How to Choose the Right Packaging Materials for Your Product

By: phase1
July 10, 2018

When a company is introducing a new invention, expanding an existing item’s availability across the globe or revamping its appearance, they want their product to perform well as it enters the marketplace. Unfortunately, research shows that 80 percent of new products fall short of expectations each year. One of the contributing factors to this rate of failure has nothing to do with the product itself, but with its packaging. In fact, a product’s packaging can be just as important as the product itself.

The Importance of Product Packaging
Believe it or not, packaging will impact the success of a product from its infancy throughout its growth. It’s more than a box, bag or wrapper that displays the product — it directly communicates to the customer on an emotional level. Though some consumers research product features, read reviews and perform thorough investigations into competing brands, many customers don’t have the time to give their purchase this level of attention. Instead of comparing products by factors like features and benefits, many will simply choose a product based on observation.

Product packaging provides consumers with an opportunity to make an expedited decision based not on how a product claims to perform, but on how its appearance makes them feel. Effective packaging moves inventory. Consequently, poor packaging can have the opposite effect. Eliminating the characteristics of the package that create brand recognition can lead to dramatic decreases in overall sales

To influence your targeted audience into choosing your product over a competitor’s, you’ll want to ensure your product’s packaging positively speaks to them. Ideally, your product packaging should accomplish five goals:

  • Attract Attention. To stand out from the rest of the items on the shelf, the packaging must draw the customer’s eye and successfully captivate their attention. If your product stands out in a visually appealing way, it will continue to grab consumer’s attention.
  • Be simplistic in its design. Consumers will naturally gravitate towards visually calm designs. Though extensively detailed designs may succeed in gaining attention, simple yet striking designs are more effective.
  • Pass the child test. The idea driving this unique test is that your packaging design should be so distinctive that a five-year-old should be able to locate it in a store with only the knowledge of the package’s appearance.
  • Engage consumers on an emotional level. Packaging influences consumer behavior. Consumers will act on the emotional response they receive from viewing a product.
  • Display assets that amplify the brand. Effective packaging includes unique visual designs that instantly create brand recognition. These characteristics — including shapes, colors and logo typology — will create a visual identity that amplifies the brand.

However, to effectively achieve these goals, you have to be particular about package design and how those characteristics speak to consumers. Various factors including color scheme, package size, fonts and logos, the type of material and product finishes will impact consumer influence.

Targeting Your Demographic With Appropriate Packaging
When designing your product packaging, you always want to keep the targeted audience in mind. The goal is to make your product stand out and emotionally engage specific consumers. Designing your packaging with specific colors, font types and correct logo placement can effectively reach your desired customers.

However, if you are distributing your product throughout marketplaces that are diverse, you need to consider the cultural relevance of your design. Your packaging could be interpreted in ways which you did not intend as it crosses cultural and physical borders. Factors like colors, symbols and phrases, changes in consumer behavior and elements of religion can all affect your brand in positive and negative ways depending on how it literally and emotionally translates across different regions.

How Color Impacts Buying Decisions
The utility of a product is black and white: it was designed to accomplish a set goal or meet specific needs. However, a consumer’s decision to purchase a product is influenced by much more than simply the effectiveness of the item. The color a brand uses for their products and packaging can influence how consumers perceive their trustworthiness and the quality of their products. Color is more than just a design tool — it evokes an emotional response.

The way color impacts consumer buying habits is extremely significant. Visual appearance makes more of an impact than the smell or texture of a product. Color can cause an 80 percent increase in brand recognition and is a primary factor that drives 85 percent of consumers to purchase a product. Color has such a strong influence on the decision to purchase one brand over another that companies need to carefully choose packaging colors that align with the emotions they wish to evoke from their targeted audience.

The psychology behind each color can cause consumers to feel both positively and negatively towards a product. The following are feelings, emotions and associations an individual may interpret when observing a color:

  • Red: A passionate and dynamic color, red immediately draws a consumer’s attention. This emotionally impactful color can symbolize love, energy, strength and courage. Red can affect individuals on a physiological level by raising blood pressure and respiration. Because it is a basic yet strong color, it should be used in moderation.
  • Orange: This is an outgoing color that can act as a call to action for consumers. Orange is an enthusiastic and energetic, inspiring some of the similar feelings as red but without such a strong or intense delivery.
  • Yellow: Yellow is another highly energetic color. Like orange and red, yellow inspires energy and grabs the attention of consumers. It is an optimistic color that creates feelings of cheerfulness, awareness and increased mental activity.
  • Green: Another lively color, green is most readily associated with growth and wealth. It is also one of the easiest colors for the eyes to process. Green can also signify universal themes like nature or environmentalism.
  • Blue: One of the most popular colors, blue can suggest serenity, intelligence and confidence. Unlike some other colors, rarely does blue inspire negative emotions in consumers. Physiologically it can lower heart rate and influence mental clarity.
  • Purple: A balance of red’s strength and blue’s stability, purple is associated with a surplus of positive associations including beauty, wisdom, royalty and power. Purple can inspire calmness and increased mental functioning.
  • Pink: This color is commonly associated with femininity and love. It is a calming color that inspires feelings of hopefulness and isn’t overbearing. Pink is a gentle color that inspires feelings of peacefulness, but some stronger hues could lead to a feeling of youthfulness or a lack of seriousness.
  • Black: Black has an array of connotations, from prestige and formality to grief and mystery. It can lend an element of luxury and power to a product. However, too much black can inspire feelings of negativity.
  • Gray: While other colors can inspire both positive and negative feelings, gray is a traditionally neutral color. Gray is a complementary color, taking on lighter and darker appearances depending on which other colors it is set against. Consumers may have less of a polarizing response to gray as they would bolder colors like red or yellow.
  • White: Pure and innocent, white can suggest simplicity and cleanliness. Because it is made up of all of the colors in the spectrum, it can also be considered a neutral or impartial color in the minds of consumers.

Due to the mental and physiological impacts a color can impart, certain colors are targeted to specific consumer groups. The high energy of red and orange, combined with the acceptability and stability of blue, are used to target impulse shoppers. Variations of blue can also target budget shoppers while calmer colors like pinks and other pastels can attract traditional consumers. In observing how the psychology of colors influences marketing and branding, you can see that using the right colors can help you achieve the five goals for product packaging.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of the color used is dependent upon whether or not the consumer believes that the specific color is used appropriately. The color is a characteristic of the brand’s personality. To have a contradictory color applied to a product could cause a conflict of personality. For instance, it seems unnatural to market a cheerful and exciting product with black as the dominant color, just as it would seem inappropriate to assign a bright pink to a product that is meant to convey formality and professionalism.

How Other Aspects of Packaging Impact the User Experience
From back to front, you want your product’s packaging to effectively communicate with your intended audience. While color may be a great way to attract attention and evoke emotion, it is not the only aspect of the packaging that speaks to consumers. The fonts, logos and size of your packaging should also help cater to your desired audience.

The font used throughout the content of your product’s packaging should match your brand personality and should also be catered to your targeted audience. Using the appropriate font for your product has a similar effect to using the appropriate color: a bold font does not convey themes of delicacy or softness while a thin and heavily stylized font does not evoke feelings of ruggedness or strength.

Your logo is one of the most notable aspects of your brand. It fuels brand recognition, reflects your company’s purpose, increases customer loyalty and evokes emotional responses from them. In today’s digital age, consumers are constantly exposed to brand icons via personal devices like cell phones, laptops and smartwatches. You want to ensure your consumers relate the product to your brand and vice versa.

Logo placement is also critical. Although many brands may place their logos high on their product packaging, research suggests this isn’t an effective strategy for all businesses. Brands with much larger reputations and dominance in the marketplace can use this method because the logo’s height conveys a sense of power to the consumer. However, consumers prefer the logo of less powerful brands to be lower on the packaging. Acknowledging your brand’s status in the marketplace can help you easily leverage this strategy to your advantage.

The size of your packaging is equally important to the design. One of the most important features of the size is functionality. Your product must be packaged in a way that allows it to be transported safely to its destination. If it is for sale in the physical marketplace, it must also be sized adequately to give it suitable presence when placed in a competitive environment.

Which Packaging Is Best for Your Product
The right product packaging can make all the difference. From the type of material used to the aesthetic design, your product’s packaging must be functional and speak to directly to your desired audience on an emotional level. Good packaging design complements your product and enables it to stand out while still keeping your branding consistent. If you know your consumer demographic but aren’t sure on how to create packaging that effectively targets that audience, let Phase 1 Prototypes develop custom packaging that will highlight your product correctly.
Phase 1 Prototypes provides creative packaging design solutions that combine the best printing technologies, substrates and finishes to deliver a mock-up or prototype that makes your product stand out. From food and beverage to housewares and sporting equipment, we’ve developed innovative packaging for companies throughout a range of industries. Our unique packaging solutions include:

  • Bags
  • Boxes
  • Labels
  • Wrappers
  • Pop Displays & Shippers
  • Shrinks
  • Stand Up Pouches

Design the packaging to your liking and let Phase 1 Prototypes bring your vision to life. Our print specifications include:

  • Print White or Clear Plus White: Using digital printers, we can apply white, clear and four-color process inks to a package before applying your design or image. This will safeguard your image by ensuring that the coloring doesn’t appear diluted or transparent.
  • Spot Varnish: Dramatically enhance your packaging on a prestigious level by adding spot varnish. This raised and textured effect make your company name or logo stand out with pride.
  • Emboss: Give your packaging a touch of texture by embossing the material.
  • Foils: Add a stunning sheen to your packaging and attract more customers with radiant foils.
  • Metallic: Make your packaging shine with our metallic inks. Our proprietary digital substrate development method allows us to create nearly limitless designs on a variety of packaging materials.

Phase 1 Prototypes Packaging Solutions

Your product’s package can be the catalyst that influences a consumer to purchase or pass over your product. Don’t chance losing a sale because your packaging doesn’t reach to your targeted audience. Let Phase 1 Prototypes design a mock-up for your product. We’ve created packaging prototypes for businesses requiring proof of concept, sales samples and research stimuli. Our creative teams have assisted engineers, marketing professionals and agencies with high-quality packaging mock-ups and prototypes that have enabled them to gauge consumer response before taking the finished product to market.

Phase 1 Prototypes merges innovative technology, proprietary substrate development and printing solutions to create exceptionally attractive and equally functional customized product packaging. For years, our expertise has enabled us to take our client’s vision and transform it into a high-quality prototype that successfully captures the attention of their targeted audience. With no minimums required and fast turnaround times, Phase 1 Prototypes can have a mock-up of your new packaging available in a flash.

Contact us today to learn more about our innovative packaging solutions. Or, for more information, call Kristin Benna at (972) 362-4115.


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