Updated: Aug 11, 2021
Consider Your Return On Investment
Take a step back and think about the ROI of product packaging. If you’re a cheap-o packing foam company, it probably makes no sense to have nice packaging. If you’re an ultra-luxury skincare company, it obviously does make sense to have nice packaging. But what about everyone else?
While you likely implicitly consider cost, think of the cost in the context of the full value of your customer. Here are some key questions to consider:
Do you have room in your margins to support a higher price for custom packaging?
Where might spend on designing nice packaging displace spend required elsewhere? (for example, if having great branded packaging creates customer referrers, maybe you don’t need to spend as much on online advertising)
What elements of your brand can you not compromise, regardless of the cost?
Think of the Journey of the Package
Where is your package going? Is it going to a retail shelf or to your customer's home? Is it going to get tossed around and beaten up in the mail? These factors should consider choices you make around colour and other design elements. If your package is going to be beaten up in the mail, maybe you should choose a simple outer-box with muted colours, and a bright, light, vibrant punch printed on the inside.
Reflect On Your Brand
Your brand is the basis of the tribe you seek to create. What shared values do you want to engender with your customer? If you espouse a sustainable approach, your package needs to reflect that. If you encourage your followers to be proud of who they are no matter what, you need to take some risks and make your package speak to that.
This is a boring one, but it is important. There’s a reason some companies are militant about their brand standards, from the exact fonts they use, to the precise Pantone colour of their brand of blue. As consumers, we often get confused if we are getting asynchronous messages from companies, or worse yet, we forget them. Lock in your brand standards and a central thread of consistency, balanced with a deliberate use of campaign-specific uniqueness. We can’t stress enough the importance of this when creating your package design.
KISS – Keep It Simple Sunshine
We all get excited sometimes. A good design is like a good recipe – not too many flavours, and not too few. If you have ever been to a make-your-own-salad or sandwich bar, you may understand why the purveyor provides set options. You get excited about all the things you can put in your salad but when you go to eat it, you realize they don’t work together. Plan, try some things out, and get some outside perspective to ensure you keep it simple (but not boring).
When In Doubt, Lean On Others
While modern tools like Canva (and our online platform we think!) are making design easier for the untrained eye, there really is a skill to making a design special. If you know you don’t have that skill, or time, it’s ok to lean on others. A skilled designer really is worth their weight in gold. We are happy to help in your journey should you want some recommendations or can help you ourselves. We love this stuff!