By Usman Akram
Top ten tips for effective and imaginative package design
Doubtlessly, package design is one of the essential elements of your product marketing. A good eye-catching design, which connects both physically and psychologically with the consumers, brings higher sales. For consumers, a creative and thoughtful design gives the impression that a brand or business has spent time considering the end-user, which ultimately builds brand image.
Anyone owning a business will agree that standing out in a competitive market is tough, even at the best of times. But that is precisely why it’a mistake to underestimate the power of effective packaging design to distinguish your product in the marketplace. There is a reason why consumer brands that thrive in the long term are the ones who consider package design as a useful marketing tool. With that in mind, here are the top 10 ultimate tips for achieving effective package design to help you take your brand to the next level.
1. HAVE A CLEAR PLAN.
To gain a competitive edge in packaging, you must have a comprehensive plan right from the beginning. Alluring and creative design requires ample time and great attention to detail, and if you precisely know what you want, your package design will show it.
Having a clear idea allows you to focus up on the specific goals of your products, such as the type of audience you are targeting. A package designed for kids wouldn’t attract adults, thus having a plan beforehand allows you to make your products captivating enough for the respective audience. Other factors such as what packaging will showcase the type of reaction you want, or if you are trying to stir feelings of nostalgia, should be considered right at the beginning.
2. KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Simplicity is trend in everything nowadays, and it goes the same for package design. Your end consumers will love a minimalistic packaging design that accurately depicts the specification of your products. Generally, less is more for most packaged products today. Many businesses often go over the limit and try over-selling their product, which unfortunately often has the opposite effect. As long as your product package serves the basic requirements of package design, including it being transportable and easy to store and preserve, you are good to go!
3. RESPECT THE SALES METHOD.
The medium through which you sell your products substantially impacts its package design. Doubtlessly, selling in a brick-and-mortar store varies significantly from selling online on digital platforms. When selling online, your product package design needs to be clear and appealing enough to create a positive image of it on your potential consumers, as they won’t have the option to interact with your products physically.
On the other hand, if your product needs to be sold in-store, it must be well-packaged to project the image of premium quality. In this case, the consumer will be able to feel and touch your product, hence it’s crucial to design your product packaging accordingly.
4. INSPIRATION, NOT IMITATION.
Giving your competitors an edge right from the start is a common failure for many newcomers to the market. Many beginner-level brands often mimic the packaging design of others, which eventually fails in achieving a distinct identity in the market.
To stand out in the market, you need to innovate. No one likes an outdated package design. If the competitive brands generally use neutral colors, then go bold with your packaging color palette. If they only include illustrations, you may use the photographed images. Not just that, but you may also discover flaws in the design of other brands, and bring a better alternative in your packaging.
5. BE HONEST.
Over-promising and under-delivering are extremely common these days and, no surprise, almost everyone hates it when brands cross the line between creative marketing and exaggerating. As long as your product is excellent, there isn’t any need to stretch the truth. In this age of instant product critiques and reviews on social media, your brand cannot afford to be dishonest with you market audience, period.
6. GO GREEN!
With the increased concern of environmental issues among the general public, people now carefully consider the impact their purchase would have on the environment. Most people nowadays expect a product packaging that can be recycled and/or reused as a starting point, hence and subsequently doesn’t bring any adverse effects on climate. A brand that pays attention to preserving a healthier and sustainable environment this ecosystem, and also stands against environmental cruelty, builds an extremely positive brand image. Also, being a good corporate brand towards the environment frees you from specific legislative production requirements.
7. FOCUS ON CREATIVITY.
We all love creative things. For product package design, a truly innovative idea that reflects your company’s style as playful, fun, and laid-back is good way to make a positive first impression on potential consumers. Although a creative packaging design may increase your production budget, it will often bring incredible sales in the long run.
8. MAKE IT PRACTICAL.
Your product packaging must enhance the user experience of the customer and not hinder it. This is especially in the case if the product packaging is a functional part of the product, such as for shampoo bottles and oil cans. No matter how elegant your packaging design is, it’s all in vain if it doesn’t work.
9. BRANDING THROUGH PACKAGING.
Unfortunately, many products fail to showcase the goals of the brand and its detail. An effective branding includes the fonts you use in print materials, images, and the types of words. Using attractive color tones and design elements from your existing materials that depict consistency of your brand is vitally important to communicating your company’s style and goals effectively, while helping consumers to connect with your products both physically and psychologically.
10. PRODUCT PROTECTION.
While the exterior details of your packaging are indeed important to grab the attention of potential customers, they should never take precedence over the primary function of the package, which is to preserve the product until consumers use it. This requires careful evaluation of many factors: the amount of time the product may remain on the shelf; how many supply chain processes it may pass through; the many natural and artificial point of contact your packaging will make right up to consumption; and so on.
All in all, investing in compelling package design is absolutely worth it in the end. With innovation being critical to the success of any business today, packaging innovation is the great leveller that gives every product a chance to succeed in today’s consumer marketplace.
Usman Akram is a freelance blogger with a special interest in consumer packaging. Visit PackagingWin at this link.