There aren’t any set guidelines when it comes to creating effective packaging, but there are some things to consider before you get started.
Starved for Attention
Connecting with the consumer in the blink of an eye is a challenge. A really tough challenge. It’s said that products on the shelf have two seconds or less to get noticed. In this instance, it’s plain to see that looks are everything, and the shallowest survive. You’ve worked tirelessly to get your product in front of your audience and the extra effort put in here can make all of that hard work pay off.
The Chameleon vs. Peacock
Be the peacock. You really want to be the peacock. In other words, STAND OUT! Do the research on your competitors and your target audience to find out exactly what you’re up against. Figure out a way to differentiate yourself from the competition while staying fresh and appealing to the consumer. The last thing you want is for your product to blend in once it’s on the shelf.
The Unique Get Noticed
A unique product name can make a big and lasting impression on your audience. Not only does it have the possibility of evoking emotion, but a unique name can stick in the brain and be more easily recalled. Just as important, the product name needs to be clearly and simply displayed. Don’t just think up an oddball name in an effort to stand out either. The truly desirable names can stand on their own, while creating the right impression for the product.
Keep it Simple Stupid
The PDP (Principal Display Panel) should be the simplest thing about your package. Meaning, don’t crowd it with too many unimportant graphics and information. Keeping it simple means making the product name and any callouts and branding information clear and readable. A confusing PDP will only cause the consumer to look in another direction.
Hierarchy is King
Your hierarchy will make finding the important things on the PDP effortless. Typically, packaging information is displayed in this order:
• Product Name
• Product Type (Style, flavor, etc.)
• Short Important Facts (Reduced Sodium, 100 Calories!, etc.)
• Branding (Names, Logos, etc.)
• The Copy
• The Specs (Size, Technical details, etc.)
Now that doesn’t mean that everything should be listed one right after the other, but they should be handled appropriately using weight and proportion. The main takeaway here is to say it simply, and make it obvious.
On Color and Type
Never underestimate the effectiveness of color. In that critical two seconds, having a color that is contradictory to the other brands in your category can greatly enhance the chance of getting your product in the consumer’s hands. As well, colors evoke certain emotions from the viewer. Decide on a palette that works with the tone you want to convey and then tweak it just enough to stand out in a crowded retail space.
Just like color, typography can create an emotional response as well as become a memorable part of the identity. A package’s type can really pull your brand and product together making them one unique entity. Just make sure that it fits your brand and isn’t trying to be something it’s not. If done right, it can be instantly intriguing.
Show and Tell
While the body copy on the packaging should convey the usefulness and effectiveness of your product, it should also tell a story. Save the facts for a different part of the package. Tell the consumer how this thing will enhance their lifestyle or solve a problem. Let them easily imagine what it would be like to have, hold or use the product and how they will benefit. If a consumer can’t rationalize a need for the product, they’re probably going to be hard-pressed to take it home. Let them know why they need it.