Is the Package the Product?

Run a couple package design web searches and you’ll see this phrase repeatedly: “Packaging is just as important as the product.” It’s almost common sense, really. Some even go as far as saying, “The package is the product.” That may be bold, but nonetheless, packaging plays a tremendous role in selling your product-it’s the last chance (or maybe even the first chance) to advertise just before consumers make a purchase and studies have shown that most people make brand choices at the point of purchase. Spend the time researching packaging while thinking carefully about your audience and the stores you’ll be featured in and brand your product accordingly. Bring a designer into the picture early on and he/ she will help the package design solutions develop from the information and ideas that have gathered.

Branding is important. Companies brand themselves to configure their ideals, benefits, identity and develop their ad strategies from this characterization. Branding helps keep their image consistent, ensuring that their message won’t stray away. Products need to do the same. What are your product’s advantages? How is it different from the competition? What is its personality? You have to do more than inform customers. You must provoke emotions by branding your product with logos, advertising, press releases, etc., and, of course, the packaging. The following are basic steps that all designers must follow for successful packaging.

Research: You’ve researched plenty during the development of your product and you’ll continue to do so throughout the duration of its life. Assuming you’ve already studied the market and potential audience, you should now begin learning about packaging. Your designer is also an avid researcher, but it never hurts to figure out what attracts you and to bounce ideas off of each other. Go to different stores and look at packages. Focus within your product family and the stores you’d be featured in, but also look beyond. You never know where you may discover something useful. Search the Internet with Google web and image searches. Look through publications for packaging info and examples-magazines, books, online-both packaging sources and your product category’s industry publications. Find a handful of inspiring ideas and trends.

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