In a perfect world, a product would sell based on its quality. In reality, branding, packaging, and many other factors go into a product’s success. Packaging design plays a key role in both how a product is used and how attractive it is to a potential buyer.

If you nail a product’s design, chances are high that your packaging will be recognizable anywhere, even without the logo. No matter who you sell to, it’s important to follow a number of steps before completing a package’s design. We have 10 packaging design tips to help you create the best product package for your brand.

Understand Your Brand

Yes, it seems simple—how could you not know your own brand? Everyone can get lost in the details, so it’s important to take a step back and remember the main purpose of this product. At this step, it’s also important to ask yourself how you differentiate your product from similar ones already on the market. Creating or understanding the need for your product is a crucial first step.

Research Competitors

Realizing what sets your product apart involves research. Thoroughly finding and examining your competitors lets you see what did or didn’t work for them. Another benefit to competitor research is it helps you avoid blending in with what’s already out there.

Establish Standards

Always set standards—whether that’s against other product lines within your brand or starting fresh. This will bring back into the mix the idea of brand portrayal. Design includes any technical requirements and shelf/display location. Getting the standards set helps to move the process forward to completion.

Align Mission

While you’re forming a loose frame for your design, it’s time to bring in your overall mission. Keep it subtle—many make the mistake of trying to fit the entire product or company story on a package. Simple is better. Take the main points of your overall brand and mission, and cut it down to the basics.

Hone Your Message

Now that you have defined your mission in a more concise manner, it needs to fit in with the bigger company picture. Step back and ensure its message runs parallel with what is in your advertising, website, and marketing collateral. This individual package and product represents your brand, and it may be someone’s first impression. Never assume someone entered your sales funnel at any certain point, such as the website, prior to product purchase.

Get Technical

Mentions, required legally or otherwise, need to be included and double-checked. This additional information can throw off a simple design and require extra time to rework it.

Remain Timely

Create a design and package that will last for multiple years. If it’s already out-of-date, it might not look current to customers, or like a relevant option compared to “newer”-looking product packages. If it calls out current needs of customers, it will be recognized as a timely product.

Embrace Beta Mode/Prototypes

Learn to love building prototypes because this will save you money in the long run. Testing your design in a one-off package will help you understand what’s working and what’s not. Check dimensions, overall look, function, and brand alignment.

Use Quality Resources

Find and incorporate the finest materials for the production of your product packaging (within your budget). This ensures a professional look and serves as the first impression of the product within. A customer judges your brand and product as early as packaging that is lacking or of low quality.

Test Durability

Ask yourself if the packaging will withstand the necessary handling it will endure to get the product into a consumer’s hands. It needs to stand up to its competitors in both design and quality, which brings us full circle to using superior materials and knowing your competition.

Packaging is more than a case in which to transport your product—it is a representation of both the product and your brand as a whole. Take all the necessary steps to align your package with your mission and to get noticed on the shelf.

At Plastic Ingenuity, we can help you design, engineer, and manufacture your perfect package. Using state-of-the-art visuals, we’ll help you design, build, and test a package custom to your needs. Learn more about our program, Perfect Shelf, by clicking here or on the button below.

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