So, you’ve developed a great product, a product that customers are going to be eager to buy. Now, you need to package this product and let the public know it is out there. The step between a good product concept and a successful retail product is where many entrepreneurs make major mistakes and the amazing new product becomes a thing that just sits on a shelf or worse in a warehouse never gaining any traction. Why is this the case?

retail package design

Many entrepreneurs fail because they don’t understand the importance of packaging design. They put together an amazing product and package it dismally, so it never catches the public’s eye or fails to convey critical selling points. How can someone avoid this mistake? When it comes to marketing a product, package design is of great importance.

Your design for retail packaging is of great importance as it involves branding your product. It’s the first thing customers see and therefore it’s what gets a reaction from them. For this reason, you need to ensure it is up to retail standards. What does this mean?

Your product design must eliminate confusion and stand out from others trying to capture the attention of the target audience. It must be visually appealing to attract this attention and offer value. What makes your product better than others on the market today? Your package design needs to let customers know why they should buy your product over the many others being offered.

To determine what package design will work best for your product, you need to ask yourself a few questions.

  1. Who are you marketing to?
  2. What product are you trying to sell?
  3. What makes this product unique and why should consumers buy it?
  4. Does anyone else sell a similar product?
  5. Has anyone endorsed or sponsored this product?

These questions will help you narrow down what you need when it comes to the packaging for your product. The more information you gather before you start creating a package, the easier the process will be.

As you begin to design your product package, you will need to focus on various things. Each is of importance in its own way, yet its the combination of these various factors that will create a great product package design. Here are the top factors to consider.

  • Simplicity – You don’t want to overwhelm your customers with a fancy package design. If you try to put too much information on the package, the customers may suffer from information overload and look at another product. Too little information can be just as detrimental though, although many designers are now focusing on minimalism. Your product needs to provide enough information to capture the attention of your target audience and quickly tell them why your product is the best. This needs to be done in simple terms, ones a customer can grasp easily.
  • Authenticity – Make sure the design for your package reflects the core values of your company. What drives your product and your business? Make sure the product reflects this. If you feel you cannot distinguish yourself while remaining authentic, it’s time to think outside the box. Look at what your competitors are doing and do the opposite. If most use a vertical layout on their packaging, use a horizontal one. If they are using pastels, use bold colors. Doing so allows you to remain authentic while still standing out in the crowd.
  • Visual impact – Walk into a store and look at the shelves. Everything seems to blend in together, doesn’t it? Your product needs to stand out here. Take similar items and set them up as they would appear on a store shelf. Do they all look similar? How can you make your product stand out in this grouping? If most companies are using blue or red, use a bright yellow color to make your product pop out. Try a variety of combinations and colors to find the one that provides the most visual impact when grouped with similar items.
  • Honesty – Make sure you are honest in all aspects of package design. Don’t try to dress up the product with other items. If they aren’t included in the package, it’s best to leave them out of the package design. Your goal is to accurately represent the product in the best possible light.
  • Practicality – Make sure the product design is easy to use. A simple change can make a huge difference here, like when ketchup makers decided to turn the bottle upside down. Sales increased significantly when this move was made. You want to make the product easy to use, easy to store in the home and easy to carry.
  • Future products – When you design a package for a product, look to see if it will accommodate new products you may develop in the future. Look for a design which allows for easy changes to labeling and other information as you want continuity across your product line to make it easier for customers to find what you are offering.

If you find you are struggling to come up with a great package design for your new product, GET HELP. There are plenty of companies that specialize in this field and can help you come up with a design that captures the attention of consumers. This is one area where you cannot afford to fall behind your competitors. Doing so could have your amazing new product sitting on store shelves across around the world. As one of my mentors would tell me, “it’s a horrible feeling to run 99 yards only to drop the ball on the 1 yard line.”

Author: Chris London is the art director for Pixel Productions Inc., a brand design agency that got their start in developing commercial product packaging.