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In the retail world today, half the battle is getting the consumer to notice your product on the shelf. With so much competition, it’s more important than ever to have eye-catching packaging that grabs a shopper’s attention. So what are the three musts of good packaging, features that set your products far apart from the competition?
1. Form or Design
The first and most obvious requirement for great packaging is looks. If your packaging is well designed and eye-catching, then it will stand out on the shelf. People shop with their eyes first, so if you can win the battle of appearance, that’s half the war won.
Good looks aren’t just about using the most colorful design. Good-looking packaging matches the appearance of the packaging to the product and to the market you’re attempting to capture.
Consider a product designed for kids. Bright colors, cartoon characters, and a sense of fun are the ideal appearance. Something that’s organic and aimed at the health-conscious consumer, on the other hand, might benefit from brown paper and minimal printing.
Appearance plays a big role in telling people what they are buying, so design your packaging to appeal visually to your target market. Packaging also builds a brand, so be sure it says what you want to be heard about your product and your business.
Good design is also as much about what you take out as what you put in. It should be clear and easy to read. If you try to cram too much into the design, you might defeat the purpose.
2. Function or Usability
Yes, great design ensures that your product gets taken off the shelf, but great functionality ensures that consumers keep buying it.
Functionality in packaging design is simple: Consider how to incorporate usability into design so that the user experiences the product and design accordingly. Design the package to be easy to open. Can it also be resealed? Is it easy to get the product out of the package? Is it easy to pour?
Other key packaging issues include:
- Keep packaging as simple and minimal as possible. Not only are people happy to open something that’s simple, but they also feel good about buying a product that does not contribute to a landfill.
- Design packaging to be reused after the product is finished. Think of spreads or jellies that are packaged in juice glasses that can be washed and used again.
- Consider size and shape. If your product is stored in the fridge, for example, does it fit?
We live in the age of information, and people want to know what they’re buying. They want to know where the product is made and what the ingredients are. They may want to know nutritional information on food products, side effects and warnings on medication or cleaning products, and whether the product is organic or sourced from ethical sources.
Consider what distinguishes your product from the competition and add that information in a prominent place on the packaging. Become knowledgeable about legislation about product information too. Different countries have different requirements, so do some research about what is required for your packaging.
Great Examples of Awesome Packaging
With complimentary colors, clean fonts and a great overall look and feel, Pro Bar has raised the “bar” for other food product packaging. Its design not only makes you want to grab the product, but also makes gathering information easy – just by looking at it, you can find out its ingredients (even whether it’s gluten-free or not) and know what functions the bars will play like replacing meals, giving you energy, or providing you with protein.
Although it’s just coffee, they make it seem like so much more with this stylish, organic and “less is more” type of packaging. Just by looking at the package, consumers can already assume that the company cares about the environment as well as fair trading. With easy to find information and easy to store and reusable packaging, Level Ground Trading has the type of product packaging that is simple yet powerful.
They’ve received accolades for just about everything else, so why not design? Seriously, Apple spends a lot of money and time getting the packaging of their products just right. Clean, functional and very white, but it works every time.
More Examples of Package Designs:
Packaging Design Is an Art
As shown above, designing good packaging must consider many factors. Since great packaging can make your brand and bad packaging can break it, if you’re not entirely sure what you’re doing, hire a professional. However, whatever you do, remember that packaging design does matter — a lot. Spend time on it, keep it as simple as possible, and make great packaging work for you.