Want to Get Your Package Right the First Time? Make Sure It Draws Consumers In and Makes Your Product Move Off the Shelf

Here’s a few of my favorite tips on getting your package right the first time around. To be honest, it’s a combination of art and science, but here’s a few great reminders.

  • BE ON STRATEGY: Yes, this seems like such a no-brainer, but such an important question that is often overlooked… Do your package concept and design deliver on the brand strategy in a clear and compelling way?

  • HAVE SHELF POP & BE DIFFERENTIATED V. COMPETITION: Does your package “pop” on the shelf and uniquely stand out from the competition when consumers walk by quickly? Does it have that ooh, ah, intrigue factor that compels people to stop and pick it up? Here’s the quick test...Put your package on a retail shelf (yes, go into the store and put it on a real shelf right next to the competition with real store lighting).

    • Test it out at eye level, on the top shelf, AND on the bottom shelf.
    • Then, walk by quickly and scan the entire shelf.
    • Take note of what you see.
    • Stand in front of the shelf and squint your eyes.
    • Do you notice your package first?
    • Does your package stand out?
    • If not, you probably still have some work to do (and this doesn't necessarily mean using fluorescent colors on the label!)
  • MAKE IT OBVIOUS: Is it obvious what the product is? Or are you making consumers work hard to figure it out? If it’s a new brand or a new type of product, it’s important to show the real product (through a window/clear container) or a representation/photo of the product. Oh, and don’t forget to show an accurate expectation/representation of what the product really is inside. Very few people want a surprise!

  • KNOW WHAT’S MOST IMPORTANT: One of the biggest mistakes made in packaging is not being clear on the what’s most important. Of course, everything is important on a package, right? The brand name, logo, product type, the description, the claims, the awards… But everything can’t be equal when it comes to effective packaging. Be clear on your priority of communication and use graphic position, size, font style/formatting, and other graphic elements to help consumers see what you want them to see first, second, and third.

  • QUICKLY COMMUNICATE YOUR BRAND STORY AND REINFORCE YOUR PERSONALITY: Do your package design, structure, and materials reinforce the brand personality and communicate the brand story just by looking at the package in a few seconds? Is it straightforward and easy to digest? Remember not to make consumers work too hard. They need to “get it” quickly. Fewer powerful words are always best!

  • ABILITY TO EXPAND: Does your package design concept allow for line extensions in the future including different flavors, new sizes, and new structure formats? Even if you don’t yet know or have plans for more products yet, make sure your packaging concept has legs for the future.

If you’re in need of revamping your brand or your package, creating a new brand from scratch, or just need additional tips on more effective packaging, make sure to contact us. We'd love to chat with you!