If you are a new or even established business, you may be looking into designing or re-designing your product packaging.
There are many things to consider when designing branded product packaging, here are the major considerations below:
Size: you need to consider the size of the product you are putting inside the box. It's important for a product like a candle or beauty product to fit snuggly in the box, and not rattle around.
Even if you need product packaging for retail shelves, it's important that when a potential customer picks up your product to inspect it, that it is packaged well. The last thing you want is for your packaging to look damaged on the shelves because the product didn't fit snuggly, and after people pick it up, it caves in.
On a personal note, I also don't like it when I get home with a product, open the box up, and find there is a tiny bottle on the inside of the product packaging. What a feeling of disappointment, even for a fleeting moment. That's the last thing you want your customer to feel - regret or disappointment. You want them to be content with their product purchase choice.
Style: the style of the box needs to be both practical to your needs, but also ensure the product is easy to access, and can even be a unique or fun shape, to stand out from the crowd. Think about that packaging you bought at Christmas, shaped in a Christmas tree. You may not remember the name of the brand, but I certainly enjoy buying seasonal looking packaging for fun.
Think about what you need the packaging for: for example, if you are an online store and sending your products out via the post, you could send a rigid box with a ribbon closure, but this wouldn't work well on a retail shelf, as the packages need to be streamlined so they can fit nice and neatly on a shelf. Otherwise the ribbon on the side of the box will be filling up your precious retail shelf space.
Protection elements: you need to think about packaging as a means to protect your product. If you are sending products in the mail to customers, depending on the fragility of the product, you need to choose the correct paper weight product packaging plus, you need to think about how it will travel in the mail.
For fragile products like candles, cased in a glass canister, it would be a good idea to send the product in a corrugated mailer box, with foam or bubble wrap to support it. You could choose either a thin flat pack box for the packaging, or a rigid box, for extra protection. You need to ensure the presentation of your box suits your brand.
Even if you're sending your product in a mailer box or courier bag, that might not look beautiful, you should make sure that when the client opens the mailer bag or mailer box, that they reach in to pick up a beautifully packaged item. The last thing you want is for them to spend 5 minutes unrolling and taking sissors to your bubbled wrapped package.
Limit the amount of time they have to unwrap, by choosing the right mailer package or product packaging paper weight.
Branding / Colour: as with all marketing efforts, you need to ensure your brand is consistent - and this includes your packaging - which is a mini-billboard to your product. Remember to keep to your business brand colours, imagery and personality consistent with all your other marketing efforts.
You want your packaging to have shelf appeal, but it also must tie in with your brand image that you have created in all other forms of marketing communication.
I hope the above points will put you in the right direction when discussing your packaging design needs with your graphic designer, so that your target customer will purchase your product - not only because the product is fabulous, but because it was the packaging that drew their eye to it! Remember, you may be the best product in your market - but your ideal customer might not know this - so make sure your packaging shouts it!
If your customer is at the shelf where your and your competitors products are side by side, make sure you are visible and irresistible to your customer, so your product is the easy choice for them.
Clara Cassidy, Founder and Marketing Manager of Custom Printed Bags & Boxes, is a marketing professional with years of experience in branding, promotions and events.