Your product packaging is the unique encasing used to hold, represent, and protect your product. We will explore some of the most important reasons to pay attention to your packaging and the steps to design the optimal packaging for your needs.
Here is what you need to know about custom packaging for your products.
- What’s product packaging, and why is it so essential?
- Things to consider when designing packaging
- Making premium packaging
What’s product packaging, and why is it so essential?
Product packaging describes all the design features you select to package your products—including the images, color palette, size, shape, materials, and type of packaging you use.
When going through the product packaging process, you’ll want to evaluate how well they’ll work for your products and customers. When you select the proper packaging, you both help to protect your product during the shipping process, and also create a favorable unboxing experience for your customers. Your product packaging helps create a positive first impression with your buyers.
As you work to build your business, pay close attention to your box design and packaging. This is for a variety of reasons, including:
- It improves the link between the company and customers. Thoughtful product packaging gives you an opportunity to make a concrete connection with the customer. Instead of just viewing products on a website or in a store, they can hold them in their hands. It’s a chance to make a good impression on the customer.
- It promotes the company’s image and brand. A well-packed product will make a positive impression on customers and build positive associations with your business.
- It fosters the “unboxing” experience. Your packaging can also create an enjoyable experience for customers, as it helps build excitement for the new product. You want an unboxing experience that elicits emotions and is positive and memorable.
- It protects the product during shipping. The package can also keep an item from getting banged around or damaged, so it shows up looking just right for the customer.
If you’re thinking about the impact of your product’s packaging design, we’ll walk you through the packaging pro tips that can help you make the best decision for your business.
Things to consider when designing packaging
Keep a few key characteristics in mind as you design your e-commerce packaging template (which you can use for both e-commerce and retail packaging).
The package’s presentation dictates how your product first appears to customers—and the story you want to tell. Think about how everything is laid out in the box and how you can create an eye-catching customer product packaging experience.
Some companies also include special additions or inserts, such as a handwritten note or business card, inside the box to enhance the customer’s experience.
Try experimenting with fonts for your product labels and any other informational inserts you put in the product boxes. To help your packaging accentuate your product, consider all the details you might include. Ask yourself questions like:
- How will this package feel in the hands of customers?
- What colors will the customer see when they first open the box?
- What sources of frustration might they encounter as they try to open their package?
- What elements will the customer first see as they open the box? Will they look tidy?
Your packaging solutions might also call for packaging supplies, such as tissue paper wrapping, hang tags, packaging tape, or other extras to make your products appear well-packaged and branded. Think about the story your packaging will tell as the customer opens the box and how it aligns with what you want to communicate.
Think carefully about how you want to present the imagery on your custom product packaging. You might have special designs for your product that your designer created. You’ll also want to include your business logo to emphasize brand identity and create a branded experience.
As you determine how to display your brand and logo on the package, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you want to include a photo of the product on the package? Does this fit with your branding and product?
- What colors pair best with your brand and product? Consider the colors you use in the rest of your branding and what you might want to communicate with this product in particular. Psychology has an entire discipline dedicated to the emotional effects of color, including on consumers.
- Do you want to color or print the entire box or a designated section around your logo to help it stand out? This will also depend on your overall branding and how the final appearance of the box fits with the story you want to tell.
In addition, decide if you want the images on the boxes to look matte or glossy. Some brands might also want to incorporate stickers onto the packaging boxes instead of printing directly on the boxes. Some companies find that stickers can help them save money over printing directly on the box and may even prefer the look of the “stand out” sticker compared to printed cardboard.
Depending on what your product is, you might have different product safety labels or product notes to keep in mind as you design your packaging.
Your product packaging design should consider any special considerations you need to mention on the outside of your custom boxes. For example, you might need to place a safety or nutrition label on the packaging. This might include information like an expiration date or a reminder to keep the package cold. If you have particularly fragile parts or anything else that you need the customer to pay close attention to as they open their product, note that as well.
You also want to keep your product’s durability in mind as you create the packaging. Many packages will require protective covering to keep them safe during shipping. Discuss with your team what you might want to place inside the package to keep the items safe and secure, such as styrofoam or bubble wrap. If your product is made of glass or another breakable material, for example, ensure it will not shift around and break during transport. Offer cushions in case the outer box gets banged up during shipping.
Durability is particularly important for e-commerce businesses that send their products in mailer boxes. Providing information through the packaging for instructions on how to use the product and take care of it can also extend the life of the product.
Making premium packaging
Take the time to create a premium packaging experience—and an outstanding moment for your customers—to further build your brand. We’ll walk you through the steps to improve your product packaging and appeal to your customers.
Research and study the product
Your first step is research. Thanks to the internet, you have a variety of research methods at your fingertips. You might include:
- Watching unboxing videos through social media from influencers and others buying products in your space
- Looking at how the competition ships similar products
- Using focus groups to get feedback directly from people in your target market (this lets you watch them interact with your packaging so you can gauge body language and how real customers unwrap your products)
- Surveying existing customers to see what they liked and didn’t like about your packaging efforts
A thorough understanding of both your audience and your competition is important. Know what customers want to see when they purchase your product and what frustrates them about certain packaging models—such as items that are difficult to free from their bindings. You also want to see what the competition does, such as whether they have created a sleek, appealing packaging formula.
Your research should also help you create a firm idea of what message you want to create in the minds of customers when they make a purchase. Know the impression you want to make in those first few moments, such as appearing luxurious with smooth finishes and high-quality products or bohemian with more rustic colors and natural materials.
Choose the right material
Next, you’ll want to select the material that fits your product best. The material will impact the type of package you design. The most common types of packaging materials include:
- Paperboard. Paperboard material is lightweight and works well with printing. You will often see it in places like folding cartons and trays.
- Corrugated. Corrugated paperboard is both flexible and strong. Use it to protect products that are fragile or heavy. You will often see this in shipping boxes.
- Cotton. Cotton is a sustainable fiber that you can use to make packaging options like bags or pouches (depending on the type of product you want to ship). People like that it is breathable and natural. You might see this type of packaging for clothing, for example.
- Plastic. Businesses use plastic in various packaging material options, such as packing peanuts, boxes, and bags. It can be flexible or rigid, depending on your needs. You’ll also see plastic in food packaging.
- Rigid boxes. Rigid boxes are made from a type of cardboard four times thicker than a standard folding carton. Use these thick boxes for premium items (e.g., jewelry).
- Chipboard. Chipboard is a type of paperboard made from compressed reclaimed paper. It is lightweight and used in a variety of products, such as cereal boxes.
- Foil-sealed bags. Foil-sealed bags are used for some smaller items. They are made of PET film with aluminum foil. You might see these bags for uses like silicon chips.
Customize the box
Once you know which material you want to use for your packaging, it’s time to customize the box to fit your needs.
Think about how you’ll need to use the package—such as where it will be stored before sales and how it will be shipped—to help you customize the package’s size and shape. Look at the product parts you need to ship and how you want to lay them out in the package for easy use by the customer.
Make the packaging coherent with your brand’s image
Keep in mind how you want to reflect your brand with your packaging. For instance, use eco-friendly packaging options to communicate a natural, rustic reputation (e.g., cotton, compostable packaging, or packaging labeled as 100% recycled).
Meanwhile, if you want to emphasize a modern or luxurious reputation, your design should signify these ideals (e.g., sleek rigid boxes).
Get help from a designer
As you begin to create elite packaging for your products, it can help to work with a graphic design specialist from Ndiwano.com. The platform’s independent product designers have built their careers around helping organizations design packaging that emphasizes the product while protecting it until it reaches the customer. They can help organizations create a package that best compliments their brand and creations.
To find a product package designer, simply post the job on Ndiwano.com. There, qualified designers will view the job and post their bids. You can review their portfolios and determine which one will fit your needs. If you prefer, you can also preview portfolios and reach out to designers directly.
See the difference packaging can make when working with independent professionals who do it extremely well.