Packaging’s main utility is no longer limited to protecting the product during transit. Today, it’s an effective marketing tool that makes the brand stand out and convinces customers to purchase the product.
In other words, packaging design is an integral part of the product’s branding and directly impacts the brand’s bottom-line.
But to nail it, you must first understand the role that packaging plays in branding.
In this article, we dive into the importance of packaging design and tips to transform your packaging into a silent salesperson that skyrockets your sales.
The relationship between packaging and branding
Let’s look at how packaging impacts brand-building and influences customers’ purchase decisions.
1. Brand value
Rani Cohen, a marketing leader, defines brand value as “the perceived value and how often people will choose one brand over alternatives.”
However, most people prefer Coca-Cola over Pepsi as they think it has a higher brand value than the latter. Therefore, brand value is important as it offers a powerful competitive advantage.
Another aspect of brand value is the product’s functionality and ability to resolve the customer’s problem.
Product packaging design offers both types of brand value as it is the product in some cases, and the packaging content can change the customers’ perceived value of the brand.
2. Brand identity
Brand identity is a set of visual components — logo, color, design, etc. — that helps customers distinguish one brand from another.
From a brand’s perspective, a brand identity represents what it stands for and how it’s different from its competitors.
Packaging design is an important part of the brand identity as it uses all the design components mentioned above to improve brand recall and make the product stand out.
3. Brand promise
A brand promise is the manufacturer’s assurance or guarantees on the product. Being able to fulfill it is essential for winning over customers and ensuring a product’s success in the market.
Packaging is an important aspect of this brand promise, and failures in packaging design, like the inability to open the product or dispense it easily, unclear labeling, etc., negatively impact the brand image and cause consumers to perceive the product as inferior or low-quality.
Tips for better product design
Here are some package design tips to help your product stand out and clearly convey its benefits.
1. Pay attention to shelf impact
A product’s shelf impact refers to its appearance on store shelves beside its competitors.
If a package doesn’t have a shelf impact, it could still be ineffective, regardless of the product’s uniqueness or effectiveness.
Researching your competition is the best way to start creating a positive shelf impact.
For instance, Purely Nutz, a peanut butter brand, found that most of its competitors used a yellow, blue, and red color scheme.
To stand apart and create contrast, the brand chose black as its primary color and used a graffiti-style font on its packaging to appeal to a younger audience.
2. Make the most of the Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
The Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is the key reason your customers purchase your product. So, you should center your packaging design around it to grab their attention and get them to choose your product over your competitor’s.
For example, Botanic ES is a skincare brand, and its USP is using natural caffeine to rejuvenate the skin.
They've centered their copy and the label imagery around caffeine and natural skincare, incorporating effective label management. This approach enables their customers to instantly recognize what the product does and why it's different from other skincare products.
3. Don’t ignore the typography
In packaging design, you should strive to balance the visual elements and the written material to communicate your product’s benefits clearly.
That’s why you should pay attention to what you say on your packaging and how it’s presented to the customer.
For example, take a look at the typography on this Wild One juice bottle. They’ve chosen fonts that make the information readable, convey the benefits, and look aesthetically pleasing to the customer.
If someone walks through the beverage section, they’re most likely to pick this bottle as the typographic layout of the package design answers the important questions— what the product does and why they should consider buying it — at a glance.
4. Design for second-life usage
Since consumers are becoming increasingly eco-conscious, they prefer purchasing products with packaging they can reuse.
So, it’s important to design product packaging with second-life usage in mind, especially if you’re in the food or beauty industry.
Another reason you should consider designing reusable packaging is that your brand always stays on top of your customer’s minds.
For example, take a look at Plaine’s packaging. It’s a sustainable beauty brand that uses aluminum as its packaging material instead of relying on flexible packaging.
This helps customers get a refill of the product or reuse the bottles for other purposes without throwing them away.
5. Choose a unique shape
Creating a packaging design with a unique shape can be very challenging, but it’s worthwhile as it helps grab customers’ attention on retail shelves.
It also offers a competitive advantage as the packaging shape can be trademarked as a unique and valuable brand asset.
For example, take a look at this Gloji berry juice. It’s shaped like a light bulb to represent that the juice will help light up their consumers’ bodies from the inside. Apart from this, the unique shape also creates shelf impact and stands out on retail shelves.
Now that you’ve understood how packaging designs and labels influence your branding and discovered how to make better products, let’s look at how you can make the package design process more efficient.
How Artwork Flow makes the package design workflow more efficient
Creating unique packaging that sells your product to the customer isn’t easy as it involves making your packaging aesthetically appealing and ensuring that it meets regulatory compliance.
This means multiple teams, like legal, marketing, and designing, must work together to create the perfect package design.
However, this adds more complexity to the process as cross-team communication isn’t necessarily easy and leads to multiple revision cycles.
This is where Artwork Flow comes in. It’s an artwork management tool and workflow automation software that helps organizations streamline their packaging design process to reduce their time to market.
Here are some key features that help your brand design packaging quickly:
- Proofing tools: Artwork Flow’s suite of free proofing tools help you identify typos and ensure that your brand colors and fonts are consistent throughout the packaging.
- Annotation: This feature combines feedback from multiple teams into a single place, so feedback doesn’t slip through the cracks and revisions are reduced.
- Workflows: With this feature, you can split your design project into stages and create and assign a task within each stage, so you know who is working on a specific task.
- Digital asset management library Artwork library: The Artwork Library doubles as a Digital Asset Management (DAM) tool that stores your brand assets and artworks in a single place. Like Google Docs, you can go through the version history and set any artwork version as the latest one.
- Project analytics: The project manager can get an overview of the project’s progress and identify bottlenecks easily.
LesserEvil, an American snacking brand, used these features on Artwork Flow to achieve alignment between multiple teams and approve more artwork efficiently. Here’s what Manny Arthur, Design Manager at LesserEvil, says about how Artwork Flow helped them:
“Artwork Flow has streamlined our packaging artwork management team’s processes. Before we started using this software, it was far too easy for the details of our various projects to fall through the cracks in the back-and-forth of email.
Now, everything is consolidated in one place. Our team has found the digital proofing tools intuitive and easy to use. The customer service team has always been responsive and helpful when we’ve needed technical support.”
Product packaging influences the brand’s identity, values, and promises they make to their customer.
Therefore, it’s an important part of branding, and you should ensure that its design is centered around key benefits to having a great shelf impact.
However, designing great packaging can be difficult due to the involvement of multiple teams, which is why Artwork Flow is here to help. It’s a creative collaboration software that makes communication between teams more efficient and reduces the number of artwork revision cycles. If you're looking to add an extra layer of ease to your creative projects, consider exploring Digital Asset Management tools – they act like a supportive teammate, ensuring everyone is on the same page and revisions are a breeze.
Book a free demo right away if you’d like to see how it can help your company make the package design process more efficient.