First impressions are important in human interaction. If you can’t get a person to like you the first time they meet you, chances are you’re not ever going to get them to like you. Even if you do, it could take years.
Products are a lot like people.
If you do all the work required to create a great product, you’d be a fool to ignore the importance of product packaging. The package is the first thing your customer sees, it’s incredibly important in building a strong first impression.
This article will walk you through all you need to know about product packaging design.
1. Standing Out
Think about how customers are coming into contact with your product. They’ll be browsing through hundreds, maybe even thousands of products in person or online. They won’t be able to recognize your product in all of its glory if it’s wrapped up inside shoddy packaging.
In this world of social media and personalized playlists, people are looking for uniqueness and individuality. If your product can’t stand out from the rest, people won’t ever give it a second chance. That’s the way it works in the 21st century, like it or not.
Unfortunately, it’s not good enough in this world to be good. You need to stand out, or no one will know how good you are.
2. New Product Prejudice
Your new product to the market will be squaring off against new-product prejudice. A staggering 71% of consumers buy products from names they recognize. Your packaging is your first line of defense against people’s distrust of new products.
Imagine this scenario. Someone is walking through the store to buy herself some soap. She’s been looking for an alternative to Dove, something more effective and affordable, but she just doesn’t quite trust any other brand yet.
You can’t blame her.
Have you seen most soap packaging? It’s pretty boring. No wonder why this person would just go with the simple option of going with dove yet again.
We all know how this scenario would normally end. She looks for new soap products for a few seconds (she’s a busy person after all) and plops the Dove into her shopping cart.
With a good, recognizable brand you can catch this person in those few crucial seconds they’re looking for something new.
In the version of this story that you can make a reality, this lady can scan the options, and have her eye caught by a new brand. A minimalist, sleek, uniquely shaped soap package (for example). She takes it home, tries it, likes it, and becomes a regular consumer of your product (then she tells her friends, who tell their friends, etc.)
It’s tough to stand up to new-product prejudice, but when you do, the results could be astronomical.
3. Brand Recognition
Brand recognition goes beyond having a good product. It means developing yourself as a reliable producer in whatever you do. It means building trust.
Good packaging can lead to brand recognition. Imagining having a product out on the market that’s immediately recognized as yours from across the store. This will streamline the process of turning your product from the underdog to a recognized brand.
Think about Apple products. Anyone can recognize the sleek, minimalist design, and associate it with Apple before they even see the bitten-apple logo.
It goes deeper than that though. Apple is known for the intense simplicity, and they’ve built it into their brand. The simpleness of the packaging plays well against the product, creating a symphony of recognition and flawless design.
When considering your packaging, think about what your company values, and what sort of experience your product inspires in customers. This way, you’re able to craft a similar symphony of quality.
So, say the same lady from the previous example is walking through the store looking for some shampoo and conditioner. She walks through in the autopilot mode that most consumers walk through, expecting just to buy her normal shampoo and conditioner product. She doesn’t know she needs a new shampoo and conditioner product yet.
But, your expert packaging is there to teach her. Suddenly, she seems the same sleek, cool, minimal packaging she has on the soap she loves so much, that soap she recommended to all of her friends. She picks it up on the merits of recognition alone, tries it, loves it, tells friends (rinse, repeat).
Brand recognition is one of the most important factors in turning out-time consumers into fans of your brand. Everyone has favorites. Don’t hesitate in throwing your hat in the ring to become someone’s favorite product.
4. Product Protection
Good packaging protects your product from damage. It can protect against compression, dust, drops, scratches, moisture, anything else that can harm a product. The last thing you want is for someone to open up your product and discover something that’s already ruined.
That will hurt your brand significantly.
There are several options out there for protective packaging. Your product might come in some form of plastic casing. It may even have several cases.
If your product is bigger, you might need a little more than that. We’re all familiar with packing peanuts, and bubble wrap is notoriously fun to play with, but another option you should consider is packing paper.
Packing paper is a great, affordable, safe option to pack up your product safely. Product supplier Packaging Fulfillment has a great article about why you should pick packing paper over packing peanuts or bubble wrap.
While good product packing will help the visibility of your brand, protection is important too.
Quality Product Packaging
Everyone tries hard to make the best first impression. Your product should be no different. Good product packaging can turn passive consumers into avid fans of your products.
Once you understand why you need to stand out, new product prejudice, brand recognition, and the importance of product protection, nothing is stopping you from creating a killer package, and thus, a killer first impression.
For more articles about product satisfaction, check out our entrepreneur section.