Where to start with product packaging

Packets, wrappings, boxes, or, in a word, packaging: a central element for any product.

Initially devised to protect and preserve goods during transportation or storage, packaging has increased its functions over the years, and it now represents a calling card: a feature that stands out and captures the customers since the pre-purchase phase. A cookie box, a bottle of perfume, or the elegant case of a luxury pen: the options are limitless, and the more unique the design, the higher the chances to notice it among other products. Just do not overdo it.

But what are the functions of packaging?

  • Protecting the product
    The first function is protecting goods from damage and deterioration, as in the case of meat and produce wrapping films in the refrigerator aisle, hermetic bottles to transport liquids, or cushioning materials for technological products.
  • Catching the eye
    The product should stand out among similar ones as if it screamed: "Hey, you, look at me!".
  • Offering useful information to identify the product
    Essential data must stay on the packaging: EAN, ingredients, lot number, and potential expiry date; all information should be visible to allow easy reading.
  • Explaining the product use
    Packaging can—and it often must—convey precious instructions for product use, such as cooking times, cooking methods, cooking tips, and so on.
  • Helping the business promote the product
    Have you ever noticed the writing "new" on recently launched products or "limited edition"? These strategies support the brand in promoting its products.
  • Representing the brand
    What would be the point in creating packaging diverse and inconsistent with the brand it belongs to? Can you imagine an elegant Montblanc fountain pen in a case with cheap materials, bright colors, and graffiti? Most likely, it will not be representative of the brand.

Does packaging communicate? Yes, and it does so along with the brand!

Over the past few years, packaging has become an essential tool for brand marketing and communication. That is why it proves necessary to adjust it to the brand identity and the messages you want to convey to your customers. In fact, packaging design and characteristics are an integral part of the product.

Think about Apple's packaging: white, minimalist, elegant, and representative. Although simple, it fosters a better perception and recognizability among people, positively affecting purchase decisions.

The other way around also applies: if well-finished packaging supports the brand, shabby, aesthetically incoherent, or damaged packaging can negatively affect the brand and its sales. Therefore, pay attention!

Are you wondering which information regarding the brand you should display on the package? No worries, we have sorted it out for you.

  • Logo
    It goes without saying that your logo should be visible and not hidden. It needs to be noticed.
  • Product name
    It can be the name of a new smartphone, pasta shape, or body lotion... Each product has a name: do not be afraid of displaying it.
  • Labels with product properties
    Some information is required by law. If you read the long list of data on the label of your t-shirt or on the back of a cleanser, you will realize how many details must be included.
  • The message your brand wants to convey
    If your business is trying to be as green as possible and launch an entirely vegan product, do not limit that to a sentence on its box. Make sure the message stands out, thanks to its packaging!

Ten points to create the perfect packaging.

Here we go with a crucial question: how to create the right packaging. It is legitimate to ask, as mistakes are just around the corner. For this reason, we decided to sum up the essential steps in ten points. Grab a pen and a piece of paper and take notes. 

  • Study your product's target audience.
    Knowing who the target of your product is helps you plan its packaging, be aligned with it, and make sure it is as attractive as possible.
    Does your target audience particularly care for the environment? Why don't you start reducing plastic and using ecological materials instead?
  • Make up your mind: What do you want to evoke with your product?
    What do you want your target audience to perceive when it sees your brand and product?
    Rustic and ecological packaging is not what customers expect from drugs; keep that into consideration if you run a pharmaceutical company.
  • Do you already have a brand identity? Fantastic, start there to think about your packaging!
    Packaging must always stay coherent with your brand identity and correctly interact with it. It is fundamental not to separate them but rather have one reinforce the other.
    People need to identify the brand behind the product with clarity and ease!
  • Benchmark against the market:  What are your competitors doing?
    Observing your competitors allows you not only to stand out but also to understand what the audience expects from a specific product. Thinking against the tide is not always the most effective strategy!
  • Have you already come up with a name for your product? Sort it out carefully!
    The name will be visible on the product, and, as any other name you choose, it needs to be easy to remember, unique, and in line with the brand. Be aware of all that!
  • A product description should follow the product name.
    Since any name requires further clarification, a slogan, tagline, or explanation should describe the product. People must instantly understand what they are looking at, preferably in a few words. Some examples?
    Dove soap bars focus on their function and properties: Dove original, beauty bar with deep moisture. 
    Heinz beans highlight the ingredients that go along with the baked beans: Heinz Beanz, in a rich tomato sauce. 
    Hendrick's gin points out the place of production: Hendrick's, distilled and bottled in Scotland.
    The list can go on and on.
  • Instructions for product use or maintenance: do not forget them!
    We are not referring to compulsory information but helpful details for better product use. Cooking times, washing machine temperatures, or assembly instructions: any information— no matter how banal it might sound—is important.
  • Have you decided where to position your logo and potential pictures linked to the product?
    No packaging is complete without the brand logo and, if desired, some additional images to enhance your product. Do you want to add a few? Then, when planning the packaging, do not forget to keep that in mind to avoid forcing elements into a set layout.
  • Remember to include the information required by law.
    Any product requires a series of data that should be displayed, such as barcodes, lot numbers, nutritional information panels, and safety information.
    Check the requirements that apply to your case and your product and comply with the regulations.
  • What about optional yet necessary data? Do not forget about them either!
    When devising and realizing the packaging, remember to save some space for additional significant information. Avoid improvising a way to fit them later, but plan everything in advance.

Creating the perfect packaging is not something to take lightly: it is essential to respect the appropriate characteristics of the product, as well as not exceed the estimated budget. Did you forget to estimate packaging costs? That is vital! No worries, though. There are professionals who can support you realizing what you desire!

We made it simple

Let's talk about it!

Roma | Catania | Torino | Piacenza
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