Packaging is often a customer's first introduction to a product, which is why 70% of consumers form their initial impressions of a brand based solely on their packaging. In addition, 72% of Americans agree that a product's packaging design significantly influences their purchasing decisions.
However, some manufacturers fall short in designing their product packaging, focusing their energy exclusively on the product itself. And while creating a high-quality product is undoubtedly important, shoppers likely won't see its full potential if the corresponding packaging doesn't accurately reflect the product's quality.
Through this guide, you'll learn the importance of packaging design and how to create effective packaging for your merchandise.
How Packaging Reflects Product Quality
Consumers associate a product's outer appearance with the item's quality. That's why individuals often refer to a product's packaging to determine whether the item is a good investment.
For example, if your product packaging looks cheap, shoddy or underwhelming, your sales likely won't meet expectations — even if you have the best product on the market. That's because shoppers assume that the product within the package will be of equal quality to the packaging.
On the other hand, a package that looks attractive, eye-catching and sturdy indicates to consumers that the product will encompass the same value, solidifying the item's quality, integrity and legitimacy in the buyer's eyes.
Shoppers look for numerous product quality indicators when evaluating merchandise packaging, such as:
- Structure: Packages that appear robust and durable are more likely to house products that are undisturbed and intact. Product packaging that's physically damaged indicates that the merchandise inside probably endured some level of damage as well.
- Color: Packaging color sets various sensory and brand-related expectations for consumers, which can heavily influence product experience. Color can also induce positive or negative emotions, which impacts purchasing behavior.
- Font: Fonts that look unprofessional, unappealing or difficult to read can deter buyers, while attractive fonts instill greater trust in buyers that the product is reliable and of good quality.
- Graphics: Low-grade images and graphics on a product's packaging can give consumers the wrong idea about the merchandise inside.
Why Packaging Design Is Important
While your packaging signals to consumers the level of quality your product embodies, it also plays many additional roles in merchandise sales. An effective product packaging design can lead to all of the following benefits for your brand.
Create a Good First Impression
First impressions are everything to consumers when it comes to purchasing products, and your packaging design plays a significant role in influencing these perceptions. When your product containers come off as professional, interesting and visually appealing, shoppers are more likely to develop a positive impression of the item and your brand. Attractive packaging can also establish a strong connection with shoppers by catering to their interests and expectations, ultimately improving their overall customer experience.
Attract Buyers' Attention
Another goal that product packaging fulfills is attracting buyers. When your packaging comprises pleasant and alluring colors, graphics and styles, customers are more likely to pick it up off the shelf. 30% of businesses that improved their product packaging experienced increased revenue. Studies also show that 52% of consumers are willing to pay more money for products with a packaging design they like.
Protect Products From Damage
Your product packaging serves to protect the merchandise inside. That's why 67% of consumers' buying decisions are influenced by a product's packaging materials. Well-made packaging ensures that your products remain safe as they travel from the manufacturing facility to the retailer to the shelf. They should also endure any in-store consumer handling.
Incorporating a sturdy package design means safeguarding your products from cosmetic damage while ensuring they'll function as intended for the consumer.
Provide Important Information
Because packaging is designed to promote merchandise, it includes valuable information that communicates key product characteristics to consumers. Common details that packages highlight include product assembly and usage instructions, size and capabilities. These types of information answer shoppers' questions and give them a better idea of what they can expect after purchasing your products. In turn, it helps manage consumer expectations and increase overall satisfaction.
Differentiate the Product From Competitors
Separating your products from the competition is vital in a competitive market. Attractive, high-quality packaging is more likely to make products stand out from similar merchandise and appear the better investment. Different styles, colors, fonts and materials can elevate products that are otherwise equivalent in price and function to other offerings.
How to Design Packaging That Works
Many elements come into play when designing and branding your product packaging. If you're looking to boost sales for your company, consider implementing the following tactics into your packaging design:
- Make it stand out: Your product packaging should stand out to consumers, incorporating bold colors and eye-catching graphics. Don't be afraid to think outside the box to attract shoppers' attention.
- Embrace simplicity: Simple packaging is far more effective than designs with too many details. You can avoid clutter by focusing on a single style element and implementing accents that don't overwhelm the overall design.
- Include hierarchal information: Your packaging should highlight one main selling point, and any supplementary information should trickle down in order of importance. Too much information can cause shoppers to lose interest in the product or prevent them from absorbing the most important details.
- Make it memorable: Customers tend to remember products with highly distinctive packaging featuring powerful visual cues. These elements increase brand recognition and help your products stick with customers in the long term.
- Connect with customers: Shoppers prefer packaging that comes off as authentic and personal rather than cold and corporate. You can better connect with customers by designing packaging that's expressive, creative and relatable.
- Provide clear context: Your packaging should make it immediately clear what the product inside is and what it's meant to do. Be sure to provide as much context as possible to eliminate any confusion.
- Keep physical conditions in mind: Think about your product's physical environment and design your packaging accordingly. For example, consider how elements like lighting and shelf design might impact your packaging needs.
- Be honest: Though your packaging should depict the product in the most appealing manner, it's important not to misrepresent the item or risk creating unsatisfied customers. Make sure any product images on your packaging are accurate and will not mislead shoppers.
- Allow for extensibility: It's a good rule of thumb to design your product packaging in a way that allows for future product line extensions. Your packages should feature systematic style elements that will remain effective with visual variations in color or graphics that subsequent products may include.
Optimize Your Product Packaging at QPSI
You can enhance your product packaging to generate the most revenue with package design and branding services from QPSI. As industry leaders in contract packaging and supply chain management, we adhere to a streamlined approach that accelerates time to market, minimizes waste and helps companies reach their business goals. We've been a part of the retail and consumer goods industries for over 40 years, making us the experts you can trust.
Contact us to learn more about our services today!