Whether your product is going into a grocery store, a boutique, or the latest gadget in Best Buy, getting your product packaging right is a crucial step in your marketing process. For some customers, your packaging and label might be the very first introduction they have to your product and your company, necessitating a clear understanding of who you are and what you are offering. For others, it will be the last chance you get to convince buyers to make a purchase, and to make that purchase with you and not with one of your competitors.
So how do you stand out in a sea of sameness? How do you make sure customers pick up your product and take a closer look? How do you win the shelving wars?
Louder Does Not Equal Better
When the mission is to stand out and be “different” from everything else on the market, it can be very easy to fall into the trap of making your packaging louder, brighter, and increasingly more crazy.
Resist this urge.
Yes, you want your product to stand out, but you want it to stand out for the right reasons. Standing out for being obnoxious, ugly or off-putting isn’t going to be much of a step up over not being noticed at all. You know the adage, “all press is good press?” That doesn’t apply to product packaging.
Have A Great Name
Your product packaging starts first and foremost with your product’s name. Make sure you choose a name for your product that will resonate with people and stick in their minds. You want them to remember your product name a day, a week, a month after seeing it. You want them to recognize the name no matter where they go or what context they see it in.
You also want to name your products in such a way that feels appropriate and illustrative for both the product type and your brand.
While you don’t want to go overboard to the point of being loud or obnoxious, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make bold, on-brand color choices that will make your products pop visually.
Color choices have a lot of power in marketing. They can evoke emotions, amplify or relieve certain anxieties, even create subconscious associations in the minds of your buyers.
When choosing colors for your product packaging, go with colors that reflect your brand’s vibe, a mood or emotion you want to be associated with your product (fun and kid-friendly, wholesome, relaxing, etc.), and try to choose a color scheme that will look visually different on the shelf (this requires some aisle-browsing to scope out what you competition is doing).
Stay On Message
If your brand has a strong message or point of view, make sure that message is reflected in your product packaging. Not only should the visual design feel like it is in line, but any text that shows up on your product packaging should also align with that message. Consistency across all parts of your branding is crucial.
Keep It Simple
Clean, simple design is so important when it comes to product packaging. You don’t want your label or box content to stand in the way of your product.
As mentioned above, your product label or packaging potentially has a lot of marketing work to do sitting there on the shelf. So, you may want to explain your company’s journey and mission statement right then and there. But, putting the entire content of your website on your product packaging is probably not a great idea.
Keep it simple, not confusing, and focused on the product.
Consider Your Audience
A big part of getting it right lies in considering your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your product? Is it for children? A nightlife crowd? Business travelers?
The right look and feel for your package design are going to depend greatly on who your audience is, and what their expectations are for products in a given category.
Consider Your Competition
One of the best ways to figure out market expectations for your product packaging is to examine what competing products look like. What size are they? How much information do they give? What colors do they use?
And perhaps most crucially, what are your competitors NOT doing? What void can you fill? What niche can you carve out? Can you position your product as healthier? Greener? Higher quality? Does it have a killer feature that others don’t have?
Whatever the answers, find a way to highlight at least one of those differences using either the visual design of your packaging, the text on your packaging, or both.
Put It To The Test
Don’t just assume you’ve nailed the look and feel of your design in a vacuum. Do some market research and testing. Put the design in the hot seat and see how it holds up. You might get some surprising results. Putting products in front of real people in real situations for testing has a way of revealing confusing elements, hidden flaws, and even hidden benefits, in a way that in-house designers and marketers almost never are capable of on their own.
Once you get the results, make changes based on the feedback before you put the final product into action in stores.
Don’t Skimp on Quality
One of the best ways to stand out in a store is by using interesting or high-quality materials in your product packaging. While this isn't going to be a viable option for everyone, and it certainly comes at an added expense, it can be a huge differentiator when comparing your product to the competition.
Spending a little more on high-quality packaging shows your buyers that you are a premium brand and that you have put extra time, care and effort into having a product that looks and feels great from the moment you pick up the box. And that's something no color scheme in the world can get you.
Ready to talk packaging redesign or what makes sense for your latest product launch? Contact the team at 10twelve today. We have the retail experience to make choices that make sense for your brand.