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6 rules of great packaging

Ever wonder why some packages seem to jump off the shelf and into your cart? Ever wonder why some products are hard to find even when you are looking specifically for them? As all great package designers know, (and the expert marketing teams that hire them) there are a handful of rules and considerations for a successful package.

Check these items off your design shopping list:

☑ Delight with simplicity

The rule used to be you had 5 seconds to attract a shopper from 5 feet away, but today it’s more like 2 seconds. Shoppers are in a hurry and elements like color and type can work for your brand or against it. Sometimes less is more and it’s the simple design that stands out in a busy shelf set. When a shopper is in a hurry and looking to buy shampoo, it needs to be easy to identify among similar products.

☑ Know your category

Want your product to stand out against the competition? Do your homework. Go to the store and see what products are successful on shelf. What’s working in the category and what’s missing? Notice the color trends. Buy the products and interact with them. Evaluate your designs to see if there’s an opportunity to add helpful insights to the category through packaging. For instance in the CBD space, there’s a lot of confusion around the benefits and quality of products infused with CBD. So a brand that’s able to bring some clarity to the category and address shopper concerns through its packaging design will surely win on shelf.

☑ Capture the essence of your brand

Represent and position your brand as exactly what it is. If you are known as a natural brand, be sure your packaging reflects that image. If your shopper is interested in natural products be sure to give them formulation information up front so they don’t have to dig for that in the ingredients list.

☑ Think about the future of your brand

When designing packaging, always keep the future of the brand in mind. As brands grow and expand, it is important that you don’t design yourself into a corner with no place to go for line extensions. A well thought out design will allow for variations of a theme to extend across line extensions.

☑ Be transparent

Be sure to put the most compelling claims on the front of the pack. Also, be sure visuals are shown accurately and to size. If they are not, make sure you say so. You never get a second chance to make a good impression – or another second for a shopper to evaluate trust.

☑ Have fun

Experiment. Think outside of the box… sometimes literally. Explore the possibilities. Ask yourself smart questions. AND enjoy the process.


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