Have you ever considered packaging as a product?
Probably not. But packaging is an item that needs to be manufactured and assembled – just like the product it holds. So retail packaging design is not the place to skimp on the marketing budget.
Packaging is important for so many reasons. It not only introduces your product, but also displays it, protects it and preserves it.
In fact, there are three categories for packaging. The Primary level is the packaging the consumer takes home.
The Secondary level is anything that’s used to group items together. This includes things such as other boxes, film wrap and trays.
And finally, the Tertiary level is the packaging used for transporting and warehousing. Cartons and pallets are at this level.
With packaging being such an important product, one thing is for certain:
The Right Retail Packaging Design Is Crucial
Not only will it represent your product, but it’s going to ultimately be crucial to its success. After all, it ensures that your product arrives safely onto store shelves.
To get it from there and right into the consumer’s shopping bag or cart, there are seven factors to consider:
Package design has a direct influence on customers.
Shelf appeal is vital. The vast majority of purchasing decisions are made in-store and your packaging is often the primary thing that attracts buyers to shelves in the first place.
Therefore, your retail packaging design needs to capture your customer’s attention while they’re shopping. This is especially important in situations where the product needs to stand out among thousands of other products – such as a grocery store – or if the consumer is not already familiar with the product.
Eye-catching designs are more likely to be remembered on future shopping trips. Then once the consumer is interested, the packaging becomes a vehicle for information about your product.
Packaging design is considered an important indicator of quality too. Its design and structure can add value to your product. The design should allow for easy opening, yet still be tamperproof.
As more and more Canadians are recycling plastic each year, it’s clear that sustainability is a growing concern. This is true for businesses too.
But is your company striking the proper balance between environmental and commercial demands?
For example, in reducing your packaging to meet environmental goals, does it compromise your product’s security? On the other side of that coin, if you’re investing a lot into your packaging with a focus on security, does this impact your sustainability goals?
These are questions you should ask yourself when it comes to retail packaging design.
You should also consider the sustainability of the actual design. Ideally, you want a design that will on the market for a long period of time. So be sure that the design has staying power.
From a marketing standpoint, changing a product’s packaging too often is a bad idea. Customers are accustomed to locating your product based on its package and may lose sight of it if the design is altered.
If you haven’t considered packaging as a product, then you may not realize what a significant portion of a product’s selling price is in the packaging.
There are many ways to lower packaging costs. But just as with sustainability, you need to strike that balance.
The main question here is – what will cost-savings mean for your brand image?
For example, if you’re selling a liquid product, plastic bottles may be cheaper. then again, if you want the packaging to reflect the high quality of the product, your brand will be better preserved with glass.
Another thing to consider is just how much upfront it will cost to develop new packaging. There are many potential costs associated with new packaging:
- Graphic and structural redesign
- Customer testing
- Destruction of old packaging
- Advertising to inform customer of new packaging
So these short-term costs should be measured against the long-term ones.
The materials you choose are another big factor. And what material is right for you will depend on your product and processes.
Keep in mind that your package may be “victim” to things like product promotions, SKU changes, new products and variants, so it the retail packaging design material needs to be flexible enough to handle these.
Fortunately, there are new developments in higher performing lightweight materials that minimize storage requirements and transport costs, without the product’s value and appeal taking a hit.
The assurance that your product’s package can withstand the extreme conditions is an essential part of the retail packaging design.
Consider the weather conditions where you live, as well as where you’ll be shipping your product. Will it be able to handle fluctuating temperatures? What about vibration?
And will your product be protected from spoilage if the packaging is exposed to air, dust, moisture or other elements?
If you don’t have a definite yes, then take another look at your design.
6. Distributor Requirements
With all the focus on the final customer, it’s easy to forget that in some cases, packaging decisions have to be accepted by distributors who sell the product for the supplier.
That means that the retail packaging design might have to conform to certain size requirements. These are put in place by distributors in order to store products on their shelves.
7. Environmental/Legal Issues
This falls somewhat in line with sustainability but takes it up another notch.
Decisions around packaging design should include an assessment of its environmental impact – particularly for products with packages that are going to be discarded rather than recycled.
Packages that are not easily biodegradable could draw the attention of environmental groups and put your company in a bad light. This could elevate to a governmental level.
From a legal standpoint, it’s absolutely necessary that the retail packaging design does not infringe on intellectual property. Be sure to check that copyrights, trademarks or patents do not already belong to someone else.
Packaging Design Is Key to Success
Clearly, retail packaging design requires the designer to wear many hats – optimizing for the customer, the client, the brand, even the earth! All while creating an eye-catching and memorable design.
That’s why you want to be sure that product packaging design and support for merchant display is embedded in your marketing strategy and campaigns.
So if you’re looking for effective retail packaging design solutions, contact us today. We’ll give you a quote on your packaging design needs.