The Power of Package Design

package design

From in-store to delivery, package design can be as important as your product. Packaging includes everything from shipping materials to the packaging of your product on a shelf. And with the amount of competition brands have to face today, your brand has to stand out.

Package design should represent your brand’s tone and feel. More importantly, it should depict how you want the customer to feel about your product. When it comes to attracting new customers either in-store or through delivery, let your product packaging do the work. An Ipsos poll found that 72% of Americans believe a product’s package design influenced their purchase decision. A strategically designed package will sell the product for you, making it just as essential as your advertising and marketing efforts.

Know Your Target Audience 

Your brand’s package design can be great but if it doesn’t speak to the target consumer, competitors can be the ones who benefit from your mistakes. With everything you do in branding, your target audience must come first.

Ask relevant questions about who your target audience is and how they experience your product. Here are a few examples of questions to ask about your audience:

  • Is your target audience women or men?
  • What are their passions?
  • Do they like reading a lot of information, or are they more visual?
  • Do they shop for just themselves, or are they shopping for a family?
  • Are they eco-friendly shoppers who’d prefer minimal/recyclable packaging?
  • Is your target audience accustomed to luxury and premium materials?

These questions will vary based on your industry and your audience, but they can help kickstart a brainstorming session that your team can use to inform your packaging efforts.

Customers Judge Books by Their Covers

Imagine a customer walking down the aisles of Macy’s pondering which cologne they want to sample. They’ve found one that catches their eye and decide to try it, because if it looks good it must smell good, right?

They’re attracted to the package. That alone could be enough to generate a sale.

For example, a customer walks into Target and they’re looking for a pair of headphones. He/she is in the aisle with all the headphones and has to decide which pair to purchase. All the headphones do what they’re intended to do, so how does the customer make the decision to buy? Well, maybe the one they’re most attracted to happens to be the one with the most creative package design like these Panasonic headphones. Its packaging is cool, simple and shows the product. A benefit of packaging that lets you see the product is it entices the buyer to pick it up, making them more likely to purchase it over competitors.

Image Credit: Wired

What will entice customers to pick up your product over your competitors when they’re standing in an aisle? Consider what your packaging will look like stacked or lined up on a shelf. You want it to have impact. If several of your products are arranged together, could they form a pattern?

Also take your competitors into consideration. What materials, colors and shapes are they using? How does their target audience compare to yours? Use this information to differentiate your product from theirs and develop a better and smarter packaging strategy. Or better yet, leave it to the ones who live and breathe this kind of creativity and hire an advertising agency.

Pair Brand Personality with Packaging

Your packaging should be recognizable and quickly associated with your brand. Case in point Tiffany’s. Many know when people talk about the “little blue box” they’re talking about Tiffany’s. The brand is easily associated with its own packaging.

Another great representation of using brand personality in package design is  Thelma’s cookies. Their cookies are made from scratch and get placed into a unique packaging that replicates the process of eating a cookie straight out of the oven. They thought up a creative way to present their cookies and it’s so eye-catching, it’s worthy of posting on social media. Unique packaging like this is why creative agencies are around — to help connect your brand to its intended audience in the most meaningful way.

Image Credit: Packaging World

Give Them an Experience to Remember

It’s all about the experience. You’ve seen it before. Your favorite YouTuber, Lewis Hilsenteger has released his latest headphone unboxing video on Unbox Therapy. Or maybe your favorite Instagram influencer is unboxing her FabFitFun box. It’s an experience, a sharable one. A 2014 study by Google shows that one in five shoppers seek out unboxing videos before purchasing and it’s just getting more popular. There are over ten Youtubers with over one million subscribers and they share unboxing videos. It entertains and can be seen as great word-of-mouth marketing.

Making a product interactive takes the consumer to a whole new realm. Your product should tell a story and create an emotional connection with your customer. For example, take 19 Crimes wine. These aren’t just your average wine bottles; they come alive and tell a story if you download their app. The bottles have labels designed with barcodes that activate augmented reality videos, allowing their customers to hear the convicts’ side of their history. It’s engaging and it’s simple packaging!

Image Credit: 19 Crimes

From hidden messages or branded stickers to custom tissue paper or thank you cards, including branded details enhances your customers experience and elevates your brand. Using your packaging to create a memorable experience will have your customers telling all their friends and keeping your company top of mind next time they’re ready to purchase.   

Keep it Clear and Simple

The details of your packaging are powerful. Color choice, typography choice, label size, practicality and more can make that much of a difference in design. You wouldn’t want to confuse your customers; you’d want to make the packaging clear and concise. If your product is all-natural hand soap, clarify that what’s inside of your packaging is hand soap. Make sure your logo is on the packaging so they’re clear on who it’s made by. As for practicality, make it easier for your customer to hold your product and take it home. Is your product secure in its packaging? These details are what can make or break you and your product.

Always remember to stay original. There’s nothing worse than replicating a competitor’s package design and getting a lawsuit filed for misleading marketing.

Packaging is crucial for your brand to grow and with the right graphic design team, they can equip you with the perfect packaging strategy. Appleton is an award-winning, full-service advertising agency in Orlando, Florida that specializes in delivering a strong, unified visual and verbal presence through branding and messaging. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to build a strong and cohesive brand that standardizes any company’s look and communications across print, web, social media and video. Your branding goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or

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