A good package should tell a story about your brand and your company. It can convey to the consumer what the product represents. Is the product high-quality, fun, or medicinal? All of these concepts may be told through packaging materials, designs, and treatments.
Packaging can drive up sales. An identifiable brand not only will draw in buyers, but also bring them back. Repeat buyers build company growth. A packaging guru from years gone by said buyers aren’t buying the product;they are buying the box it comes in.
To some degree, that still holds true. A package helps people identify with certain brands. Some people always drink Coke; others always drink Pepsi. That’s why it’s critical to make sure a product’s packaging speaks to its target consumer.
How do you make your packaging speak to consumers? How do you stand out? How do you make people respond to the package, which impacts how they respond to your products?
You need to convey you are the right company and the right brand for them.
Consumers respond to packaging visually, tactilely, and psychologically. How things look and feel impact what we choose to buy. Colors and shapes draw their eyes; texture and depth make them want to touch the product. Designs that look expensive convey quality. Sleek packaging sends a clear message: The product inside is important and valuable. We can create consumer responses through the use of structural design, ink, coating, foil stamping, embossing, and varying substrates such as board, recycled materials, plastics, and foil.
Premium-quality packaging can create a memorable experience for consumers from the moment they see, touch, and open the container. Good packaging can make a product appear expensive or appeal to health-conscious buyers or elicit an impression of reliability. Designers can achieve the target effect through the use of coatings like soft-touch and ultraviolet printing. Embossing and foil-stamping help products to “pop” on a shelf.
A good package design will make consumers feel something about the brand. Emotion plays a pivotal role in customers’ decision-making process and loyalty. Are the products environmentally friendly? Do sales benefit a charitable organization or cause? Color is one of the most powerful aspects of design. Blue creates a sense of trust and security, pink conveys femininity, red evokes energy, yellow is optimistic and youthful. Colors also help to create brand recognition. Brand recognition translates to consumer confidence.
Effective packaging is simple packaging. Products have so much competition that clean lines and simple design are what catches attention. A product that is over-designed loses its message and gets lost among other products. A simple logo, a swirl or a simple pattern, can be very impactful.
Primary packaging needs to protect both product and consumer. Child-resistant and tamper-proof packaging is hugely important to the cannabis industry and influences many aspects of design. Although regulations vary from state to state, since the 1970s federal law has required child resistant-packaging for all products that present a risk of serious injury or illness to children younger than five who may eat, drink, or handle what’s inside. Pay close attention to laws and industry best-practices when working with a designer to ensure external elements conform to both current and upcoming mandates in your locality and state.
To summarize, packages that make an impact share common features: They’re memorable, emotive, simple, and direct. Bold colors, clean lines, simple design, and an understanding of the target market must be considered when creating a product’s container. Customers form an impression well before they open a box.
Trends in packaging come and go, but quality packaging always sells. Using specific design principles not only can help increase sales, but also establish a brand and reputation for your company.
As the cannabis industry grows and legalization for both medicinal and recreational use is expanded, product packaging will become even more important. Be sure to source your packaging from vendors that understand your business and current and future regulations that can impact your packaging investment.
Good packaging does more than comply with rules and regulations and product you, the consumer and your product. It also is a big step toward growing your company.
Denise Beilowitz is the general manager of Great Western Packaging in Van Nuys, California. During her 35 years in the printing business, she has developed new packaging concepts for companies the cosmetics, multi-media, food, novelty, and cannabis industries.