Packaging Design & Tips

Packaging Glow Up: 7 Factors to Consider to Improve Your Packaging Design

Packaging Glow Up: 7 Factors to Consider to Improve Your Packaging Design - PackQueen
Are you ready to take your packaging design to the next level? In this edition of our business-to-business blog, we share seven essential factors to consider when giving your packaging a much-needed glow-up.

From colors and typography to materials and functionality, we'll guide you through the process of transforming your packaging to enhance brand perception, increase customer engagement, and ultimately boost your business's success.

Packaging and branding go together like cupcakes and frosting.
So, packaging is really one of the areas you want to focus on whether you’re a startup or a fairly established business. Packaging decisions are often more challenging than we’d like them, but it’s also very rewarding. When taken seriously and passionately, your product’s packaging design can be a source of competitive advantage.

Generic vs. branded packaging

It’s a given that packaging is important when it comes to products. It serves as an item container, allowing for your products to be displayed safely, carried safely, and protected from contamination by unwanted substances from the environment.
However, there is more to packaging than just being a container.

No matter how great your product is, people will never know unless they buy it. Investing in unique packaging design can help you attract potential buyers.
The last thing you want is for your products to get lost in a sea of similar products like this:

Unless you plan on being the sole distributor for your products, bear in mind that your items won’t be displayed alone in the market. Thus, having the same packaging as your competitors will make it blend too much that it might not be noticed anymore.

Branding starts when you customize even just small aspects of your packaging. Simply printing your brand on a kraft box, for instance, instantly transforms it from a generic package into a branded one. You can see this in how one of our customers chose a very minimal custom print to brand their box:

 

Factors that contribute to a better packaging design

Of course, it takes more than just a custom print to improve packaging. Albeit that’s usually the first and easiest step to a packaging glow-up. Below are some of the factors that you should consider when planning for a packaging upgrade for your products:

1. Quality and Safety

Substance over form. Before you even think about the visual aspect, you first need to select the right material to house your products in. Remember that the primary function of packaging is to protect your product. So your packaging considerations must be based on what your products require.

If you sell food, for instance, you have to think not only about the best packaging to present it, but also to consider food packaging and safety requirements. Food products require food-grade safe materials may it be plastic, paperboard or cardboard, or even tin cans.

 

In case your product is not as chemically sensitive as food, then other considerations might be how fragile or soft it is to be broken or crushed easily.

Whatever your product is, make sure to choose a material that will protect the integrity of your product. This initial step is very important as this will dictate what your design option can be.

2. Cost Effectiveness

There’s a misconception that keeping to generic packaging lets companies save tons of money.

In truth, there’s very little difference between using generic and branded packaging in terms of cost. You might save 5 to 10% off your packaging costs by going generic, but you should also think about the opportunities that you miss with this decision:
  • Branded packaging connects your brand to your customers. It helps you establish a strong relationship with the people who buy from you, which encourages loyalty and repeat business.

  • Branded materials also double as a kind of advertising that allows you to expand your audience. The value of your packaging is multiplied when customers share images or videos of your unboxing experience
So you see, the expense isn’t always the best gauge for packaging cost-effectiveness.

If you’re mainly concerned about utility, then go generic by all means. But if you want to maximise your packaging, invest a little in branding. If the budget is really tight, even a branded ribbon like this one from Henkerman Hangers goes a long way.

3. Flexibility

The key to great packaging is balance. You want to make your package unique but also flexible enough for future possibilities or plans.

It’s tempting to reinvent the wheel in order to make an impactful initial appearance in the market, but this comes with the risk that you develop either a complicated or stiffly particular packaging.

Flexible packaging design allows the business to add variations to their products without losing their “trademark”. Keeping the appearance that buyers were used to won’t be a problem while extending or expanding the product line.

When we say stiffly particular, think about that squeezed lemon juice you can buy at the grocery. It comes in a small bottle that is shaped like a lemon for no other reason than to reinforce that its lemon juice.

This can be a trademark as it is unique and striking. However, suppose that the company decided to make squeezed orange, pomegranate, and cranberry juice. The lemon bottle cannot be used as it is. To be consistent with the packaging style, they will need to produce numerous different shapes to take the shape of fruits, which could significantly increase their packaging expense.

4. Visual Appeal

People are visual creatures. We make a lot of our decisions based on appearance. How your packaging looks is definitely something to carefully plan for. You want your packaging to stand out and appeal to the eyes of your target customers.

Benchmarking competitors’ packaging design and style will always be a good move. Unlike in management where you adopt those of the top company’s strategies when applicable, you would want to do the opposite when it comes to packaging. Do what they don’t without sacrificing the quality, appearance, and most importantly the customer’s interest.

Most of the time, “best looking” is interpreted as extravagant”. People are often looking for that premium and classy look which is also most of the time expensive. But having a premium brand or product doesn’t necessarily mean that you always need to have extravagant packaging. There are times when simpler is better.

In the image above, you see different brands of olive oil with a common denominator- packed in a bottle. Three brands have the same vibes of wrapping paper in the bottles which do look expensive and appealing but look nearly the same and too much as they are stacked together making the simpler design stand out.

Anything excessive is bad. Expensive does not mean the best and low price does not mean it is no good. The best goal for a packaging design is something not out there yet. Give your design an edge either in simplicity or in creativity that it can stand out in the crowd of goods.

5. Interest and Imagination

In addition to visual appearance, people are also attracted by novelty.
We are instantly attracted to things that look new or interesting. So if you want to win more customers, an easy way is to improve packaging by piquing their interest.

In the image below, for instance, you’ll see how a pasta company uses an out-of-the-box idea that encourages people to take a second look. They took advantage of custom cutouts to bring two seemingly unconnected things - hair and pasta - together. Good Hair Day Pasta sets their product apart from the usual pasta packaging made from plastic. This is also a very good thing as it reduces plastic waste.

A good amount of imagination can create a very pleasing outcome. Play with ideas even from a different range of an item. Take this as an example, ladies struggle to have a good hair day to help their appearance, which most of the time is a concern of hair products. This product, of course, won’t give you gorgeous hair but it is fun to see.

6. Innovation

A lunch box for your favorite pet? Why not!
When it comes to packaging improvement, your imagination is your only limitation.

Take the case of Top Paw, which created a portable dog food packaging design that’s simply perfect for traveling with pets. The design features a pouring compartment that can serve as a food bowl where dogs can eat straight. Just pull the stopper pour the food out and serve. The design also has a secure structure good for keeping the pellets so you don’t need to pour it out to a different storage container.

Nothing complicated going on with this, just eco-friendly packaging targeting to catch the eyes of travelers as an opportunity to gather new customers. Top paw offers a limited amount (relatively smaller than usual retail packs) of product that is not only ready to be eaten but also easy to carry around.

A no-fuss, no tricks needed design. Just making things more convenient and easier. This is something to learn from for your packaging. Think about how your packaging can be useful aside from getting it displayed on the store shelves.

7. Presentation

“Packaging can be theater, it can create a story.” - Steve Jobs
Packaging is an opportunity to dress up your products for the stage - or the party, if you want. With the right packaging design, you can transform even the most ordinary products into something extraordinary.

Take eggs, for example. Eggs are one of the main consumer goods especially in Asian countries (mainly China and Japan) as well as in the American continent (Mexico).

Eggs are one of those products that will sell no matter what happens, because, who doesn’t eat eggs? Even if not consumed directly, most of what we eat contains egg as an ingredient. This mindset somehow made businesses stagnant when it comes to packaging this product.
Hive Eggs packaging took a whole new path when it comes to egg trays. Taking advantage of the material used that is durable enough to ship the eggs, the designer of this packaging used a structure that adds support to the material to make the most out of it when it comes to protecting the produce. Apart from the creative structure of the packaging, it is designed with handles unlike the usual service dual purposes of easy carriage and packaging lock.

Eggs for a gift? Why not! Eggs have never been this decent to look at. Packaging ideas that promote purpose as well as great presentation, and even good enough as a gift can be a great edge for your product.

 

Wrap it Up!

This much thing should now light up that spark inside you to start creating unique packaging. This year, start anew, start fresh and get those sales up and going. Think ahead of this season's special occasions and create a special design just for that occasion to attract more customers. Our line of custom packaging, printed boxes, tape, ribbon, tissue paper, labels, and more can help your design stand out!


Need more packaging inspiration and ideas? Download our Free Packaging and Presentation Guide

 

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