We buy with our eyes

Rugby game, in front of the telly, with your mates, with a bottle of beer. What more could you want? But how do you decide which beer to buy. We buy with our eyes, and with so many different beer brands out there, it’s the packaging that will help us choose. If you saw a really dull, boring and poorly designed beer bottle, would you be tempted to buy it. No probably not!

Packaging is powerful because it tells consumers why your product and brand is different. Apple is known for its clean, minimalist packaging. If you’ve ever watched an unboxing video for a new iPhone, you know people love Apple’s packaging.

 

 

Why is packaging so important?

 

It is critical for brand recognition

Packaging plays such an important role in building brand recognition, consistency is essential. This is particularly true for brands where the packaging is more recognisable than the product.

It speaks volumes about your product positioning

How do you identify a premium product? Superior quality? Possibly. Higher price tag? Probably. Beautiful design? Almost certainly. Packaging with distinctive design, quality production value and attention to detail can turn an ordinary product into a luxury item.

It is an extension of your advertising strategy

In its simplest form, product packaging is an advert for your brand. Given the right packaging, a consumer may be more likely to leave a product on their kitchen worktop, or carry it proudly on their commute. Packaging is what makes a brand and product recognisable. It also serves as a subliminal trigger, is part of the storytelling aspect and reinforces familiarity.

 

 

 

 

It is an extension of your advertising strategy

Environmental issues has tarnished our reliance on materials like plastic. As a result, packaging designers have an opportunity to innovate and be creative in order to take centre-stage, as research shows consumers are more likely to choose brands that demonstrate ethical values.

So what makes great packaging great?

What are the key ingredients to great packaging?

Honesty

Consumers have the the right to know what they’re buying! Of course they expect “face lifting” to a degree but the product shouldn’t appear to be something entirely different. It is important to represent the product in the best way possible but keep in mind that consumers deserve to know what they’re buying.

Authenticity

Originality, character and memorability are at the heart of great brands and great packaging designs. It is your brand identity and packaging design which will make your product leap off the shelf and get noticed by customers.

Shelf impact

A product on a shelf is never seen alone and never in great detail. Products are viewed from distance arranged in rows and columns. All we see are veritable patterns, shapes and tones, it’s not until a certain pattern, shape or tone attracts our attention that we decide to take a closer look. This distinctiveness and appeal of the product when placed on an actual shelf is something retailers call “shelf impact,” and it makes a huge difference in product sales. Shelf impact is something you need to test and explore in your designs. You can do this by imitating the placement of your design on an actual shelf and surround it by other products. The more distinctive it looks, the better it sells.

 

 

 

Extensibility

A product packaging design concept should allow for an easy introduction of new products or a variation or sub-brand. You should always design product packaging with the future in mind. This means creating a visually systematic design which allows for easy changes of product visual or other information, so you can create a family of products with the same visual identity.

Practicality

Practicality means the actual shape, size and functionality of the product container. The more practical the product, the more sales it gets because it serves the customer’s needs. This can be the most overlooked aspect of packaging design, simply because clients often pick the recommended container because it has worked for other brands, meaning you lose the opportunity for innovation. But if you do get a chance to design the next bottle, box or a cup, always think about practicality as well as design.

Author:
Eve Cooper

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