The recent debacle about Goodfella’s ‘sexist’ pizza box, and Mintel’s prediction that 2016 is the year of clear and informative packaging, can highlight the sort of things that packaging must not do. It must not confuse consumers, and it most definitely must not offend. But what should it do? What are the key functions that packaging must perform if it is to be considered successful in terms of design? Here are our top five ‘must-do’ functions to give you an idea of the most important factors you should think about when choosing or designing product packaging.
It Must Stand Out
You can’t just rely on your packaging shouting louder than the competition if you want to ensure consumers buy your product. What you need is something that will draw people’s eye – something that will instantly communicate the essence of what’s you’re offering. The use of cusp shapes is a simple but effective way of doing this, as they are known to make packaging stand out from the crowd.
It Must Be Simple
Consumers do not want to be confused or frustrated, and so simplicity is the key. Auditory and visual calm can also be hard for people to find in today’s busy world, which is why they are often drawn to simpler packaging without the power graphics and shouty claims. Simple, clean and calm packaging can effectively contrast with the visual noise shoppers encounter all too frequently and prompt customers to like your product even before it has been taken out of the packaging.
It Must Be Easily Recognisable
Could a five-year-old easily recognise your packaging in the same way that a pre-schooler can tell you when they pass a Waitrose store or see a Tesco delivery van on the road? A distinctive and simple brand mark can be vital in achieving this aim.
It Must Trigger Engagement
The best packaging will not only appeal to customers on a simple level, but it will make them want to engage with your brand. Better still, if your packaging can trigger emotional engagement in consumers, you are immediately placing your brand in a prime position to not only prompt one sale, but to encourage repeat custom in the future.
It Must Promote Your Brand
Outlandish packaging will not appeal if you are aiming at selling to a conventional crowd, whilst too simplistic an idea may be a mistake for a brand that hopes to use innovation as a differentiator for their business. In simple terms, your packaging must fit with your brand.