What’s in the box?! Nailing your one chance at a first impression with package design.
Package design is the creation of the exterior of your product – from the shape of the box to the fonts and colour scheme. The design of your package is a chance to tell the consumer your brand story in an instant, then using that moment to make them commit to your brand.
There’s no such thing as a second impression
As we all know, we only get one chance at a first impression. Your first impression with your customers is how your product is packaged. The packaging is your physical representation of, not only your product, but your entire brand essence. Make it a romantic experience.
Imagine you’re starting a Tinder profile. Are you going to use a picture of you walking home in your sweats after buying a poutine to help your hangover? Or are you going to use shots of you in your yoga gear at the top of a mountain? You only have one chance to get your customer to “swipe right” – make it sexy. As Juliet said, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” but if it doesn’t look like the rose they want, the customer won’t take a whiff.
Like building your brand takes a concentrated, deliberate effort, your package design needs a similar, thoughtful process before you go to production. Over the years, our branding agency in Vancouver has learned you need to answer specific questions:
• What are my customers’ values and what resonates with them in their purchase cycle?
• What are my competitors doing, which designs are working and which are struggling, and what can I take from this in my design?
• What makes my product stand out and how can I share that physically and visually?
• Where are my consumers buying my product and how can I stand out on the shelf or site?
Brass tax: your package design needs to speak to the current values and priorities of your target market. Nailing down individuals’ values is downright impossible, but there are broad strokes that can speak to the majority of consumers. A branding agency that’s been in the game long enough will have data to help you determine how to utilize these broad strokes for your specific audience.
Sustainability – it’s kind of a big deal
One of the most important values right now is being sustainable and eco-friendly. You’re never wrong by hitching your wagon to the green movement. More than ever, people are against single-use products and want to be using recyclable materials. Whenever possible, this should guide your packaging choices. Find ways of helping the future as soon as possible, and tie it to your brand.
You can make a beautiful package that maintains the experience, while being sustainable and eco-friendly. Even Apple, who has always focused on making a unique experience opening their packages, has made steps to minimizing the waste from their leading brand.
Sure, Apple has resources beyond most of our reach, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start thinking green with your packaging. Try to explore all of the options available today and think about how you can use sustainable materials.
Anything that takes these eco-steps should be mentioned on your packaging – it’s an easy way to align with this universal value. Here are some examples of other companies that have already made the jump to eco-friendly, sustainable packaging
Minimalism – make sparse art
A minimal approach to packaging has been an enduring trend for a while now, and isn’t going anywhere (again, look what Apple does). Get rid of any clutter on your packaging and get right to the point. Make your product clear when someone looks at it in the store. Everyone has enough noise in their life as it is, make a quiet, effective point with your package design. Some cliches are there for a reason – less is more.
This approach is working across industries. Look at what some spirit brands are doing, like Nutrl Vodka. There’s also one of those shoe brands that seems to have proven the minimalist approach for decades, what’s that one called? Oh right, Nike. Seems to be working for them.
Colour their world
Whether you’re a startup or a CEO of an international company, the colours of your brand matter. The way your colour palette works together will make a significant impact on your customer’s first impression. You want the key elements of your product to leap off of a clean background. This approach works across products, one of the best examples is in body care (look at the bottles in your bathroom right now). These companies are experts in using softer colour palettes on a white background. Dove has mastered this. They instantly communicate what they offer as a beauty product.
How do I paint with my colours?
At the end of the day, you need to find what is right for your company. Package design has to be the result of a comprehensive process that addresses the entire essence of your brand and what matters to your customers. The visual impression on the consumer can not be under-estimated. A branding agency will help your company relay this message from the first swipe on social media to the cherished moment of unboxing.
Package design is one of our core strengths and we can take the guessing out of the equation for you. We are constantly creating new products that bring brand ideas to life. Our branding agency works tirelessly on these projects for our in clients such as Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Sacramento. Our expertise comes from working across different industries, such as cosmetics, food, printers, and more for 20 years – always building something that resonates with the consumer in exactly the way brands need. If you’re ready to get started, we can get you a quote here!
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