The Importance of Product Packaging Design and Development

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So you finally have that shiny new product that you are about to launch onto the store shelves.
All of your marketing material is ready and the sales team cannot wait to start courting retail buyers.
At this point, I hope you have not neglected your product packaging.
The product packaging can make or break a product.
Consumers may not even try your product (it could be the best of it's kind in the world) simply because the packaging is not pretty or does not convey the proper message.
I like to take a look at what I like to call requirements when designing product packaging for a product.
For me, the requirements are: attractiveness, message, product visibility, and soul.
Attractiveness is a very simple concept, but difficult to implement.
Depending on the product, the packaging has to match the color scheme, shape, and size to name a few.
You also need to take into consideration where on the retail shelf it would belong.
Will it be placed on an actual shelf or will it be hung? Attractiveness is relative, but packaging can be designed to reflect the common taste and aesthetic sensibilities of the majority.
Message has to do with your overall branding effort.
Everything from logo placement, to the type, to even the font that is used for the type is important.
The product packaging must convey the cohesiveness that matches your other marketing assets such as catalogs, website, letterhead, etc...
If the product needs to be explained to the consumer, it must be done effectively as you are competing with other products on the shelf for consumer "eye" time.
The product must be explained easily and quickly.
Product Visibility refers to the ability to actually see the product itself.
If it is possible and it fits with the product, I like to allow consumers to see the actually product instead of just a picture of the product on the packaging.
By allowing the consumer to see the actual product, the consumer can envision themselves using the product increasing the likelihood of a purchase.
Soul is hard to explain.
The soul of the packaging to me refers to all the aspects mentioned above.
I like to imagine myself as the product (strange, I know) and the product packaging as my home.
Would I feel comfortable in this home? Does this home fit my personality? When others see my home, do they think this home fits me? To me, the product packaging and the product itself are one.
They are presented to the consumer as one item, therefore, product packaging and branding overall cannot be overlooked when performing product design and development.
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