Designing good packaging is often more difficult than most people realize.

Box Design Tips

As a highly visible aspect of your branding strategy, packaging can have a profound impact on the way people see your product, company, and brand and will greatly contribute to its success or failure.

When you are designing packaging there are fine essential aspects to consider:

  1. Protection/padding
  2. Ask yourself if your product requires special packaging considerations like waterproofing or padding. Ensuring that your product gets to the customer undamaged is the most important factor in designing packaging, so proper padding or leak protection should be your primary concern.

  3. Sourcing your packaging
  4. Once you know what you need, you will need to look at your manufacturing options. Who will create your packaging? How much will it cost to make? How much will it cost to ship to you? These are some basic questions that you should contemplate before you have a complete design. This way you can know what is both physically possible and financially feasible before you put unneeded work into your design.

  5. Packing your products
  6. Now that you know who will make your boxes, you need to decide how you will get your products into them. Will you pay a service to pack them for you, or hire people to do that in-house? However you decide to go about it, it is an important step in the process as, without, you will never get your products out the door. If you don’t personally have the time to put your products into the packaging, that will be an additional cost to consider.

  7. Displaying your products
  8. Another important aspect to consider is where your product will be displayed. Consider the products it will likely be displayed with and think of ways that you can improve upon or stand out from the packaging of your competitors. Look into the psychology of colours in package design and take into consideration who you’re targeting to and what they’re looking for.

    Do you have customers who are ‘green’ thinkers who will respond well to natural looking packages, or is your product directed to younger girls who would be more inclined to purchase something that is bright pink? Think about where your product will end up before you start designing it!

  9. Branding
  10. Once the basic questions are out of the way, you can start to think about the one thing that really matters more than shape or material or manufacturer: how you will brand your product.

    There are two basic ways to address this question depending on what you are trying to accomplish:

    Corporate branding refers to marketing all of your products under your brand name.

    Some good examples of this include Sony, American Express, Apple, and Nike: the brand name is recognized so the product name itself is less important, it is an attractive product based on the strength of the brand name alone.

    This builds corporate identity and trust as well as product recognition for new products you release. However, it becomes harder to market individual products on their own merits because the corporate identity overpowers anything you can say about individual products. In this case, the corporate name would be predominantly displayed on packaging.

    Product branding, on the other hand, refers to the practice of marketing an individual product or line of products under a specific brand name associated with that product line.

    An example of this style of marketing would be Procter & Gamble who make several brands including Luvs, Bounty, and Cascade.

    In this case the individual brands are better tailored to their unique niche and can be easily marketed based on their own strengths. This provides a more flexible strategy that better allows for a wide variety of products but does not build the same corporate recognition across all product lines.

No matter what it is going inside of the box, you need to ensure that the outside is appealing enough to encourage users to open it! Pay careful attention to the potential needs and wants of your buyers and remember that when it comes to packaging, external beauty is important!

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