Perfect packaging does exist. And today you’ll find out what can you do to make sure your packaging is spot on.
In a previous post, we’ve talked about the importance of packaging and labeling and how custom packaging can help you build a brand that stands the test of time.
This time, we’re going to focus on the specific steps you can implement to create the perfect packaging for any product. At the end of this post, you’ll have 11 ideas that will bring you closer to your potential customers.
The good news? All the ideas are actionable and won’t cost you a fortune! You’ll see that perfect packaging is all in the little details.
Perfect packaging – what you should know before you start designing
Know your target market
Perfect packaging and labeling speak to your target market. In other words, you need to know your customer’s needs and wants better than anyone else.
Are your products directed towards upper-class women? Your packaging and what goes on it should be aligned with the characteristics of this group. Perhaps you can think of a luxury box with gold foil or a classic, simple box with serif letters.
Does your product come to help young women and men, adventure-seekers? Then your box should reflect the lifestyle of your target market and the things they’re interested in.
You get the point.
The same goes for aligning the visual of your packaging with the product you’re selling. If you’re selling a fruity, tropical perfume, the packaging would be more relevant if it’s colorful. If the perfume is a high-class scent meant for special-occasions or red carpet events, a playful look would not be that relevant.
Know your competitors
As mentioned before, knowing your competitors is an important piece of the puzzle. How do your competitors present their products?
Maybe their packaging isn’t very clear and straightforward? Or perhaps it’s plain and unimpressive. If all the products in your niche are packaged in white boxes with simple graphics, maybe you can think of a very colorful visual that stands out, or a luxury black-and-gold look that’s bold and strong.
Is there something you can highlight in your packaging so that your brand has an extra advantage? Of course, you’ll need to make sure to showcase your strengths in a way that is ethical and moral (without compromising your competitors).
Know your sale points
You should also consider where your product is going to be sold, placed and its appearance on the shelves. If you’re mostly selling online, the box your product comes in is super important for the brand perception and the unboxing experience.
But when you’re selling in a physical shop where your competitors sell too (like a makeup shop), making sure your box is visible among the rest is key.
If you’re stuck and have no ideas where to start, think of packaging that you like, or just go on a shopping tour and pay attention to how different products are placed on the shelves and how they look in relation to other products.
Take inspiration from your favorite shops and try to break down what makes their packaging special.
An easy-to-get perfect packaging experience
A hint: it’s not that expensive or hard as you think. Here’s how you can create THE perfect packaging experience in a few simple steps.
1. Start with the materials
You can recognize quality packaging just by looking at the box. Does it feel sturdy and shows you care about this aspect as well, or it’s flimsy and plain?
At YourBoxSolution we offer 4 different high-quality paperboards – including metallic paper – as well as box coatings, hot foil stamping, and other extras that will make any box look spectacular. See all the box coating and extras here. The good news is that they don’t cost a fortune and we can print pretty much anything you can think of.
Color, textures, and shapes enhance your customer’s experience with the product, so the first impression is important.
2. Customize the outside of the packaging
An unboxing experience worth the mention has to have some sort of custom printing. Just think about your favorite product – maybe it’s a piece of jewelry or a gadget. Now imagine it being delivered in a brown paper bag, without so much as a custom seal or stamp that shows the brand logo.
Not that interesting, right?
Getting custom packaging doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you’re on a tight budget, you can put together a white box and a custom sleeve to go over it and you’re all set with a branded box.
High-looking extras such as gold foil are guaranteed to offer an astonishing look, but you can get a perfectly-looking box with less too.
3. Consider inside printing
A very interesting and widely used option we have for you is inside printing. Printing on the interior of the packaging adds value to your brand image, and it allows you to continue your story to the inside of the box as well.
That means more chances to captivate your customers. You can use this space to write your company description, a value you stand for, or a nice message that will surprise anyone who opens the box.
4. Keep it simple
If you’re like most brands, you’ll want to plaster key words and important information all over your packaging so that the consumer knows why yours is better than the others.
Make a list of the most important points you would like for your customers to know about your product and make those the forefront. Find the fine line between important information and a clean and clear message.
5. Make it personal
It costs you almost nothing to write a thank you note for your customer on a small piece of paper and put it inside the box or along with the product. The added value will definitely win some hearts because people like it when someone shows they care.
If you’re packaging and shipping hundreds of thousands of products per day, writing each customer a personalized note might not be for you, but you cal still pre-print a batch and just add them to every package.
6. Pay attention to details
Perfect packaging starts and ends with the details. Maybe you can place an icon or text stating your ecology efforts, or a cheerful message on the inside of the box.
As I’ve mentioned previously, details can go a long way, and any extra attention you give to your product should be thought of as a small investment in your marketing and future customers.
7. Create loyalty with free samples or discounts
Once in a while consider securing your customer’s loyalty with free offerings. They can vary from small samples, discounts, loyalty cards, even a nice sticker that goes along with their order, or a free tote bag branded with your logo or a message that would delight your customers.
The free stuff you’re giving doesn’t have to cost you much – even the smallest of items show your costumers that you care about them sticking by your side.
And next time they’ll be needing something that you’ve previously sold them, they’ll first think of you and not your competition.
8. Take environment into consideration
As we grew aware of the need for environmental care, ecology is at the forefront of the decisionmaking process. Customers and shoppers everywhere are turning towards companies that take active measures to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging.
If your product permits, try to think of ways you can package it without using plastic or non-recyclable materials. Don’t hesitate showcasing this on the box itself, along with instructions on how your packaging should be recycled or discarded. Such simple actions can go a long way into earning your customer’s trust.
9. Test your audience & adapt packaging accordingly
Market research? This sounds scarry.
It’s not. And you don’t need a huge research firm to do a quick market research or survey to give you a starting point. You can create some sample packaging and ask individuals (preferably those you know might buy this product) what they think, and ask for suggestions. You may just learn something very valuable about your packaging that you never noticed before.
You can also package your products in small batches and see which ones sell better. To help you with this we can print short run boxes so you’re not stuck with thousands of leftover boxes. Our minimum order goes as low as 250 pieces, so you can test without breaking the budget.
When you have identified which product is your bestseller, you can reorder just the packaging you need without extra charges.
10. Respect laws and regulations regarding packaging
Perfect packaging does not only mean a good looking box or label. Getting your product on the market also requires some legal work. While we cannot offer specific guidance on this subject, we recommend putting in the extra work and research to make sure you’re on top of the legalities.
Custom packaging allows you to meet current packaging & labeling guidelines on the market. You can print anything on a custom box, including all the important information required by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
11. Invest in professional work
More often than not, people start designing the packaging when the product is already made. At this stage, you’ll probably be eager to start selling immediately, so your time, budget, and attention to detail may be under pressure. To ensure your packaging speaks to the value of your product, your brand, and the needs of your customers, start thinking about it in the early stages of product development.
Once again, think about what’s your target market, what you want your customer to know about you, and how do you want your brand to be perceived.
As opposed to figuring it all out as you go, it’s ideal to find a solid direction and an overall brand look & fell from the beginning. Then, stick to it for the long run, so your products will be easily recognizable.
You might need help from a professional designer at first, but this kind of investment is going to pay off in the end, because it saves you the time, money and trouble of rebranding and re-thinking your packaging.
BONUS: 4 Mistakes to avoid when designing your packaging so your customers don’t hate it
1. Your packaging is hard to open
When buying a new product, there are few things that can annoy a client more than the struggle it sometimes takes to open the packaging they come in. Take, for example, items that come in sealed plastic blisters (or clamshell packaging) so hard to open, you actually need another tool to get through. Bad packaging can even lead to injuries, causing the client to abandon using your product altogether.
Although clamshell packaging offers theft & tampering protection, it could use a redesign that would keep its functionality, while making it easier to open and also generating less waste.
Even some paper boxes can be difficult to open. If necessary, provide indications about the location of the opening areas on your package, or write opening instructions on the package. This will help you make sure users of your product have a positive experience from the start.
2. Your packaging is unnecessary or excessive
A larger packet means more visual space, which is mostly a good thing.
But in some cases, it’s not such a great marketing technique and it doesn’t always mean added value.
For items that already have a packaging built-in, like apples, avocados, or oranges, wrapping each item separately will make the majority of your potential customers to turn away.
This is because consumers pay more attention to recyclable packaging than ever before. Although some may think that buying an already-peeled orange is super convenient, this is a no-doer altogether, and it may send the wrong message.
3. Your packaging is too fragile
On the other end of the spectrum, we have packaging that’s not sturdy enough compared to the actual weight and volume of the product inside. An inadequate box that doesn’t protect or hold the product can mean your product will reach its destination altered.
This being said, it’s important to choose a box option that works with your specific product.
At YourBoxSolution we offer lock-bottom boxes and crash-bottom boxes that have a very secure end, ideal for heavier items such as candle jars.
You can also add box inserts tailored to the shape of your product. They will keep the container from moving inside the box and possibly get damaged. See our entire offering of custom boxes and search by box type.
4. Overcomplicated design
Perfect packaging must have legible texts. Information and design elements should be balanced. A crowded design makes it hard for your customer to identify what’s the product for.
As I’ve mentioned before, information overload may lead to decision fatigue. If your potential customer finds a more relevant packaging design from your competitor – one that clearly states a benefit they were after – your sale won’t happen.
To make it easier for your customers to understand where your brand can help them, stick to a simple design that has more chances of standing out on the shelf.
5. Your packaging is too similar to your competitors’
Brands build a reputation over time. If you’re new in the industry and produce a product similar to others in the same niche, chances are you’ll be inclined to design a similar packaging. After all, the brand has been successful for so long and their packaging seems to work pretty well for them.
That’s a recipe for disaster. Not only is it illegal and you might get sued for infringement, but you’re not doing your company a favor either. Your product will get lost on the shelves, and your potential customers will probably consider your product inferior.
Differentiate your products from the competition.
Think of design elements that can highlight your strengths and help your product stand out from the others. What is it about your product that makes it unique?
6. Your packaging design is outdated
Good for you if the first label or box you started with long ago still works for promoting your brand!
However, while your loyal customers are invested in your brand and product and packaging is not that relevant for them anymore, you might lose potential new customers if your product doesn’t look up to date.
Once in a while, you should take an objective look at your packaging and ask yourself if it still works in the context you’re in.
You can also analyze your competitors and see what rebranding, if any, are they doing. A quick question or survey addressed to your customers should also help, and will give you some relevant feedback.
7. Misspelling, typos, and blurry images
It goes without saying that you should run the final packaging through multiple check-ups to make sure that there are no typos or misspelled words and that everything is in the right place. Images should be clear, the design on the openings and closings should be seamless, and the overall packaging should make sense and not be misleading.
Where can you get your perfect packaging?
Youve seen how perfect packaging implies dedication, care, and a professional touch.
But its not that hard to get.
We can help you put all these steps you’ve read about in practice and produce packaging that makes a difference for your company.
We’ve been in the printing industry for almost 30 years, here in America (Oregon). With your amazing products and our state of the art machinery and automated processes, your perfect packaging will be ready to hit the shelves in just a few days! Prices are catered to your needs as well.
Get in touch with us today. We’re real people, on location, and we can’t wait to serve you!