The 6 Best Tips for Writing Product Packaging Descriptions

By: phase1
October 1, 2018

It should come as no surprise that the best products come in the best packages. If you are ready to get your innovative product idea in the hands of consumers, don’t let the stress of how to write product descriptions hold you back, especially not when it comes to writing creative packaging copy.

Your ideas are worth creating the most accurate and effective descriptions for, and there are many useful tips on how to write the best copy for your product packaging. And the process begins with grabbing your readers’ attention right from the start.

Pulling in Customers With Memorable Headlines

In almost every piece of sales copy, no matter the medium, the headline is the first piece of writing that reels the customer in to learn more. Often, the headline is not just the first piece of writing the customer reads, it’s also the only one.

When it comes to flipping through newspapers and news websites, for example, an entire 60 percent of Americans only scan the headlines — so how many consumers can we really expect to read more than the first few words of product packaging copy, especially if they’re in a hurry?

Without a doubt, you will want an attention-grabbing headline to make sure the reader stops what they are doing and pulls your product off the shelf. Innovative marketing and the right packaging design can certainly help you get there, but your writing itself needs to be precise, especially your headings. Because of the limited amount of space on product packaging, you’ll need to get those creative juices flowing to create a short-enough hook that communicates your message and makes the reader see the value in your product instantly.

How Descriptive Should You Be on the Front Panel of Your Packaging?

Writing packaging copy differs from other types of sales copy thanks to its unique format. When a product is on a shelf at a retail establishment, for example, only the front panel of the package is visible. Because of this, rather than seeing paragraphs of descriptions and their corresponding headings, the only things a reader might see upon first glance will be your product name and a couple of select selling points that are important Wenough to include on the front.

You want a consumer to pull your product off the shelf and turn it over to learn more. While your product may have a plethora of essential features, the front should only communicate the most important ones — or at least the ones that make your product different from your competition. These key points should be crafted using expertly chosen terms to describe your product in as few words as possible because of the limited amount of space and the constraints on shoppers’ time.

Any secondary features can be listed on the side or back panels, but the theme of brevity should be prevalent through all of your product packaging descriptions.

Writing Packaging Copy With the Right Sentence Structure

To inspire your readers to give your product a shot, you need to share your vision for how problems can be solved using your product. Successfully communicating this message comes down to a few notable pieces of copywriting advice:

  • Keep your message short and sweet. Many of the most massively successful advertising campaigns in the past didn’t require more than a few words to become sensational. In this sense, the limitations on the space for your packaging copy may work in your favor to ensure that your copy stays brief and simplified.
  • Try to be as clear in your communication as possible. In any form of communication, a message without a substantial focus on clarity might not necessarily be received the way you intend it to. If you use confusing language, your message may be tuned out entirely, and you’ll have missed your shot to convert that reader into a paying customer. Instead, use words that are easy to understand and identify concepts most people can relate to.
  • Format your copy for quick reading. Use bolded or colorful text and italics or quotations to highlight the benefits your customers can expect from your product. Rather than creating long, wordy paragraphs, use bulleted or numbered lists to convey your product information concisely. You can get creative with your bullets by using checkmarks, your logo or other brand-specific icons.

Using these packaging copy tips will help your readers grasp your message within a matter of seconds. If you use a simple sentence structure and easily understood language, your prospective customers will thank you for not taking up too much of their time. And it’s likely that they will respond in kind by taking your product along to the checkout counter.

Including the Right Content Within Your Product Description Copy

Along with the right format, your copy should be composed of the right content. As a packaging copywriter, you will, of course, want to highlight key product features and usage information, but there are other essential elements you will want to include while writing packaging copy:

  • The name of your product. You know to put the name of your product in prominent locations all over your packaging, but remember that it’s also important to insert the name throughout your product packaging copy. Use your full brand and product names any time you refer to either, which will help your reader remember you down the line.
  • What the product is. Perhaps this is obvious, but some creative product names don’t necessarily communicate very well what type of product the package contains. The front panel of your packaging should display a common name for your product in addition to the fun name that you picked for it.
  • The more abstract advantages your customer receives. Go beyond the first-glance benefits of your product and envision what your customer is really gaining when they purchase it. People may not be able to literally buy better cooking skills or a full night’s sleep, but if your product can help them achieve those things, then make it part of your copy strategy.
  • Mentions or selling-points of your other products. Once your customer goes home with your product, you want to give them the chance to remember what other products you offer in case they absolutely love their experience and are eager for more. Your packaging can help continue selling different flavors or varieties days after the buyer has left the store, so have a place in your copy to list similar items for your customer to enjoy.
  • A call to action to visit your website. Toward the bottom of your copy, give your reader a chance to learn more by listing your brand URL and a quick prompt for them to visit and discover new information.

Continue to be concise with how you incorporate each of these factors into your sales copy and strive to communicate your brand’s ambitions. One way to be more personable and relatable is to use your packaging copy as an opportunity to tell a story, one which will spur your readers to act.

Telling a Story Using Product Packaging Copy to Inspire Your Readers

One of the best ways you can help your readers see the benefits of your product is by giving them a framework to imagine themselves using it. If your product is highly innovative and unique, this storytelling may be the best way to succeed, as you will have to reorient your audience’s way of thinking to a greater extent.

It’s as though you are doing the math and putting the pieces together for your customer, relieving them of the duty to figure it out on their own. The less work you force on them, the better, and since few brands take this sort of provision seriously, you going through the storytelling, picture-painting process will make you stand out.

Here are some styles you may consider in creating your brand and product story framework:

  • A lot of writers use humor to differentiate themselves from other product lines in their industry. People appreciate a good laugh, and they will be drawn to products and copy that identify an everyday need and address it in a lighthearted way.
  • Conversely, some brands take a no-nonsense, no-frills approach to their storytelling to contrast the hype-oriented narrative prevalent in sales copy. Certain audiences will be more willing to appreciate and trust straightforward product information and will, therefore, be much more confident in using those brands.
  • Another approach in storytelling is written from a personal perspective, narrating how the brand began with a focus on authenticity and artisanal, organic progress. These narratives combine an introduction to the problem with a personal spin on product information. Because of its engaging nature, these packaging copy stories are effective in drawing in customers.

No matter the genre of storytelling or the focus of your brand, if you depict how your product can solve a problem for your customer while providing the logic behind it, you will be likely to draw in crowds of excited product users. There is one additional key factor in the success level of your storytelling, and that is who the main character is. If you think it’s you as the product inventor, think again.

Determining the Hero of Your Product Story: Your Customer

When telling your story on your product packaging, keep your focus on how the customer fits into it. It isn’t your brand or your product that should be painted as the hero of the story, but instead, it should be the customer who decides to put your brand and product to use. Your audience should imagine themselves succeeding at solving their problem with the help of your product.

Here are some tips on using your packaging copy to empower your customer, so that they can see themselves as the protagonist in your product narrative:

  • Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. To do this, you may need to create an ideal customer template, complete with their problems, wants and needs. Use the data you come up with to create copy that shows just how your product can help address the places where your ideal customer is struggling. Your readers are in a hurry and relying on their impulses to make decisions — you need to understand their way of thinking and use pain points they identify with.
  • Do the work for your customer. As we’ve said, it’s essential that you use language that is easy to understand and identifies uses for your product explicitly, so that your customer can just follow your lead. You act as a guide in your customer’s journey, not their hero, providing them with clear usage information, recipe suggestions and other resources. Your customers deserve the best, so give them the most significant advantages and the lowest amount of work and thinking to get there.
  • Understand the importance of your brand’s first impression. Just like when we meet someone new, human brains have initial reactions when they are introduced to a new company or product. What can be tricky is that not only are first impressions created in milliseconds, but they can persist even when contradicting information comes to light later. These phenomena are why setting your customer up for success is so essential. You want them to have a sense from the start that you and your product are on their side.

Thanks to your product, not only do you become a helpful tool for your customers, but they, in turn, become a resource for you and your brand to make a difference in people’s lives. Your copywriting can depict the different elements of this journey and pull in a growing purchaser base.

Writing the Perfect Copy Using Helpful Tools and Resources

Finally, you’ll want to get the best tools at your disposal to create well-rounded, reliable and correct written content. You can always hire an editor or bring a freelance copywriter on board, but there may be other resources available for you online.

Here are a few examples of tools you can find among the Internet’s vast selection:

There are numerous possibilities for finding web-based resources and writing applications to help you write solid packaging copy. Once you have your copy written and your packaging designs completed, there is one more resource you should definitely check out, and that is the packaging solutions here at Phase 1 Prototypes.

Let your ideas become a reality. In no time, you’ll be holding your prototype in your hands, seeing for yourself just how possible it is to make people’s passions become a reality through your product innovations.

Contact us for a free quote, and your customer-engaging, one-of-a-kind packaging will be well on its way to making your unique products stand out. Are you ready to have your products flying off the shelf? At Phase1 Prototypes, that’s what we call your vision, realized.

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