When holding a product you’ve never used before, the first thing you do is judge it by the packaging.
You admire the design, the look, feel, style and even the packaging texture. It all comes together to form one neat unit that’s screaming buy me!
It’s that state of mind where the product is so appealing that it sells itself, which we as packaging designers try to achieve for our clients.
Our goal is to create an emotional connection between the product and the consumer via the packaging design.
In the super-competitive online & retail world of shopping, big brands throw so much money and spend so much time trying to get consumers to notice their products over their competitors. It’s a race to have the best possible packaging design to tempt the consumer to buy.
1) Creative Design
The design has to be creative, simple as that. In the saturated supermarket shelf space, the design about 7 seconds to capture the shopper’s attention. According to Retail Minded; Brands have, on average about 7 seconds to make a good impression before the customer moves on to the next option.
For any brand, the connection it has to make with the consumer is the same. Lose their interest, and they’re off walking down the aisle to the next product. So, you have to know your target market and design packaging that appeals to them. For example, if your selling pharmaceutical cough medicine for children, then the packaging needs to align with this market; as you can see from this case study, Hopping Mad just designed for Little Coughs.
Why create a beautiful package design if it’s hard to open or cumbersome to hold. Design agencies like us carefully think all these details through to give the consumer the best user experience. All you need to do is walk into your local Apple Store to see their gorgeous and super user-friendly packaging. So many people keep the packaging because it’s so lovely. Some people go so far as to feel guilty about throwing away the packaging. I know we do when we get our new iMacs or iPhones for the office. Perhaps you won’t have the type of budget Apple has for their pack design, but you can get close with creative thinking by our superstar designers. You can read Apple’s packaging strategy in this pdf here.
3) Simple Messaging
The message is simple; keep your packaging information to the point and clear. Don’t make it too wordy or cluttered. Consumers want to know what the product is, its ingredients and if it’s safe to use. The latest packaging trends on Pinterest shows that minimal graphics has become the newest fashion. Wander down any Coles aisle, and you will see how quickly the uptake in minimal design trends has becomes.
You’ll be surprised how minimal packaging designs stands out over cluttered designs with information overload.
The words on your packaging can have a tremendous impact on whether the shopper picks it up or not. Messaging is the critical emotional connection you’re looking to create between your product and their behaviour. A few simple words could mean the difference between the sale or not. As a full-service packaging design agency, we use our copywriters to develop catchy sales triggers to capture the buyer immediately.
A no-brainer, but don’t oversell or make promises of what’s inside the packaging that is simply untrue. It’s far too easy for consumers to leave negative online reviews of products that didn’t cut the mustard or live up to the consumer’s expectations of what was detailed on the box or carton. Too much hype and little substance is a sure-fire way to lose customer loyalty and get a swathe of bad publicity.
Note that there are rules and regulation regarding what you can say on the packaging, but we will tell you these at our first briefing. Take a quick look at the Food Labelling Laws in NSW.
6) Be Authentic
Make sure you stay true to your messaging, product and brand story. Don’t try to mimic or copy another brand which is why the team at Hopping Mad Designs can create a completely bespoke brand and tailor-made for your business.
Authenticity in all facets of the packaging design process creates big brands that consumers love and are super-loyal! Think Lululemon, Rip Curl, Addidas, Apple, Lego and more. The list goes on, but all of these brands have one common thread; they are 100% authentic in design and key messaging.
7) Shelf Impact
Marketing Mag tells us that; Our research and development (R&D) have identified that packaging is one of the top three drivers of purchase, so it pays to ensure your pack has a strong impact and presence on the shelf.
People browsing aisles at Coles, Iga, ALDI or Woolies don’t see an individual product. They see a whole bunch of colours, messages and call to actions. The only way you will cut through to the shopper is on fundamental scientific principles such as the ones we discuss here. Get it right, and you’ll be selling more products than the competition.
8) Futureproof your product
You can’t think that you will have one product, and that’s it. Just imagine you have a range of products in the future based on the success of your launch. Or perhaps you are launching a family of products that require consistent messaging. You need to get it right from the get-go if you’ve got any chance of success on the supermarket shelf. Colours, branding, messages, copy all need to reflect the style and range of the products. So that as your range grows, all you need to do are a few simple tweaks and presto, you have a new product SKU.
9) Common sense
Get the message and design is one thing, but what about all the other practical issues involved with getting the product into the consumer’s hand. Your designers need to know about other packaging contingencies such as:
- How does the product stack or hang on the shelf?
- Is it easy to transport?
- What’s the weight of the pack, and how will that affect supply and delivery costs?
- Does the product need to be in a freezer, and how does this affect the ink on the box?
- Is it easy to handle and transport?
- If it’s a fragile product, will the packaging protect it?
- Or, will it fit neatly into the SUV or car?
- Can the product be refined later on if need be? Remember the tomato sauce bottle with the screw cap and how that’s evolved over the years. A job for industrial designers, but the packaging has to grow with this.
Designers need to address all these nuances on top of the packing design. It’s not as simple as it would seem!
10) Unique Selling Point
How ell does the packaging communicate the products USP or unique selling point? The USP is where everything comes together nicely; the critical message, branding and the graphics. The effort you put in conveying the USP will have a ripple effect on sales. The ROI will be huge.
As a trusted packaging design agency in Sydney, Hopping Mad Designs considers all these crucial elements in our packaging design process. Our senior creative, Joanna Basile, has had years of experience in the packaging design space and will give your product the professional edge needed to stand out and sell.
About the author
Jo is the founder of Hopping Mad Designs, a brand agency with 22 years of experience working with brands to position them for growth. Jo has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food, pharmaceuticals & beverage clients.