use. Keep it simple for both the customers’ sake and for the sake of your sales! The simpler it seems, the more you’ll sell!
Make sure to comply with the law – Be sure to familiarize yourself with the specific packaging standards of each country your product is being marketed in. In almost all cases, certain information must be printed and clearly visible on a specific location of the package. This can include details such as a list of the materials used, ingredients (if you’re dealing with food), the size and weight of the package, and any warning labels associated with a hazardous product.
Now for the Top 10 “DONT’S” you’ll need to avoid while designing your labels and packaging:
1. Don’t wait until the last second, YOU PROCRASTINATOR! Try to develop your packaging in sync with the development of the product itself, to ensure you don’t end up with a less than great, hastily slapped-together package late in the process (you don’t want your package looking like it was designed during recess-time by a group of first graders). Take into consideration what the “other guys” with similar products are doing with their packaging, and take note to distinguish yours from the competitor while still providing a sense of familiarity to the consumer. Look for ways in which you can gain an edge with your design, whether it`s with superior graphics, more appropriate font style, or the general layout – be creative. Create sample test groups with actual customers if necessary, to ensure the packaging is appealing in reality and not just in theory (get your family and friends together, use them as guinea-pigs).
2. Don’t be boring – YOU’R PUTTING ME TO SLEEP OVER HERE… YAWN. Customers can be distracted or overwhelmed by the sheer amount of products available for them – so ensuring that your product can grab the attention of a customer is a tricky but achievable task. You don’t want your package to be boring, but you also don’t want it to be so over-stimulating that it becomes off-putting or gimmicky. It’s important to strike a balance between these two extremes and create a package that’s visually appealing – something they’ll feel comfortable taking home with them (assuming they’ve paid for it – SECURITY, WE’VE GOT A SHOPLIFTER HERE!).
3. Don’t ignore the competition. Instead of ignoring what your competitors are doing, why not study them, learn from them – and then improve on them. Know their strengths, their weaknesses and then go in for the kill.
4. Don’t overcomplicate things. A flashy, overbearing package can sometimes be a nail in the coffin to consumers who are looking for something simple and straightforward. Try using only the bare minimum amount of content that gets the point across – ditch the unnecessary bells and whistles, too much information can confuse the customer and cost you the sale.
5. Don’t be confusing. Bright colors and flashy images are a sure-fire way to grab someone’s attention – but any truly discerning customer will want to read about the particular merits of your product before making the decision to purchase. Be sure to use a font that’s legible, both in style and size, and that your choice of words describes your product clearly and concisely. Don’t get too fancy shmansy.
6. Don’t forget to protect the product. An important aspect of the design process is to consider whether or not your product is breakable or perishable in any way. Make sure the design and construction of your package aligns with the particular hazards that might arise with the long-term storage or usage of your product.
7. Don’t lose sight of reality. During the design process, it’s easy to let your imagination run wild – but don’t forget that packaging can have financial and physical limitations that can’t always live up to your big idea. Be sure to consult with your product’s manufacturers to ensure that your grand idea for the packaging is actually feasible, for both practical and economical reasons.
8. Don’t use the same types of packaging across the board. A physical product in a store will have different packaging requirements than a product being sold online, for example. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the platform in which your product is being sold (on the shelf or online) and focus on using them to your advantage. A well calculated design strategy has its sales and branding advantages.
9. Don’t be wasteful. Whether or not a product is environmentally friendly has become an increasingly relevant factor in the purchasing habits of many consumers. The decision of whether or not to buy can be improved by jumping onto the THINK-GREEN ban wagon. If your packaging uses recycled materials – be sure to advertise it prominently, it’s a guaranteed plus for added appeal.
10. Don’t skimp on attention to detail. Think about value. A well-constructed package will go a long way in reinforcing a consumer’s sense of “getting their money’s worth“, making them more likely to purchase your product over a competitor who`s packaging is less than professional.
If a company invests its time in producing quality packaging for its product then that says something about the product itself – you care about quality. Your company isn’t in business to just make a quick buck, you’re in it for the long haul. Professionalism in both product and presentation is key to any successful and reputable venture.