David Roberge

By: David Roberge on March 16th, 2017

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3 Packaging Rules Every Business Needs to Know

Packaging Materials | Investment | Packaging Design

AdobeStock_59264459.jpegOver the years, product packaging as a concept has evolved from "just something you have to do to get your product on the shelves" to a pivotal part of marketing efforts and the true experience you offer to your customers. When done properly, product packaging can lead to a deeper, more loyal connection with your audience and increased sales. When it comes to modern-day product packaging design, there are a few core packaging rules every business needs to know.

Clarity Is Key

If you want a clear example of why clarity is so essential in terms of product packaging, look no further than the fact that customers typically take only about seven seconds to make a determination about a particular product or brand.


This means that even though you may think it helpful to put thousands of words on the side of a package explaining every detail about your product, your customers simply won’t take the time to read it all.


Never forget Shakespeare’s line: "Brevity is the soul of wit." Anything that isn't essential—meaning anything that your customer doesn't absolutely need to know—has to go. This doesn't mean simplicity, necessarily, just that you need to focus on answering customer questions with as little real estate as possible.


Product Packaging Is an Investment

Another essential rule about product packaging is that you need to stop thinking of it as a mandatory "cost of doing business" and start thinking of it as the true investment it really is.


Studies have shown attractive packaging triggers activity in areas of the brain commonly associated with rewards. It can influence positive emotions in a customer at mission-critical moments. It allows people to more easily differentiate one product and brand from another, helping to grow loyalty. All of this leads to the most important benefit of all when executed properly: Increased sales.


Balance Creativity with Practical Design

In order for product packaging to accomplish everything it is supposed to, it needs to offer an equal balance of attractive, design-based decisions and raw functionality. Your packaging must immediately catch a customer's eye and be easily differentiated from other products on the shelf. It must also be simple enough to be opened, reused, and disposed of.


Something that looks fantastic but is difficult to open ultimately degrades the user experience, just like packaging that fails to communicate how a particular item should be used. Captivating, relevant, and functional packaging will attract the type of attention you need to stay competitive.


In the end, the running theme through all of these is equilibrium. Remember that packaging is an essential part of not just the product you're offering, but the experience your customer is signing up for. By emphasizing clarity and balancing creativity with practical design, you will be able to utilize product packaging as the true investment it really is.


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About David Roberge

I am grateful for my 9 years as part of the outstanding Industrial Packaging team. I was able to hang out with some of the most knowledgeable folks in the packaging industry. I feel even luckier that I was able to share that knowledge with you. I love learning, hiking, and growing people and teams both personally and professionally, and helping companies grow better.