What are you saying with your product packaging?

When you think of amazing product packaging what comes to mind?

The white, clean and minimalist packaging favored by Apple? Or does your mind shift to another packaging icon—Tiffany & Co.’s little blue box, its robin-egg blue wrapping finished with a white ribbon.

Companies who are intentional with their product packaging create an indelible customer experience. Since they realize the power of packaging in their marketing message they commit resources to ensure packaging is a complement to their brand from its functionality to the colors, type, and design elements used.

Opening a package is an experience. Think back to the last time you opened a package that made you as giddy as a child on Christmas morning.

  • What made it so memorable?
  • Did all the elements seem to work together?
  • Did you share your experience with others?
  • How did you perceive the company after you opened the package?

Just like the cover of a book, if packaging is poorly executed, it can harm sales. But when product packaging remains a crucial part of product development it can drive success.

Steve Jobs’ commitment to packaging is legendary. Walter Issacson quotes Jonathan Ive in his Steve Jobs biography, ‘Packaging can be theater, it can create a story.’

So, what story do you wish to tell with your product packaging?

Product Packaging Communicates

Whether a product is purchased online and delivered to a customer’s door or bought at a brick-and-mortar store, a product’s packaging is meant to communicate what your brand stands for. The packaging design has to compete for a customer’s attention to inspire the purchase whether it resides online or on a shelf. Even once purchased, product packaging is essential to reinforce and build your brand.

According to market intelligence agency Mintel, there are five trends in the global packaging industry this year:

  1. Reduce global food and product waste with innovative packaging solutions.
  2. The e-commerce experience will be enhanced through packaging.
  3. Consumers prefer brands that embrace minimalism, so package messaging should be clear and succinct
  4. Marine conservation will be at the forefront of packaging development.
  5. Packaging techniques will help drive consumers to the center of the store.

Package Performance Isn’t Enough

Even when product packaging satisfies a packaging engineer’s criteria of cost, weight, and protection considerations, it might still fail if the first impression doesn’t stand out. Is the product packaging consistent with your brand? Does it give your target audience the right first impression or does it lead to misperceptions? How does it contribute to a quality customer experience?

Use Product Packaging to Show Why Your Product and Brand are Different

An essential element of product packaging is what it tells about your product and brand being unique in the marketplace. Does it tell a brand story that is in alignment with your customer’s other interactions with your brand? The Trunk Club, a company that hand-selects apparel for men and women and ships it in a ‘trunk’ that is consistent with the style and simplicity of its service, is one example of a company that uses it packaging—a trunk—to be consistent with its brand and shows how it’s different from StitchFix and other similar services.

Know Your Target Audience

Just as with any marketing initiative, your packaging decision needs to begin with a thorough understanding of your target audience. While Apple’s sleek package design works for them, it won’t connote the appropriate message and convert for another brand in the same way.

Design of Package

The design of your product’s package including the colors, typeface, and design elements selected are crucial for conveying your brand’s story. Not only do these elements need to align with your brand, it’s important to be in sync with overall trends motivating consumers—transparency, easy (to use and understand), sustainability and more.

You’ve spent the time and resources to design and develop an extraordinary product, so don’t let packaging decisions be an afterthought. Packaging is a crucial element in communicating your brand story and engaging a customer for repeat business and referrals.

Contact our professional design team at Costello Creative Group today to start collaborating on your next packaging project.

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