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How your packaging’s design can see your marketing soar – or backfire

Your product’s packaging serves several practical purposes. It protects the product from accidents or environmental factors during transit while also securing the product from unauthorised alterations. However, you might have underestimated that packaging’s worth as a marketing tool.

In a bricks-and-mortar store, the packaging design will be the last thing the potential customer sees from you before they decide whether to purchase. Hence, you should make sure that you…

Give the customer the information they need

If the packaging is clearly informative and answers the customer’s questions, this can put the customer at ease and reassure them that they know what they are getting.

Naturally, when buying a food product, that person can take comfort from seeing its ingredients listed on the box, while you could also clearly show instructions for how to prepare the food. If you’ve got a big event coming up, you could even opt to advertise that.

However, know when you should change the design…

Despite what we have just said, you don’t want that packaging to be left looking like it just has newspaper columns printed all over it. Especially important, obvious though it might seem, is that the product name is displayed clearly and boldly on this packaging.

If customers can’t quickly see what exactly a particular product is, they could too easily ignore it. Hence, if a product of yours is selling poorly, an extensive redesign of its packaging could be in order.

… and when you shouldn’t change the design

If your brand is well-established, with various visual elements to which your loyal customers feel an emotional bond, you should probably hold off changing too many of those elements too quickly.

Consider the example of fruit juice brand Tropicana – which, in January 2009, replaced the logo, typography, slogan, image and even lid for its orange juice cartons in North America. After the redesign was widely criticised and sales fell by 20%, Tropicana reverted to the old design.

Though packaging redesigns often cause a small dip in sales, this is usually just temporary as customers get used to recognising the new design. The difference with the Tropicana situation is that many of the brand’s customers were unwilling to accept the redesign, hence the unexpectedly severe decline in sales.

Heed how rules differ between advertising design and packaging design

With the design of your advertising, you have more leeway to communicate both emotions and values that will endure in the long run. However, with packaging design, it’s crucial to communicate more directly and clearly, as the customer will be trying to quickly decide whether to buy.

Nonetheless, certain design principles should run right through both your advertising and packaging designs. For example, if you want a logo or branding colours capable of resonating with customers wherever they see them, that’s where our graphic designers can help.

Once you have discussed your needs with us over the phone on 01325 582112, our design team can closely account for your requirements and produce slick designs that fit the relevant criteria.

How your packaging's design can see your marketing soar - or backfire
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