Package Design 101, the Last 10 Seconds of Marketing


By Printing Concepts and Michael Stanat, Research Executive for SIS International Research, a leading full-service market research and market intelligence firm, with Global and US coverage since 1984.

Package design has a crucial role in the last moments of the audience’s decision to make a purchase. It is often the most important and most overlooked aspect of marketing. In the last 10 seconds, the audience views packaging as a motivation to invest their time and money into your product and company. Market research supports this. It’s the packaging of the product which is most crucial for marketing campaigns.

Research on good packaging reflects several basic rules that can be followed. Good package design reflects the circumstances in which your product will be seen and sold. Referencing gourmet chocolatiers, they are die-cutting windows into their packaging so people can see the actual product before they purchase. Using techniques like this will help incorporate the product into the packaging, enticing the buyer even further.  Effective packaging must reflect product benefits.

Unique shapes, quality design and solid structures help differentiate products from the competition. With many companies developing packaging, it is important to stick out to consumers. Research has found that an ergonomic package design contributes to convenience, which improves customer satisfaction. An example of quality design and structure is “Simply Orange” juice presented in a carafe bottle, which generates a feel of refinement. Regarding a great delivery system, Imperial Sugar Company’s “Redi-Measure” brown sugar cup-packets are designed to make measuring easier and to prevent their customers from baking with the wrong amount of ingredients.

Packaging should reflect your brand’s personality with specific branding designs and images. Looking at the various wineries and their wine labels, there is a strong example of personality in their labels to invoke an emotion from the audience. Using loud colors and interesting graphics, you can activate an emotional response relevant to the brand, just as using elegant cursive type and hand drawn graphics to reflect a fancier or more exotic personality.

The audience requests simplicity in messaging due to many conflicting messages and complicated unfamiliar products. Good packaging often reflects simple brand values and product claims. Removing much of the clutter and only printing what is essential can help the package get noticed by your audience. Any package should easy to read and not confusing. It has been noted that customers are increasingly noticing more scientific claims written on packaging that confuses customers.

Packaging is read not up and down, but at the left and right corners of packaging. Thus, reassuring claims should be put in these corners, while primary claims should be in the center of packaging. Along these lines, fewer words are better, as consumers tend to look at images and visuals instead of evaluating written claims.

Generating a good package design that works for your audience can be a taunting task, and there are numerous guidelines to follow. However, keeping your message clear and positive helps get your message across while informing your audience about your company benefits.

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