2018-10-26

5 Ways Product Packaging Affects Consumer Purchase Decisions

Your product packaging is directly responsible for sales. Find out more about why consumers will take-it-or-leave-it based on package design.

They tell you to never judge a book by its cover, but we all know fancy packaging still works. Our brains are just hardwired to trust what we see first, dominating all other senses. Marketers and salesmen know how powerful product packaging is because of this fact.

Great package design is about telling a story, communicating with the customer, without needing to say a word. The right combination of colors, shapes, and materials can make customers salivate. The wrong packaging designs can make a product seem worthless or forgettable.

There are some key packaging elements that you can take advantage of to make your product better. Here are five aspects you should be aware of when designing packaging.

1. Stay True to Your Brand

One thing you do not want to do when designing packaging for your product is to copy another brand's. Ignore what's happening with certain electronics and smartphones. Don't be afraid to reinvent the box.

Consumers are hungry for unique brands and brands that do things just a little bit differently. Take a minute to think before you go all-in with the typical minimalist and streamlined approach. Is there an opportunity to express your brand's unique foundation or product design through packaging?

2. Don't Over-Design

Sometimes packaging designs are much too complicated for no reason. People love the iPhone's packaging because everything is compact and easy to take out. Product packaging needs to be functional and economical.

It can be a real turn off if the customer gets their product and has to forage through layers of plastic and non-recycled cardboard. Find intuitive ways to combine functionality and artistic expression. Little details can be incorporated into the most pedestrian features.

You know those little tabs that help you pull out devices from their padded seats? Shape them into cool objects like tongues, butterfly wings, food, plants, and so forth. It's subtle and functional things like this that can go a long way. Elaborate layers and folds may be lost in translation.

3. Go for Legibility

Great packaging needs to have balance, good use of negative space, and smart font selection. Your brand's default font package should be only used appropriately. Ideally, you should have a font hierarchy made up of big headlines, sub-headers, instructional text, and flair text.

Settling for standard Office fonts when it comes to product packaging can be a sign of low quality to the average consumer. It's also important to advertise what problem your product solves through packaging. This can be difficult to convey through packaging for new businesses without a marketing team.

Packaging design services can help clarify a product's message and improve the perceived value through strong design.

4. Optimize Shelf Space

If your product is going to retail, it's going to sit on a shelf beside other products. These products may not be direct competitors, but they are shelf competitors. That means your package design needs to do a good job of grabbing the customer's attention.

How does your product packaging look when stacked in a row? What about side-by-side? Eye-catching color patterns are essential for drawing attention far away. Some packages are noticeable from the opposite end of the aisle (Tide, Lays, Coke, etc.).

Bold colors, interesting shapes, and provocative messaging are a must for retail spaces. If your product is online-only, then your package design must be able to translate well for mobile devices and small thumbnail images.

5. Utilize Psychology

This last area of concern for packaging design is based purely off of science. The psychological effects of colors have been studied for centuries. Authenticity and appropriateness play a big role in choosing packaging colors. Certain colors are associated with certain types of products automatically. This is partly why gender-based products exist. Manly colors are bolder, more earthy; feminine colors are vibrant and airy. That's just human nature.

If your branding has a certain demographic, stick to colors and themes that will resonate the most with them. Don't make the mistake of using your packaging design to experiment with targeting a wider audience.

Product Packaging Trade Secrets

Smart packaging can do more than make someone want to buy your product; it can allow you to charge more for it. In fact, a lot of companies will redesign packaging to justify a price hike. Some people won't fall for it, but others, especially new customers, cannot resist.

Fancy Colors

When advertising color variations of products, stick to colors with character. Associate boring colors with adventurous, delicious, and esoteric concepts. Brown becomes chocolate, yellow becomes nuclear, and gray becomes graphite, and so forth. If you ever need any inspiration, just look at the paint aisles in Lowes.

Unique Molds

Another great tip for keeping packaging on the inside simple, but having flair on the outside is with 3D shapes. Just think of how boring the standard beverage bottle design is. Incorporating a custom mold that adds character will implore people to try it, just based on the look alone.

Leave Room for Mystery

If you can find a way to design the packaging that makes it subtle, attractive, and interesting enough to pick up: you've struck gold. If you just describe exactly what it is on the packaging, customers can just walk on buy, scanning for things they need.

There are few exceptions to this rule, namely in tools and equipment, but most products can benefit from non-obvious package design.

Quality Branding and Packaging

Hopefully, this list has given you a clearer picture of what it takes to make effective product packaging. Building out strong packaging design is not something that translates well with all artists. Even graphic designers need help.

That's why it's essential to hire a team of experienced designers who can make your vision succeed. Jansy has a proven track record of designing functional, smart, and visually-stunning packaging for a variety of products.

You should check out our portfolio to get an idea of what can be done with your branding and packaging.