Picture the picture-perfect packaging. Yours.

Is it time for a brand-packaging refresh?

Imagine your product is a novel sitting on a bookstore shelf. It has a good storyline, throws a few twists and turns and then satisfies with a strong and happy ending. Just like every good novel, it needs an eye-catching front cover to draw people in before they will ever experience its story.

Your packaging design is that cover that draws them into your product’s story.

In the hyper-competitive world fighting for attention, packaging’s the one factor that can’t be taken for granted. When strolling through the aisles, customers decide on a product in a lightning-fast five seconds—maybe even faster. The shape, size and color are what catch the eye of your customer far before they even begin to read the label.

Keep in mind: you’re not the only brand looking to capture the hearts and minds of your shoppers. Every company does, whether they are in direct competition with you or not. Planning out your package look can help you go from invisible to visible and win the war on shelf and online.

Is it time to rethink your cover and tell your story to a new audience?

Let’s go find out!

Packaging thinktank part 1: Color.

In the 1985 movie Mask, there’s a scene where the lead character, Rocky Dennis, attempts to explain “color” to his girlfriend Diana, who is blind. Rocky first hands Diana a hot stone, explaining to her that this is what red feels like. Next, he places a second stone in her other hand. Diana realizes this one is freezing cold, and Rocky explains that this represents blue. Point being: Color can evoke feeling.

It’s true. Warm colors lean toward bringing forth passion, happiness, enthusiasm and energy while cool colors connote calm, serenity and professionalism. Looking from end to end on the full color spectrum, let’s travel further down the rabbit hole:

Red: love, passion and power

Orange: energy, vibrancy, health and vitality

Yellow: hope and happiness

Green: growth, balance, renewal and harmony

Blue: refreshing, friendly, calm and strength

Purple: creativity, imagination and wealth

Where do neutral colors like black, gray, brown, beige and white all stand? They serve as the sophisticated backdrops to the warm and cool colors mentioned above. Black by itself is often associated with power and elegance. White, meanwhile, stands for purity and cleanliness.

Color indeed leads the pack as far as purchasing decisions go. Studies show nearly 85% of shoppers say color is the primary reason they bought a particular product. 80% of shoppers say color increased brand recognition. Bottom line: Choosing color carefully and wisely can, on its own, increase sales.

Ask yourself this: What colors best represent my brand story? What will define the type of story I wish to tell?

Packaging thinktank part 2: Size.

Bigger isn’t necessarily better.

Smaller packaging typically exudes a feeling of power and exclusivity. In today’s age of sustainability, smaller sizes also hint that the company is acting responsibly by using less packaging, eliminating excess material and reducing its overall carbon footprint. By also right-sizing your package (and by right-sizing, we mean evaluating its shape, fragility, materials and size), you also better manage your shipping costs. Finding the right package to fit your product perfectly will be instrumental in keeping those costs down.

Conversely, larger containers do speak more to bulk and cost efficiency. Taller packages have a knack for shelf space consideration and stand out quite nicely. Wider packages, meanwhile, have a penchant for demanding attention. In the battle for being seen first on the shelf, going big could be the difference maker, but only to gather attention. The tide does seem to be turning for brands willing to sacrifice size for environmental impact.

Ask yourself this: What size makes the most sense for my brand? Should I consider multiple sizes?  

Packaging thinktank part 3: Shape.

Shape can never be underestimated. Shape has the ability to create instant connections. Many marketing pros will tell you: it’s a snap to sell a low-quality product in nice packaging vs. a higher-quality product in ho-hum packaging.

The structure and shape of a container are being judged for not just their look, but how shoppers are actually using them. Take shampoo. Would sharp, harder edges be the way to go in the shower? Or does a smoother, more ergonomic approach seem like a better and more natural approach?

Beyond consumer use, shape needs to be a major factor for logistics and storage. How would you transport mass quantities of your product if it came in an unusual shape? How would you store them? Both are major considerations as shipping and storing costs need to be factored in.

Now it’s your turn: What shape best represents what my brand stands for? Should I go bold and more hard-edge? Or should I be smooth and more approachable?

Packaging thinktank part 4: Modern touch.

No doubt, minimalism is all the rage right now for designing labels. Customers demand a great deal of simplicity in their hustle and bustle. They don’t want any nonsense. And in many cases, it’s better to whisper than to shout in order to draw attention. (Depends on your story.)

The visual aesthetics could also reveal more clues for your shoppers about what they can anticipate from your products. Shiny and more metallic looks connote newness. Sleek looks may say “fast” while more decorated and ornate looks stand for upscale qualities and richness.

Ask yourself: What kind of textures should I consider for my package? What will add another dimension of experience for my shoppers?  

Packaging thinktank part 5: Convenience.

Convenience can be that X factor making or breaking your customer’s experience. From purchase to use to disposal, every little touchpoint matters.

Consider grips if your product’s on the heavier side. Go with handles to make it a cinch to carry around without hurting hands. If your product’s a liquid, screw and pop-off lids may be your best bet for easier pours. Better openings, by the way, denote attention to detail, something customers can’t resist and will respect.

Now it’s your turn: What can I do to make my product more functional for my shoppers? What factors can I add to enhance the overall customer experience?

Now let’s put it all together.

So. What is your brand story? Before you choose colors or pick shapes and sizes, set up a laundry list of everything you want your packaging to showcase. You want to make a good first impression that stands out on the shelf, so shoppers will take your package off of it. Take a look around. What are other brands doing in your category? Nothing wrong with borrowing ideas from your competitors. For that matter, what brands do you like outside the category that have turned your head? Maybe there’s something there your competitors never thought about.

Once your design is good and ready, Priority Plastics can bring it to life. After all, there’s no one better to trust than top professionals who know the ins and outs of containers to ensure your labels are properly applied. We’re flexible and accurate. We’re consistent and reliable.

And it doesn’t always have to be a new, custom shape.

Check out our full capabilities:

  • Customer-provided labels.
  • Front, back, front and back, full wrap, three-sided.
  • Round, rectangular and square.
  • Up to 6.5″ diameter and up to 11.25″ high.

Priority Plastics carries a wide range of stock shapes and sizes. From PET to HDPE to clear and opaque. You can build a great brand on a budget by working with us to find the right color, take advantage of our labeling services and apply your labels to one of the hundreds of stock molds we offer. Give us a call, and let’s talk about your needs.

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