The New Year is just around the corner. And 2024 is the year for taking your game up a notch. And package design is one of your best strategic weapons to make a statement, connect with your customers, and improve sales velocity. Here are three design principles (the three C’s) that will help you be better than the rest.
Compete on the shelf.
The item assortments at all retailers are large and getting larger as brands proliferate their product offerings to appeal to as broad a consumer base as possible. That is good news for consumers but a challenge for us as product managers/owners, designers, and agencies.
The first test is when customers approach your section of the store. They are inundated with logos, colors, claims, and choices. That first impression is vital. What does your packaging evoke? Is it memorable? Does it stand out in a sea of sameness?
For established brands, the logo treatment is a top priority. Consumers recognize familiar brands and the positive experiences with the product. As an asset, logos must be both leveraged and cared for. Is it time to refresh the logo, make it larger or more impactful, more pop on the shelf? But be careful. Going too far is risky. Be bold but be smart.
Taking a different path with your package shape, size, or material is another option to help your brand stand out. Just be sure that your design and form factor combine to compete and win.
There are so many claims being made by you and your competitors. Step back and evaluate how well the most important differentiators for your brand are being delivered by your package. Resist the temptation to try to say everything. Showcase the handful of motivating and persuasive points of difference—particularly on the front panel. More detailed claims and proof points can be effectively delivered on the back of the package—which is often overlooked or underutilized real estate.
Of course, make a big deal out of new news. Product improvements, new ingredients, new functionality, consumer preferences wins, new flavors, promotional tie ins. Just be sure that you do not overwhelm the core design elements and visual cues that are fundamental to your consumers with the flashy featured messaging.
Your design makes a statement, puts a flag in the ground for who you are and what you stand for. Those imagery and graphic elements must be evocative, memorable, authentic, and genuine. The ability to visually engage with and connect with your target consumer is perhaps the most important principle. The more upscale your product is, and therefore more expensive, the more the design and materials must match that expectation. A premium product that commands a premium price must be elegant and classy but with a bit of an “attitude.”
That connection extends beyond the outside of the box and continues into the contents. Think through how the first interaction with the product itself is consistent with the packaging and the positioning of the brand. Increasingly today, it is the entire user experience that delivers a brand promise.
Here is where your design and marketing agency partner adds value. By collaborating to create a design brief that is thoughtful, comprehensive, and serves as a blueprint. And then by presenting the client with a series of checkpoints to ensure that all parties are always aligned. Then present a couple of viable design treatments that hit the strategy and design brief in a memorable and impactful manner.
It is a shared objective to rise above.
At Damen Jackson, we are here to be your business partner, your conscience, a member of your extended team. We are never afraid to be challenged, or to respond to tough questions. We are in it for the long haul.
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