A product packaging that works for you can be one of the most lucrative marketing investments you make. So how do you make sure your product design is one that people will fall in love with? Ask yourself a few questions to start off:
• Does my packaging fall in line with my brand identity?
Product packaging design and branding are deeply interconnected. Your packaging should immediately reflect the personality of your brand— are you fun, youthful and hip? Or are you educational, serious and knowledgeable? Your packaging should reflect that too. It will probably be the one piece of marketing that your customers see the most, so make sure it’s working to your advantage.
• Does my packaging connect with the audience it’s for?
It can be tempting to design your packaging based on your (or your manager’s, or your designer’s) likes and dislikes. You don’t like the colour purple, so no purple on the product. But you aren’t creating packaging for yourself. It has to appeal to your audience. At every stage, keep checking in to make sure you are tapped in to what your target market wants, needs and dislikes so you can reach them more clearly.
• Does it stand out against my competitors?
A unique design can help set your product apart from the crowd. See what your competitors are doing, but don’t follow them. Carve your own space out so your brand personality can shine. This includes taking risks and getting weird. Thinking outside of the box. This can feel scary, because it takes you out of the comfort zone of repeating something that already works. To really claim your space, you have to bring an appeal no one else has. But don’t be zany just for the sake of being zany. Always check back and make sure your ideas are in line with your brand strategy.
• Does it Own One Thing?
Using Pepper’s own motto of “Own One Thing” as a rubric, you can analyse your packaging (and all other brand visuals) to make sure that if your customer comes away remembering only one thing about what you’ve told them, it’s the right thing. Your One Thing is the trait that sets your product apart, and that trait has to be at the forefront of the packaging. This isn’t a flavour-of-the-month. It’s a personality trait that ideally should stick with your brand for an extended time (years, hopefully), and only be changed if your brand identity really needs an overhaul (even if your packaging, advertising or other visuals change in that time, they should still reflect that One Thing). It should always reflect the core of your company and what it stands for.