Let’s start by stating what should be obvious, first of all: all product design decisions begin with creating an appealing product. If you don’t have that, all the branding in the world might not help you. But if you have the product and you’re wondering about how to market it, then the physical packaging is going to play a huge role in its retail success. So, here are a few questions to help you find your way to the final design.
Have you found the most practical design?
Practicality comes first in design, always. If your design isn’t comfortable to hold, easy to maneuver, or mechanically sensible, it won’t work. In terms of mechanic sense, think about how ketchup bottles have become a lot more convenient since adopting the squeezy bottle design. Look at different container types at sites like FreundContainer.com to get an idea of the different options out there. There’s a good chance you could see the design that makes more sense than what you have at the moment. Don’t forget that customers also associate different container types with different products.
Have you learned the visual language?
There are a lot of different kinds of packaging and design across a variety of different products. As mentioned, customers will associate different designs and containers with different products. So, make sure that you are keeping your design consistent with expectation, but don’t be afraid to make your brand stand out with labels from places like StickerYou.com. It can be a fine line to tread, but it’s not about aping off competitors offering the same products. Rather, learn the visual language their products use and retool it to fit your own brand.
Is it too complicated?
Your product should be able to almost immediately communicate what it is, even before they read the label. When someone is looking for a product in a retail setting, they’re not looking just at the text, they’re looking at visual cues, too. This is why food products include pictures of ingredients or the meals associated with the ingredients on them. They use the simplest message to attract customers. Too much text and too much information on the customer-facing side will muddle up the message of the design, so avoid it.
Have you tested it?
At the end of the day, there’s nothing like some testing to ensure that you’ve got the design that’s going to work not just from your own viewpoint, but out there on the market. Product research, as demonstrated at B2BInternational.com, can help you figure out a lot of different things about the product, including how it fares in the market. Some services will invite test shoppers to look at a variety of different products in a natural retail section to see how well your product works in drawing attention to it. It can be a great way to test how well that packaging actually works.
Product design can be tricky and there’s no one uniformly correct way to go about it. Just make sure you keep the process open, taking in different opinions, including those of the very market you’re trying to target.