Keep it simple (and professional)
When it comes to packaging design, clean and simple is the way to go. Opting for designs that are clear and attractive without going overboard can help consumers be drawn to your product – too many wacky colours, fonts, and graphics can be overwhelming and put you at a disadvantage. Highlight your product’s best attributes without cluttering your design. In the same vein, your package design should convey professionalism. Even if you’re on a budget, clip art and Comic Sans aren’t going to cut it.
Know your audience
Your demographic should dictate a lot of choices you make about your packaging. Are you targeting kids (and their trolley-wielding parents), budget-savvy students, high-income earners, or any other niche market? You need to cater to the person with the purchasing power. For example, getting little ones to point out and grab your kid-0riented product from the shelf requires bright colours, cartoonish shapes, and more creative themes. If you want to reach those in that top tax bracket, you need to keep things chic, classy, and refined.
Be careful with colours
The psychology of colours is a very real thing that can have an impact on your marketing efforts. Studies show links between certain colours and the emotional response they elicit – for example, have you ever noticed how much red and yellow is used in fast-food branding? That’s because red triggers stimulation, appetite, hunger, and attracts attention, while yellow triggers feelings of happiness and friendliness. It’s important to think carefully about the colours you use in your product marketing, as they can overtly or even subconsciously elicit an emotional response within potential customers.
Communicate with customers
Whether it’s through clear paneling, imagery, or copy, you need to let consumers know what they are purchasing. Being misleading or disingenuous may net you a one-time buyer, but it’s a very fast way to annoy people (and ensure they won’t come back to you again). Consistency and honesty win the day every time, ensuring that first-time buyers have confidence in what you are selling them. This also helps to define your brand purpose. Providing potential customers with clear, concise information is a proven way to build your brand and to create true fans who value what you sell.
What would a merchandiser do?
This point is crucial for people who rely more heavily on in-store sales. Put yourself in the shoes of the everyday shopper cruising a department store or supermarket – what are the placements that stand out? Do you want your product buried on the shelves amongst your competitors or hanging in a prime position at the end of an aisle?
When designing your packaging, consider how your product can be best displayed and highlighted. If you can incorporate merchandising elements that will lend your product to unique displays or end bays, it’s an ideal way to draw extra attention to your brand.
Tell your story
When it comes to building trust amongst consumers, adding a human touch can make all the difference. By outlining your brand or company story within your marketing, you can add a personable level to your product that makes you appear more real and trustworthy – not just another company trying to make a buck. Every company has a unique story to tell about how their brand came to be, whether it’s an interesting start-up anecdote or a particular struggle faced. When customers can see what makes you who you are, they will associate your brand as one with more meaning (and heart).