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4 Tips For Designing Effective Packaging

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When you are creating a new product or revamping and old product, you should invest significant time and effort into packaging design. Although the packaging is not as important as the contents, packaging hits or misses can have an impact on the way customers view your brand and influence perceptions of quality.

Appeal To Your Audience

The type of packaging you choose should be specific to your audience. For example, if your product typically appeals to environmentally conscious customers, so should your packaging. Although recyclable packaging has been popular for many years, many companies have gone a step further.

Packaging made from biodegradable material with imbedded seeds is a creative method of appealing to customers. Instead of throwing away or recycling packaging, customers can grow plants. Packaging for cosmetics and other beauty products often requires a different approach. Your customers will typically prefer packaging that is equally as attractive as the beauty products it contains.

Stay True To The Product

When you have a product that is typically purchased based on scent, color or texture, and the product has external packaging, find some way to incorporate this information into the external packaging. Customers are easily frustrated when color swatches on the outside of the packaging look nothing like the contents. Affix small stickers to the outside of the packaging that allow customers to have an accurate sample of the product's color or feel its texture.

Traditional scratch-and-sniff stickers are an easy and effective way of allowing customers to smell a product and make an informed decision. When considering the color of a product, such as makeup or paint, make sure the color is based on what the product looks like when it dries or sets. Many products can become lighter or deeper in color, or the finish and texture can change.

Consider Functionality

You and your design team will need to think about your product and its packaging from the perspective of your customers to create packaging that does not cause frustration or problems. If your product is designed for single use or to sit on a shelf, the main objective for the customer is to access the product. You will want to avoid common problems, such as packaging that is difficult or dangerous to open.

Any product that is designed for multiple uses must meet other standards. Some common problems include lids or caps that do not fit securely over the lifespan of the product, or conversely, lids or caps that are repeatedly difficult to open. If an item is going to be transported frequently in a purse or backpack, the packaging must stand up to constant moving or friction. Labels made with ink that rubs off easily or packaging that easily comes open are common trouble spots for these types of items.

Get Objective Opinions

Once you have one or more packaging concepts, it is time to encourage opinions from people outside of your business. Consider investing some of your budget into formulating a focus group to help with packaging. It is much easier to gain true insight into the good and bad aspects of your packaging if you recruit fresh eyes. Furthermore, you can avoid unintended bias from people who might be personally invested in a specific concept.

Use prototypes of your packaging to allow participants to physically manipulate the product. If you intend for the packaging to withstand long-term use and variable conditions, allow your participants to use the product at home. Incentivize participants with some type of financial compensation, such as cash or gift cards, and allow them to keep the product.

Designing appropriate packaging for any product requires multiple steps to ensure the packing meets customer expectations. By considering your customer's needs and gaining their view on your design, you can avoid common problems.

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