How effective is your package as a silent sales person?
How often have you bought a package based on the design, never having tried it before? I’m guilty! If I like the design, I’ll buy it. With so much choice in grocery and retail stores today, package design must work even harder to ‘woo’ us.
There are of course times when my decision is outweighed by a tried and true brand or a ‘must’ purchase. As a seasoned shopper, I have grown up with a multitude of brands and packaging I have come to know and trust that affect my purchase habits. Kraft makes the best peanut butter. Heinz makes the best ketchup and I trust Campbell’s soups.
Over the years, these brands have updated their packaging to improve their appeal and ensure they don’t get lost or forgotten in the plethora of packages!
What Makes a Well-designed Package?
What’s involved in developing a new or updated package design? How do you ensure your packaging stands out and has purchase power? In other words, how effective will it be as your silent sales person?
Design is a critical stage in package development, but it’s the brand positioning and strategic planning prior to design that play an even greater role in crafting the message, direction and overall design approach.
While every project is different, there are design and strategy fundamentals that will always set the parameters by which the package will be designed. Here are a few considerations:
- Who is your customer? Who will buy this product and why?
- Are there competitive products? Is your product any different? How?
- Does your product require government approvals? Are there environmental considerations?
- Are there manufacturing limitations?
- How will the package be printed? Litho, Flexo, Die sublimation?
- Will photography or illustration be required?
- How many languages are required? Canadian packaging must be bilingual. Many packages abroad are trilingual.
- How will your product be supported at retail? Point-of-purchase? Ad campaign? Promotion? Website? All?
Important Considerations that Impact Design
Once these questions are answered and the direction is created, the fun begins for the designer! Developing concepts requires thoughtful selection of colours, fonts and imagery to suit the character and personality of the brand. As concepts evolve, here are important considerations that will impact the design.
Clarity and Simplicity
Canadian packaging must be bilingual and this can be challenging. It leaves less room for creativity, especially when French can often be one and half times the length of English. It’s like a puzzle and a good designer will make sure all the information is clear and concise, appeals to the eye and is graphically balanced!
Competitive products will provide some reference, but this is a chance to introduce something new and take over the shelf space – not share it! A good designer will think differently and challenge the status quo. The two package designs below are perfect examples.
A household cleaner with professional strength is communicated in a clever ‘weight-style’ package design that visually delivers the message! U by Kotex launched a brand new bold and youthful look for their feminine hygiene products that stood out at retail in the sea of pastel colours their competitors used. This packaging approach was strategically planned and executed brilliantly!