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How to Design Effective Packaging

From the beginning, you spend valuable time and resources developing your product or brand. Why, after all your hard work, would you sell your product short? You wouldn’t. So, to ensure your packaging is effective, take these 5 things into consideration.

“Who are we trying to sell this product to?” “What does the customer experience look like?” “When can we launch this program/ service/ product?” These are all similar questions businesses, like yourself, work hard to answer. After all the time and resources that have gone into research and development, you might be inclined to think the work is done. But, this is where many fall short at the finish line.

Communicating your brand to the customer is the most vital part of the process. This part is where strangers become interested in your product, people who are interested become purchasers, and purchasers become advocates—promoting your product (for free) to friends, family, and even strangers. And here the cycle begins again.

1. Consider the psychology of color.

Colors say a lot about your brand, which can (even more importantly) represent the people purchasing your products. This fact, if embraced, can accelerate your brand’s climb to the top.

Generally, when people make a purchase outside of the necessities, they buy with emotion. Does this product make them the best version of themselves? Does it help them become who they want to be?

Using the quick guide below, reflect on your brand’s current product packaging. What colors are you using? Does it evoke the emotion you want to be associated with your brand?

White- pure, clean, minimalistic

Black- edgy, rebellious, mysterious

Yellow- happy, optimistic, hopeful

Green- environmental, fresh, finance

Purple- royal, peace, wisdom

Red- anger, romance, daring

2. Know your position in the market.

Not every cellphone can be an iPhone. Not every store can offer Walmart’s competitive prices.

Since you can’t be everything to everybody, look at your product and ask these questions:

• Is your product a need or a want?

• Is it your goal to offer the best prices or the best craftsmanship?

Depending on which category you answered, your brand messaging should reflect—and by default, your product packaging. If you’re going to ask your customers to pay a premium price, you want them to feel validated when experiencing your product for the first time (opening the box).

For example, if your product is one of the most price competitive, there are cost-effective packaging solutions such as bags or labels that can help you reach that goal.

If you want to be the most environmentally friendly, consider using recycled paper or glass with a label to create the product’s packaging.

On the other hand, if your product is one of the most popular or hardest to come by, you can build a loyal group of customers that advocate for your brand by reassuring them that they made the right decision. This assurance comes after the purchase has been made in the store—when it’s just your product and the customer who has been anxiously awaiting the moment they can unveil and test their newest purchase.

It’s at this point that the only representative of your brand is what stands between the customer and the product—the packaging.

3. What are three adjectives to describe your brand?

A lot of how you can create effective packaging deals with reflecting on who you are as a company. If you were only allowed three adjectives to describe your brand, what would they be? Let’s take these three as an example: luxurious, unique, and environmentally friendly.

How can you apply these words to your packaging?

You can communicate a sense of luxury in the way packaging feels. Using a thick cardstock paper and raised foil, activates the customer’s sense of touch—a feeling which, whether they know it or not, understands quality.

So, what if your brand does not fit the regular “white with gold foil” luxury market? It’s unique.

With the latest in print technology, we offer our customers unique product packaging using raised foil (available in a variety of colors). Do you need black with green foil? We got that. White with red foil? We’ve got that too.

Lastly, if your brand is environmentally friendly, consider sustainable packaging. The MGI printing we use for raised foil and varnish is recyclable. So, to ensure the whole packaging is recyclable, our brand specialists can work with you to find the right paper. Another option is to use packaging that can be upcycled by customers, like glass. Once you find what works for your brand, it can be used as a marketing tool to help you reach the right clientele.

4. How do your customers use your product?

One of the best ways to create effective packaging is to make packaging that is functional.

Take Puma’s Clever Little Bag, for example. This packaging includes a reusable tote and 1/2 a recycled cardboard box. While serving its purpose as something that will protect and hold the footwear, it also eliminates the need for an exterior bag and the other half of the cardboard. Additionally, Puma turned the tote into a walking billboard—once when leaving the store and again when the bag is reused.

5. Strategically Use Raised Foil and Varnish

In an article done for PackagePrinting, they cited a study by Jeff Peterson (executive director for Foil Stamping and Embossing Association) says, “foil-enhanced products increased purchase interest in more than 70 percent of cases studied.” And, if those numbers weren’t impressive enough, that same study showed “26.7% of consumers will choose a foil-stamped product over one with a plain label.”

If foils aren’t for you, another embellishment option is raised varnish. Similar to spot varnish (spot UV) printing, when applied it leaves a glossy coating that gives certain areas of a printed piece shine. However, where the raised varnish is different, is in its ability to be layered—ultimately giving it a broader range of textured printing capabilities. In the piece listed below, we were able to use three layers of varnish to give this hop its dewy look.

Regardless of what your place is in the market, good design doesn’t have to be sacrificed. We offer design services that help you take full advantage of the packaging option you choose. With our MGI print capabilities, we offer our clients premium small packaging, stickers, and labels without costly dies.

This revolutionary technology means customers will no longer have the start-up costs associated with adding gold foil or varnish to their print and packaging. And, as a U.S. based packaging company, we proudly offer quicker turnaround times with no tariffs.

Ready to start a project? Contact us today to get started!


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