How to Design Packaging that Packs a Punch

Your brand identity should go into everything you do as a business, and this also applies to your product packaging. The aesthetics and design of your business can make a specific impact on your target market r and whether they choose to do business with you.

It's true that you shouldn't judge based on appearances alone, but when it comes to business, consumers often make a decision based on simple design choices or how your design personality makes them feel. If you're a new business trying to build its brand, they can also make this judgment a lot quicker than they would with established brands.

How Do You Design Packaging that Has a Positive Effect?

For consumers who are extremely visual, it may be that they remember your brand based simply on memorable packaging they received for their first order or some other key design element you decided to implement. Try not to underestimate the power of branded visuals.

This is why it's so important to understand how to design packaging for your brand and how to get it right.

You may think that marketing stops when your consumer has decided to buy your product, that a successful sale means success all-round, and your job is done. However, the customer experience doesn't stop at the point of sale. Knowing how to design packaging and how you choose to present your product from that point can make a difference as to whether your customer has a positive experience and whether they decide to make a repeat order.

If you’re competing in a saturated market such as craft brewing, for example, the design of your brew’s packaging can help to grab a buyer's attention, help your varieties stand out, and help to differentiate your brand. A branded packaging system can sometimes be a make or break point for those who haven’t yet experienced what’s inside.

What is Product Packaging?

Product packaging is an extension of your brand. It should be considered in the same way as the design of your product was, as it can be just as important. Product packaging combines both the packaging material used (such as a cardboard box or folding cartons) with key design elements such as font, images, and other graphics. This could apply to the exterior delivery box of your product and then the wrapping or label on the product itself.

If you are looking to design packaging which has a profound effect on consumers, you should consider all of these key elements to encourage a positive — and profitable — package experience overall.

How to Design Packaging: 8 Key Steps

Here are some key steps for getting started with your design project and making packaging that fits with your brand.

1. Your Packaging Needs to Match Your Company Values

The type of packaging you choose to use doesn't only reflect your brand in terms of visuals but also what your brand stands for.

For example: If your brand and business is big on reducing waste and being environmentally friendly, you don't want to then send consumers products wrapped in excess material, and material that cannot easily be recycled or reused. You need to think about how to design packaging which is eco-friendly.

Therefore, thinking about how your brand and its values can be best represented through your product's packaging is a good idea.

2. Packaging Needs to Be Practical

Remember that packaging isn't just about showing off your brand and being attractive. While visuals and design are extremely important, you also need to think about how to design packaging which is going to best protect the delivery of your product and be practical for your courier service and durable for the journey.

While it's important to implement your brand identity into the design of your packaging, customers may respond more positively to plainer packaging, which is packed well, rather than flimsy packaging, which can be designed in an eye-catching way. It's important to get the best of both when considering how to design your packaging.

3. Understand Your Product

This isn't on a deep marketing level but simply means the very basics of your product in regard to packaging. You need clear information about the product in order to know the best packaging options to choose from.

Is your product fragile? Is it heavy? Does it need to be sealed and air-tight? Does it have a shelf-life date? All of these are key questions to know what kind of packaging materials will best support your product.

4. Think About the Unboxing Experience

For a lot of consumers, opening packaged products can be part of a positive brand experience. In the same way that it's exciting to open a wrapped gift, opening the packaging of a new product delivery can be exciting, too. Especially with the growth of social media and the popularity of unboxing videos, the unboxing experience can be a key part of the buyer's journey and a powerful organic way to expand your brand’s reach.

It's, therefore, a good idea, when considering how to design packaging, to think about how you can make the unboxing experience as engaging as possible. You don't want to have your consumer battling with too many materials or layers, but a few layers can make the experience last longer and allow the consumer to explore with the unboxing.

With this in mind, you might want to think about more than one layer of packaging; for example, the outer branded packaging, something more personalized around the product itself once inside, and then the opening to the product. You should implement your brand identity into all layers and parts and make your box design a consistently branded experience.

5. Plan Key Design Elements

This means the main features of your brand, including logo, color theme, and graphics. These need to be implemented into every part of your packaging to advertise your brand. You can use graphic design programs such as Adobe Illustrator to map out a product label that incorporates all of this and best fits your brand personality. Your brand packaging should always include the basic design elements of your logo and brand name.

6. Plan Secondary Design Elements

Your packaging needs to have a lot more than simply your name and logo, however. Depending on the product, your consumer may need (and want) extra information. As an example, food or drink products need to include information on ingredients, allergy advice, and shelf-life dates. These should be considered so that you know how best to fit this information on without compromising the layout of your brand name and logo.

The right product label design should be able to comfortably fit all key information onto your brand packaging.

7. Offer Custom Packaging

Consumers are going to respond positively to anything they can customize, and this relates to packaging, too. You may want to think about how to incorporate custom packaging, if you can, as an available design feature. This could even be for a certain event or a certain occasion (like a loyal customer's birthday). Product packaging design which has been customized could be as simple as printing the customer's name on the label or exterior box, but it still makes a positive difference for personalized service.

8. Gain the Services of a Design Expert

Planning your product packaging strategy doesn't mean that you have to be a design professional or branding expert and do everything yourself. Reaching out to experienced or award-winning design experts can mean you get branded packaging designed at a high level. Hiring design services means you can depend on people who understand the latest design trends when it comes to packaging.

How to Design Packaging with Anthem Branding

At Anthem, we have a team of graphic design creative professionals who know what it takes to create successful brand packaging. Our branding agency services include custom packaging services and custom packaging design for your business. Don't hesitate to get in touch with our team for any of your packaging design or brand design needs.