4 Mistakes To Avoid When Designing Your Product Packaging

Posted on: 2 February 2015

Consumer packaging is essential to marketing. You must devote time and thought to all aspects of material and design, as it is the first impression that is made to any potential customer. In order to make your packaging appeal to the consumer as much as possible, there are a few mistakes that you need to avoid when working with a packaging design firm to create your product's package design.

Impossible to Open without Tools

You almost certainly have encountered this scenario yourself-- after weeks or months of anticipation, you furiously attempt to open a package only to experience "wrap rage."

Studies have shown that consumers have become so annoyed with this common experience that can influence their buying decisions. You must make your product easy to open. Many packages require so much force in order to be opened that it exceeds human strength, and the consumer has to use scissors or another tool to open the package. In many cases, changes such as adding a perforated opening along one side of a clamshell package can virtually eliminate "wrap rage."

Missing the Mark

You can create packaging that wins design awards and still fail to solve the problem of properly snaring a customer's interest. Successful packaging reaches off the shelf and grabs the attention of key target buyers.

You can trigger new desires within the potential customer while properly revealing the product and exemplifying its unique features by use of colors, font, as well as the placement of your logo.

Effective packaging design will also magnify the quality, mood, and price point of a product. It should fit within the retail setting where it will be purchased as well as the store's merchandising strategy. A package does not exist in a vacuum, you must place it within the context of the target buyer and the environment where it is encountered. When you design your package keep in mind where it will be sold, and to what demographic you are marketing.

For example, packaging that is marketed to children would benefit from packaging featuring bright, colored font and pictures. In contrast, a product marketed towards young urban professionals, however, would most benefit from a sleek, minimalistic design.

Manufacturing Packaging Overseas Rather Than Locally

Many packages are manufactured overseas for a number of reasons. In efforts to maximize profit, many companies find production of packaging abroad to be cheaper. Especially with products such as consumer electronics, it can be tempting to manufacture the packaging close to where the product is made to save money.  While you will find some flexibility in manufacturing timelines overseas, you should expect the whole process to take much longer than it would locally. Not only will production take longer, but shipping your packaging from overseas will take about a month by boat. The whole process from the time you send your final art files to the date of launch can be much longer than expected when you work with an overseas manufacturing company. 

In almost every case you are better off using a local design firm. Using a local firm will ensure that you get your packaging quickly, as well as allow you to work closely with the company to ensure that your package design is as close to your vision as possible. Go to websites to see options in you area.

Missing the Unique Selling Proposition

Make the consumer's life easier, and you will gain a loyal customer. Good package design quickly communicates what's inside, and how it's going to make the consumer's life easier. Do not assume the customer knows anything when you are designing your packaging.

Consumers have very little time to compare products in a store and are naturally focused on what is in it for them. Think about how packaging can solve a unique problem a consumer may be experiencing, such as spritzing versus pouring, and how to communicate this effectively through your design.