Thanks to packaging, the world is well organized. Whether you’re talking about M & M’s, baby diapers or premium beer, the packaging of the products you eat is not trivial.
But what is the packaging? First of all, it’s a practical tool, yes (without a bottle, how would you drink your cold beer?) But it’s more than that. Like any good design, packaging tells a story. Packaging also deals with our sensory perception, and we are more or less seduced by the sight, touch and sound (and sometimes even smell and taste) of a particular packaging. All these elements help us understand the usefulness of the product we buy, its operation and most importantly, whether we should buy it or not.
There are three crucial questions you need to answer before you start creating a product package:
1. What product is it?
This is not a trap question, but an easy question. What are you selling? Is the object bulky? From what materials is your product manufactured? Is it fragile?
This will allow you to determine the packaging requirements imposed by your product. A fragile product requires a more secure packaging, a product with non-standard dimensions will require a custom packaging, etc.
2. Who buys this product?
Is your product for men? Women? Both? Or for children? Do you target environmentally conscious consumers? For people with modest incomes? Or is it a luxury product for the most privileged?
The packaging of your product must appeal to the ideal consumer you are targeting. It is important to know the profile of this typical consumer before starting to create the packaging for your product. If your target customer is older, it’s a good idea to use a larger font, for example. Also, if you are in the luxury industry, you will need to choose quality materials.
3. How do consumers buy your product?
Do they go to the supermarket? In a shop in the city center? On the Internet?
This aspect will also influence the design of your packaging: you will need something robust for the products sold on the internet and sent by mail, and not leave too much empty space so that they do not damage during the transport. On the contrary, products intended to be displayed in a shop or on a supermarket shelf will want to stand out from the others and attract attention with eye-catching packaging.
You answered these three questions? Perfect. Your answers will guide you through the creative process and help you make the (many) decisions that lie ahead.
You are not quite sure of the answers to each of these questions? You are probably not ready to start designing your packaging. Do not panic! It’s better to take your time and create an effective packaging than to rush and regret it later.