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Packaging design has a huge impact on purchasing decisions
Retail shelves are a difficult place for your product to stand out from the crowd. You're in competition with hundreds or even thousands of other products. Add into this the fact that, according to Creditcards.com, 84% of consumers admit to regularly impulse buying and that, according to Psychology Today, 40% of consumers admit to changing their mind at the point of sale because a product catches their eye, and it's clear that packaging plays an important role in influencing buying decisions.
Why you need great packaging design
But these aren't the only statistics that show the importance of packaging design. As you can see below, packaging design is an important factor in marketing your product:
Some statistics on packaging design
67% of consumers say their buying decisions are influenced by packaging materials. Source: IPSOS
61% of consumers say they're much more likely to repeat a purchase of a luxury product if it came in premium packaging. Source: Dotcom Distribution
40% of consumers will share an image of packaging on social media if it's unique or branded. Source: Dotcom Distribution
70% of consumers form their impression of a brand based solely on packaging. Source: Packaging of the World
93% of consumers base their buying decisions on a product's visual appearance. Source: KISSmetrics
So why is packaging design such a powerful influence on sales? There are a few reasons.
Packaging design helps your product stand out
Retail stores can be a visual assault on consumers. Picture the average supermarket or big box retailer. Thousands of similar products line the shelves, each one competing for attention. Apart from their brand name, the packaging is often the only factor differentiating them.
Good packaging design is what will make your product stand out in a sea of other options. Take a look at the example below. Imagine strolling through your local liquor store's wine aisle and coming across the bottle below.
The bottle's color along with the gold foil label instantly draws the eye. It would immediately catch your attention in a row of mundane wine bottles, giving it an edge over the competition before you've even sampled the product inside.
Packaging design helps you target the customers you want
The way you package your product can communicate what demographic you're targeting. Colorful, vibrant and exciting packaging can appeal to children or impulse buyers, while high-end materials and elegant design can target a high income demographic.
What is good packaging design?
Now that you know why good packaging design is important, let's look at what good packaging design actually entails.
Good packaging design knows its audience
Packaging design should appeal to your target market. If you're selling a premium product, premium packaging materials communicate your product's value to its demographic. Consider the skin care products below. Premium packaging gives the products a luxury feel. This product is targeting a specific audience, and it's conveying this through its packaging.
Good packaging design reflects your brand identity
Your product's packaging should be consistent with your corporate branding. No matter how unique each individual product's packaging is, it should be immediately identifiable as your brand.
Good packaging design is informative
Your packaging should also communicate something about the product. You can convey this both through the design and how it showcases the product, and through the copywriting on the packaging. You can learn more about why you need great copywriting in our guide.
Good packaging design is eye-catching
Obviously, as we've pointed out throughout this piece, the goal of packaging design is to make your product stand out on retail shelves. That means the design should be unique and visually compelling. This goes beyond just the label into the actual materials used for the packaging.
Good packaging design is a good user experience
Opening a product can be an experience all its own. The proliferation of unboxing videos on YouTube make this clear. Your packaging can actually enhance the experience of your product.
Consider the packaging below. The product could have just been placed in a simple cardboard box, but the ribbon and sliding panels make opening the product an experience, helping to build suspense and anticipation for the product inside.
Creating a good experience is more than just clever packaging, though. Your product's packaging needs to be simple and intuitive to open. The goal is to sell, so don't over-complicate your packaging for the sake of being unique.
How to get great packaging design
If you have a great product, it deserves great packaging. There are a few steps you can take to make sure your packaging reflects the quality of your product.
Think about how the packaging reflects your brand
As we said before, your packaging should reflect your overall corporate branding. This goes beyond just displaying your logo. Your packaging should help communicate your brand identity. If you're a premium brand that values quality, it doesn't make sense to package your product in cheap materials. Likewise, if your brand identity is fun and whimsical, this should come through in your packaging design.
Think about how the packaging reflects the specific product
Of course the whole point of packaging is to showcase your product. This doesn't mean you have to emblazon your packaging with images of the product. Some of the best packaging design doesn't visually represent the product at all. But it does tell a story about the product, either through text, the materials it uses or graphic design. Packaging can reflect its product by evoking an emotion rather than overtly displaying the product itself.
Think about the materials you'll use
The materials you use are every bit as important as the graphic design. For example, consider Pringles. The brand has carved out a niche for itself by choosing to package its chips differently. Its packaging material has become so iconic that you could remove the label entirely and still identify the product.
Hire a professional
If you want great packaging design, the best step you can take is to hire a professional. Many graphic designers specialize in packaging design. They can not only design a label, but offer guidance on the actual packaging materials to help make your product's packaging an experience for consumers.
You can browse through some freelance graphic designers below. And the good news is that great packaging design doesn't have to be expensive.
You may also want to think about hiring a professional writer to produce the copy on your packaging. A good writer can produce copy that tells the story of your product in a way that engages customers emotionally.