Which present under the Christmas tree immediately gets your attention? Is it the shoebox with a red bow or the odd-shaped, colourfully-wrapped one that may or may not be a massive teddy bear? Getting consumers excited about a brand comes (partially) from effective packaging, regardless of scale. Compelling conceptual, strategic and well-designed product packaging can lead to big results.
There are many factors considered when developing product packaging. Understanding audience, demographic, competition and marketplace are significant, but so is developing a successful idea and design that speaks to your target(s). If a design fails to connect with your audience at any level it won’t succeed.
Successful packaging attracts new customers by capitalizing on several important elements:
- Solid Concept – Is the idea interesting or intriguing?
- Strong Design – Is it bold, direct and unique? Is it functional? Does it stack easily? Is it usable? Is it timeless?
- Clear Communication – Is all information being clearly displayed? Is it uncluttered?
- Future Proof – Does the design allow for additional (often multiple) products to co-exist within a product category – with future expansion?
A great design immediately indicates why the product is better than the competition’s and why it offers more value. It reinforces and promotes the company’s brand, well after initial purchase and helps establish long-standing relationships with customers, instilling trust and brand loyalty.
Within the packaging itself there are additional opportunities to reinforce the brand. Unique messaging/story or taglines can be applied, along with initiatives such as contests, directions to websites and social media, games, etc. This is the perspective we took with Mink Chocolates.
Thirty-three memorable, individual flavours with distinct names and expressive colours resulted in easy to remember, identifiable pieces for return customers (of which there are many). The packaging was a hit with customers (as well as the client). Even resulting in some customers returning to collect the individually packaged boxes.
A recent example of solid packaging is the new Puma sustainable shoebox. All of the elements used to create it can be repurposed/recycled into new packaging, with minimal long-term effects to the environment. It won't take nearly as much energy to create new packaging nor require new plastics or paper cardboard. The red bag is made from recycled plastic (PET) and the shoebox itself uses 65% less cardboard than previous boxes.
The packaging is a winner on many levels. It’s clean, simple, graphic and further communicates the Puma brand. Combined, the new cardboard and bag provided Puma with a slick new design solution for the product, while saving them heaps of cash on water, energy and fuel consumption to produce the overall package.
Another great example is Kleenex “Perfect Slice of Summer” tissue boxes. Custom fruit illustrations were created in a style that embodies the spirit of summer. The illustration and physical shape of the container mimic actual fruit wedges (i.e., oranges, limes or watermelon). Not only do they look like an actual fruit wedge, but the design was thought through enough to allow them to look like an entire fruit when put together. These fruits are what people typically eat in the summer and the product is exactly what’s needed when devouring them (juicy and messy).
Ultimately it’s not the size of the package that matters – it’s the size of the idea and the attention to detail that connects with consumers. Wrap it up right and that present will be the most coveted under the tree (or in the store).