Whether you're launching a new product or rebranding an existing one, picking the right packaging should be among your top priorities.
The box your product comes in is the first thing your customers see, and the impression the packaging will make might mean the difference between success and failure.
Think about it: You're standing in front of a retail shelf filled with similar products that serve the same purpose. You haven't tried any of them, so there is no personal experience to base your decision on.
Which one of the products would you choose?
Chances are you'd buy the product whose packaging appeals the most to your individual taste. The product whose box speak to your brand affinity, or emotional connection to how you feel based on your interactions and assumptions about the product demonstrated via packaging and design.
That's a very important point to remember when choosing your product packaging.
You can't possibly appeal to everyone because different people have different preferences according to a number of their factors:
- and many more factors...
With this factor in mind, you need to define your ideal customer - the type of person you had in mind when you designed the product - and choose the packaging that would probably appeal to this specific buyer persona.
While this process may seem limiting, it helps your product acquire a clear identity instead of struggling to attract customers from various target groups, which has proven to be a more effective approach in achieving sales.
Then, a reasonable question arises: "What exactly is considered appealing to my target group?"
Style is certainly a subjective matter even for people within the same target group. This is where market research comes in.
Take a look at the trendsetters in your field - the big companies with the massive sales. What does their product packaging look like and who are they marketing to? They have entire market research departments and spend hefty amounts of money on collecting and analyzing data about sales. They then crunch all these factors to come up with their product packaging, marketing strategy and more.
Does that mean you have to blindly follow their lead? Not necessarily, but they can give you a rough idea of the characteristics that are considered desirable, and that's a great start if you can't afford to do your own market research.
You've probably seen companies copy the style of well-known brands in the hope of attracting more sales.
In the best-case scenario, they seem to believe that a tried-and-true packaging idea will jumpstart their product's sales. In the worst, they're trying to take advantage of the recognizability of a similar product. To the customers, though, this practice shows that you're either low on creativity or that you're trying to deceive them.
Unless your goal is to trick people into buying a cheap knockoff of a famous brand, you should avoid using designs that have a strong association with similar products.
Draw inspiration from the fonts, patterns, and color schemes that other brands are using, but make sure that the final design is entirely unique to your product.
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On the subject of fonts and color combinations, it is absolutely crucial that the information on your products packaging be clearly printed.
When customers can't read the description or the instructions of your product easily because the color of the background clashes with the color of the font or because the typeface you've chosen is practically illegible, they'll probably move on to the next product on the shelf.
Make sure that the information on your packaging is presented in a logical manner and that you adhere to any regulations that may apply to your product category.
How to Customize Product Packaging for Ecommerce
Another important aspect to consider when choosing product packaging is functionality.
Now, most people seem to think that functionality involves protecting your product and making sure that it reaches its destination safely, but that's only part of the whole picture.
In reality, your packaging design determines the amount of space you need in order to store or transport your products and, therefore, the total cost of shipping and storing it. Stackable boxes are always easier to handle than odd-shaped packages.
Finally, you should be aware that the cost of the packaging you choose will affect the retail price of your product.
Price depends on two factors:
- The design process itself - i.e. paying your designer to create the design, and;
- The cost of the materials you use to execute it.
No matter how beautiful or unique an idea may sound, if you can't incorporate its cost in the price of the finished product without missing the price point that your customers are willing to pay, you should by all means reject it. Also, it's important to consider how your packaging design will affect fees surrounding order fulfillment.
Wrapping Up: How Important is the Packaging of a Product?
The packaging you'll choose is almost as important as the quality of the product itself. Factors of design should include your target buyer and the cost of order fulfillment.
Choosing quality materials makes sense for some packaging, but the first of many things to consider is your whole marketing strategy that your packaging remains only one factor embedded in the wider matrix of a holistic marketing plan.
Product packaging protects your product and ensures safe transportation while speaking volumes for your brand philosophy.
Custom packaging solutions and package design adapted to your specific product and brand are frequently services offered in the package business or as an add-on from logistics providers.
Packaging tends to differ depending on whether the product will be displayed on retail shelves or prepared in a warehouse, ship ready packaging, meaning products that will be delivered by post to your customers. When your business is booming, you will want to be prepared for both distribution channels.
The right packaging has the potential to make your product an instant hit with your target group, so choose wisely because your brand's product packaging is the first experience your users will have with your brand. And we all know, there is great power in first impressions.
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