A package is so much more than a protective barrier. When someone is buying in person, it is the deciding factor in making that purchase.
What do the best selling designs have in common? Here are five features we spotted.
1. They have the potential to become iconic.
Bright red with a few swishes of white – that’s Coca-Cola. Even before logos and designs become iconic, you can see their potential to become iconic.
Something like a custom color can actually shift the culture forever. For instance, what did we call “Tiffany blue” before the jewelry brand began using it for their boxes?
2. They’re easy to “use”.
A key feature of great design isn’t visual. It’s in ease of use.
When we “use” packaging, what we’re doing is opening, closing, and carrying it. Customers don’t like packages that are difficult to open, tear easily so the product spills out, or are so flimsy they have to take care not to damage what’s inside.
Notches, zippers, perforations, seals, pull tabs, and more all make a package great, because they help the buyer use it.
3. They’re confident.
How can a package be confident? Well, consider a confident person.
We don’t think of a confident person as someone who brags about their abilities – that’s an arrogant person. A confident person inspires, maintains composure, and exudes authority.
A confident package is the same. It doesn’t need to talk you into buying it; it uses concise words and visuals to convince. It isn’t cluttered with statements, and it’s never visually aggressive, even when it’s meant to communicate strength.
4. The package suits the product.
In the last few years, laundry detergent brands in little plastic pods have become quite popular – for the wrong reasons, frequently.
The way these products are packaged makes them look like candy, when they’re actually harmful and toxic if swallowed.
These big, established laundry brands may have gotten away with it for now, but in general, packaging cleaning products to look like a child’s treat is a huge fail.
The consumer should know how to classify the product at a glance. Being certain of how to categorize something without working to figure it out is hugely appealing to shoppers.
5. They’re honest.
A good package design does have to include some facts on it, and if the brand has done the work right, they’ll be honest and transparent. They’ll include the weight, contents, and other important information the consumer should know.
In some cases, PTI plastic packaging will include a clear window or be totally transparent to let the customer see for themselves what’s inside.
This makes it even easier for the customer – who rarely spends more than a few seconds deciding to buy – to pick up the item, knowing they won’t be let down.
You might not be a huge, known brand yet, but there’s a lot to learn from the big guys.
Make your packaging simple yet identifiable, build trust through honesty, and don’t let your packaging stand in the way of the customer and the product. Add in some high-quality materials, and you’ve got a design that will sail right off the shelf.