Table of Contents
When was the last time you went to the store? It might have been a while because of the pandemic.
Alternatively, maybe you do go regularly to the supermarket, but because going every week is your only trip out thanks to lockdown. you might have taken more of an interest in what sells at a supermarket.
Did you know the food and beverage industry is worth $600 billion? And why do you buy products when you are at the supermarket? Largely – but not exclusively – because of design agencies who hire whole departments just to work on the best packaging.
You may find a product that looks good from the outside but does not explain what is in the box. Or you can find products that list dozens of benefits but do not have a unique brand name.
What looks delicious may not be what you think. If you want to create the best packaging, then you have to take a holistic approach.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to design packages
1. Start by Getting to Know Your Customer
As a beginner in packaging design, talking to customers and designers is key. A brand design agency can conduct this market research for you if you don’t have the time or resources. You can reach out to an agency to find out more about packaging design.
Nevertheless, you need to strive to present products as clearly as possible so that customers understand what you are trying to sell them and whether or not it can add value to their life.
Packaging designs that confuse consumers and do not provide clarity are the biggest obstacle to increasing sales.
This is especially true for food. Consumers want to understand how the food product will feel inside of them by examining the packaging.
Product categories that promote something mysterious (think perfumes and luxury items) or fail to clearly distinguish the product in terms of content, use, and brand identity often lead to packaging designs that do not work well in stores. A clear product leads to a clear brand.
Word of mouth can crush a product. Even if the product tastes good, the packaging might set up false expectations. By presenting a product as something other than what it is, you can mislead and disappoint the consumer, which results in a poor brand image and fewer sales.
2. Honesty, Distinctiveness, and Value
Honesty comes into play here. Consumers like simple, inexpensive products that let them know exactly what they are buying. And, of course, they expect a facelift to some extent.
Distinctiveness is the key to any great brand. And your packaging sets the tone in terms of what sets it apart.
Remember, thousands of products compete for attention today. To stand out, you have to be different, offer value, and be authentic. You can’t appeal to everyone. This technique simply doesn’t work.
For example, go beyond product photography and use illustrations and type-based designs.
Use horizontal layouts instead of reaching for verticals. Bold and other looks from other product categories can be an unexpected source of inspiration.
3. Contextual Product Packaging
From the point of view of the buyer, products and packages are contextualized. They stand in comparison to other products on the same shelf in a specific part of a supermarket.
For instance, nobody is going to buy a high brand of tea if it’s placed randomly in the toiletries aisle. The shopper will be annoyed that you are offering them a product they have not sought out.
By grouping all tea in a tea and coffee area you will sell your tea only to people who want to buy it. Then you need to place your tea on the shelf itself and understand how the packaging fits and stands out compared to other brands.
If a similar brand of tea uses a red and gold design, you would be ill-advised to design your tea packaging using these same colors. One exception to this rule is if you are creating a cheaper ‘own-brand version of a well-known brand of tea for a cheaper price. Then you want your customers to feel they are buying the name-brand version.
This is known as the “shelf effect’. It works similarly online but the supermarket and the seller have a bigger say on where the product appears on the search ranking.
You might be surprised when you notice seemingly great-looking designs disappear but simple designs catch your eye. Test out your placement.
4. Product Packaging Design Practicality
Practicality is about the actual shape, size, and functionality of the product in the container, not the label or packaging.
Practical suitability is often understated. But it is vitally important. Think about how easy that packet is to carry out of the supermarket.
If it’s awkward, then consumers might decide to leave it because they’ve got to carry it to their car or all the way home. If you can make your product more practical to carry than any of your competitors by innovating, then you might have also won the game.
The Best Packaging Is Clear, Honest, and Authentic
Products that sell well offer clarity in their messaging, honesty in the product, and authenticity in their brand. The packages should reflect that.
Packages that try to game their customers or oversell them may be successful initially. But after word-of-mouth gets out that the product doesn’t live up to expectations, sales will dry up.
If you are interested in learning more about the best packaging for your business, be sure to check out the rest of our site.