Is there anything more rewarding than creating an incredible product and having it sitting in front of you ready to be sold to hundreds or even thousands of potential buyers? When you're finally getting ready to present your product to the media or retail buyers, there's another big hurdle that you have to consider – the product packaging.
Of course, you've spent lots of time, money, and energy dreaming, designing, and perfecting your product, but now you need to display it in a way that has consumers thinking, “I need that!” and the media thinking “I want to feature you!”
Your product packaging should tell a story. It's part art, part science, part regulations, and a whole lot of brand love. To nail your packaging, you need to understand the retail landscape and the wholesale buyer. While this may seem overwhelming, there is nothing more rewarding than having a customer beeline for your product in a sea of other brands. Trust us, your brand CAN be the brand that everyone needs to get their hands on and that every magazine editor wants to feature!
Your product packaging is a big deal. In fact, it should accomplish several things for your brand.
Here are six things to keep in mind when designing your product packaging:
1. Tells a Brand Story
This might be the most important thing that your packaging should do! Your packaging should be consistent with your branding, so every time that somebody sees it, they know exactly where the product came from.
Your brand story is who you are as a brand. Are you vintage and moody, or bright and bubbly? How do you want your customer to feel when they hold your product in their hands? What type of customer do you want to appeal to? If you can't answer these questions, then you may want to sit down with a branding company to understand how you want to present your biz.
2. Helps Sell Your Product
When you start going wholesale, your product will be in a busy retail store with several other brands all around. So, how will you stand out and catch your ideal customer’s eye? Your packaging should call people that enter the store to pick up your product.
Tell a story of what pain points you will solve for the customer or why they need your product. Using marketing psychology when developing your packaging prototype is a perfect way to hit a home run, but if you're not trained in that, then your branding company should be able to help.
3. Builds an Emotional Connection
The majority of buyers purchase on emotion instead of logic. Instead of keeping your product surface level, appeal to your customer in a deeper way. For example, we worked closely with Jack59 to create an emotional appeal to their ideal customer. Our design partner created detailed, custom packaging colors for each type of shampoo bar, making for an effortless selection process for Jack59’s customer. However, we went the extra mile. We wanted to ensure that Jack59 stood out in a busy retail setting, so our designer came up with custom patterns for each box. Knowing that Jack59’s ideal customer would be environmentally-conscious, we clearly highlighted that information on the packaging. Each part of the packaging was given detailed thought and attention from the point of view of Jack59’s ideal customer.
Let your product make your ideal customer feel great about themselves! After all, you got into your biz for more reasons than just a transaction – let that shine through your packaging.
4. Protects the Product
Okay, we're getting technical here, but your packaging should actually protect the product. Though this isn't the most exciting part of the design, it is necessary. Shipping can quickly bang up a product, and sometimes shelf life can be difficult, so make sure your packaging provides much-needed protection against elements and hiccups.
When we were working on a packaging project with our client Jack59, a small perforation was added on the side inviting the customer to “experience the scent.” That way the customer could smell the bar without actually touching it. This keeps the bar hygienic at all times while still giving the potential buyer an exceptional customer experience.
5. Meets Packaging Guidelines
Depending on where you're located and what type of product you're offering, your packaging guidelines will differ. For example, in Canada, clothing must have a CA number included, and in many countries, cosmetics must include the shelf life and weight on the packaging. And, if you’re planning on working with larger stores such as grocery or pharmacy chains, you will need to incorporate a barcode on your packaging.
Do your research about the necessary guidelines that you must include for your product and the region you’re planning on selling in. The good news? You can meet all of the packaging guidelines and still have beautiful packaging. We promise!
6. Educates and Excites the Customer
Don't forget to provide value to your customer through your product packaging! Try to educate and excite your consumer through your packaging. For example, our first business, House of Koopslie had a great tagline, “Yes you can rock a headband!” on the packaging. The reason we included this is that we heard time and time again from customers who wanted to try headbands but were nervous or too self-conscious to do so. This messaging spoke to women that felt like they couldn't pull off a headband, but in a fun and light way. It caught so much attention!
As a bonus, the back of the packaging included a handy guide of different ways to style a headband to help women feel inspired by the versatility of House of Koopslie’s headbands.
As our client, Jack59, was getting ready to enter the mass retail market, we began designing product packaging prototypes for them. As a seller of plastic-free shampoo bars, Jack59 wanted to clearly present different bar options for each hair type. We added a call-to-action on the packaging and the retail displays pointing customers to take the Jack59 hair quiz. This provided a deeper connection and provided the information the customer was seeking.
Utilize your packaging to get your buyer excited about your product! After all, you're excited about it, so why shouldn't they be?
One of the best things that you can do for your company during your packaging process is to build an open and honest relationship with your packaging company and your graphic designer, especially if you're new to this world! There may be room for feedback and areas that you're not too sure about, and it's a perfect opportunity to hear from the professionals. If you need help, you can hire an expert with project management and packaging experience to guide you through the process.
This is a guest post from Koopslie Consulting.
Still a little uneasy about getting your product media and wholesale ready? Check out Koopslie Consulting‘s amazing services that can help you, depending on where you are in your unique entrepreneurial journey.
Extremely helpful and insightful article. In fact, I am saving it for future reference.
Thank you for your feedback! I am happy to hear you enjoyed the article I wrote 🙂 Packaging is such an important part of success in stores.