What Your Retail Packaging Design Says About Your Brand

Retail packaging design sets expectations and even evokes emotions. Learn how to create a good first impression and making the unboxing experience special. 

Marketers know that consumers often will judge books by their covers. Of course, it’s not just books but the retail packaging design for almost any kind of product. Colors, shapes, and other design elements do more than make a first impression. They might even impact the customer’s psychological state. Even beyond any words on the box, you can utilize your packaging to tell shoppers a lot about your brand. That’s why many businesses go so far as to hire an experienced packaging design agency to design custom product packaging that will help them stand out among their competition.

What to consider for custom product packaging design

Direct Packaging Solutions, one packaging design agency, touched upon two ways that package design can affect the customer experience:

  • First impressions: Consumer research has found that packaging can change customer expectations for a product. As an example, MacBook has a reputation for having one of the top package designs on Amazon and other online venues. Owners mentioned how much they appreciated the way their Apple packaging displayed and protected their laptops and accessories. They enjoyed the unboxing process and liked the box so much that they didn’t want to discard it. 
  • Emotions: Several aspects of the packaging can actually evoke specific emotions. For instance, many food brands use red because it can stimulate appetite, and yellow tends to communicate happiness and competence. Even shape might matter. As an example, one beer company developed a bottle with a thicker neck and more angular shape to look more masculine and appeal to men.

Of course, you can also use your consistent style of packaging to reinforce your brand. When people think of Tiffany, they tend to visualize the blue boxes. Likewise, it’s hard to think of Coca-Cola without picturing the iconic red can.

Packaging can also communicate something about your company’s purpose. For instance today’s customers like to see recyclable or reusable packaging. Amazon should know quite a bit about packaging, and they have gone out of their way to promote their program to reduce packaging waste.

Tips for top packaging design on Amazon and other eCommerce sites

For selling online, you need to make certain that your package doesn’t just look good in person. A full-sized and thumbnail photo also has to entice clicks. For that, you need clean, clear, and uncluttered graphics and fonts. Even so, it helps to give your packaging a unique, distinctive look to attract attention.

You might even use your packaging to solve a problem and make your product more functional. For instance, what could be a better example of a common packaged good than ketchup? Heinz got a lot of press for coming up with the genius idea of giving their bottles a wide top, so they could be packaged and stored upside-down.

For years, customers had complained that they had to struggle to get the last bit of ketchup out of the bottle, and the new design used gravity to solve a 150-year-old problem. According to CNN, they increased sales by six percent in a year when their overall industry only rose by two percent. Businesses can profit by making their customer’s lives easier, and sometimes, packaging can help.

How to start designing outstanding packages

As with any aspect of marketing, you should understand your target market. For instance, CBD packaging might reflect health and nature, but boxes for luxury goods should communicate a sense of indulgence and style. Experienced product packaging companies can make certain your packaging reflects well on your company in both appearance and function.

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