In an increasingly digital environment, it’s important for those with a physical product offering to remember that packaging design can be one of the most useful tools in your marketing strategy. Packaging encompasses a huge part in attracting consumers and building brand value and experience that your users will have – ignoring those elements can lessen brand credibility and may even take away from your sales.

#1: Packaging Is Your First Line of Defense

Engaging with the user and generating product value is so much more than the features held within the product. The first true connection made with a consumer will be through packaging. It’s look, feel, communication strategy and shelf appearance will all be factors in whether the customer decides to purchase.

#2: Good Packaging Builds Trust

For people comparing different products and their uses, making the most informed decision is important to them. If your brand is new, there is a good chance that they may not have heard of it yet; this is where your packaging comes into play. We are largely visual learners, attaching strong emotions and associations almost immediately upon encountering a visual experience.

While your logo plays a large part in the overall design, the packaging itself can craft a powerful first impression, both in the look and feel of the material. Conveying the value of your product, evoking emotional connectivity, building brand awareness – while your marketing and branding efforts will be the foundation of these elements, your packaging will bring it all together.

#3: Your Packaging Must Reflect Your Voice

A well designed package should always reflect the product use and the personality of the company. For example, if a company is eco-conscious and has a modern aesthetic, then the packaging should be recyclable, perhaps with 100% post consumer waste, soy based inks and reflect a commitment to innovation and stewardship. Originality always wins the day, but being aware of marketplace trends is of utmost importance.

By making your packaging eye-catching and uniquely customized to your brand, you have the opportunity to strengthen existing customer relationships and create new ones. Packaging a product is a way of putting the best possible face forward to potential customers when they encounter a product or brand for the first time. The true goal of package design is more than consisting of materials constructed to hold a product – it embodies everything a brand stands for, conveying the message subtly and subconsciously right from the shelves.

#4: Successful Packaging Stands Up

Choosing the right material goes hand in hand with aesthetics, ensuring that the workable packaging is strong enough, not just to hold the product itself without fraying, but is also built to withstand the (sometimes vigorous) shipping process. This includes delivery and handling as well, and the materials chosen must withstand the test of time.

#5: Great Packaging Is Innovative But Not Complicated

When designing packaging, a minimalistic approach has been found to resonate with consumers. Keeping it simple and clear will build a simpler experience for the eye, and will make the information more easily absorbed, contributing to consumers’ need for an ideal visual story. Much like simplicity in web design, the consumer has a desire to get the information as quickly and concisely as possible. If they have to work for it, they will move on to the product package that does a better job of telling its story and holding their attention. It may begin by attracting the eye, but if the product use is not clear then the design has failed.

Companies are in the business of selling through a product and getting reorders, not just selling a product and letting it gather dust on shelves. Keeping this at the forefront of your packaging design process will ensure your market relevancy and appeal, and build a strong relationship with your customers.