Tips for Mastering the Art of Great Packaging

October 21, 2015

10:06 pm

With so many companies unveiling great new innovations every day (and so many products competing for shelf space), it’s important to determine what makes one tech tool sell better than another. According to Nielsen Research, 52 percent of consumers say their purchase decisions are partially dependent on product packaging, from the material used to the claims displayed.

Sure, the technology itself plays a vital role — but once the finished product reaches a retailer’s shelves and is sitting next to a handful of similar tools, its packaging can make all the difference.

First Impressions Matter

Whether you’re meeting a potential investor for the first time or applying for a new job at a big corporation, the importance of a great first impression is undeniable. The same applies when selling a product: The first impression is what draws in customers.

This vital first impression can (and often will) occur right there in the store, and through a combination of colors, text, design, and functionality, your packaging should make a big and bold statement about your product and your brand. Bright, busy, over-the-top design isn’t necessarily better — especially when dealing with tech products. Originality, personality, and memorability are the keys here, so focus on your brand, the image you’d like to portray, and the experience your consumers want to have.

For example, if your company is selling an eco-friendly product to eco-friendly people, your packaging ought to be made of recycled material — and be sure there’s some text on it that clearly states this fact. It might cost a little more to do this, but the resulting increased sales will offset your expenses.

On the other hand, reducing your packaging costs will allow you to reduce your selling price. But, if you choose to sell at a higher price to create a higher perceived value, reinforce that image with sturdy, high-quality packaging.

Tips For Creating the Perfect Packaging

Here are three additional tips to consider when creating your tech product’s packaging:

1. Learn from the masters, but think differently. Look around the tech world and read up on companies that do phenomenal jobs of branding and packaging. In my opinion, Apple has consumer packaging down to a T. Through simple and sparse design, the company makes buying its products a flawless experience for its consumers.

Next, go to the store and see what your competitors are doing. Your product should contrast with theirs, so be sure to use different colors, fonts, and materials. If their packaging doesn’t show images of their actual products, you can really stand out by having a transparent window in yours.

2. Choose your words wisely. Having too few words on your packaging won’t convey enough information to the customer, but too many words can be overwhelming and a major turn-off. When describing your product, try using a bulleted list that contains words that reach into the emotions of your audience. If they’re in search of a simple solution, use words like “fast” and “easy.” If cybersecurity is at the top of their agenda, use language like “safe” and “protection.”

Use a font that enhances your branding. Unless you’re selling a product for children, it should look mature and professional. Also, make sure the words are big enough. Customers shouldn’t have to use a magnifying glass to see why your product is so great. And finally, be honest — what’s represented on the outside of the package should match what’s on the inside.

3. Collect feedback and adjust: Don’t start your first production run with tens of thousands of units. Your first attempt at packaging is just that: a first attempt. Start with a smaller batch, see how it performs, and leave yourself some financial flexibility to make changes. Don’t just look at sales numbers; seek advice from customers, designers, and business associates. Ask them what they do and don’t like about it.

You might need to go back to the drawing board and change things around a bit, so make sure you have enough resources left over after your first attempt.

The right combination of marketing and packaging is crucial to catching a consumer’s eye and making that positive first impression. Look around you, study your competition, be true to your brand, and create a packaging that calls out to consumers as they wander the aisles.

Follow this advice, and your product will fly off of the shelves.

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Originally from Turkey, Zeynep Ilgaz and her husband immigrated to the United States with two suitcases, their love for each other and a desire for entrepreneurship. They co-founded Confirm BioSciences and TestCountry in San Diego, and Ilgaz serves as president of both. Confirm BioSciences offers service-oriented testing technologies for drugs of abuse and health.

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