The 15 Key Essentials to hiring a Package Design Company
Factory Creative knows it can be difficult in hiring a package design company. To minimize the guesswork, we’ve compiled a list of the 15 key essentials to look for when selecting a package design firm.
Our package design company understands that product packaging plays a major role for brands who sell consumer packaged goods (CPG) in retail environments. It’s a necessary tool for identifying these products and helps to protect them during transportation; from production to store shelves, to the consumer. However, packaging is more than a sturdy box or plastic wrapper with a logo and a label.
Packaging is vital to maintaining freshness and reducing spoilage, especially with food and beverage items. Proper packing on these items also contributes to less food waste in the environment and the prevention of food borne illness. Packaging is now being produced with “intelligent” capabilities, like being outfitted with RFID tags for tracking or sensors that can monitor moisture and oxygen levels.
Equally important to what packaging can do is its design; what it’s made of, how it’s made, and how it looks. Because packaging is often the first interaction consumers have with a given brand, it has become one of the most valuable assets for marketing teams. Due to heavy concentration in the CPG market, companies need to continuously innovate their packaging designs to get the attention of, make connections with, and meet the needs of consumers. Did you know that 95% of new packaging products fail each year according to INC® – “Why Your Product’s Packaging Is as Important as the Product Itself”.
To help clients take some of the risk out of the decision-making process, we developed a list of essentials that your package design company must know in order to have a successful and functional package. If not, you might want to consider another package design firm.
1. Production Planning
Packaging production equipment should be a major forethought with respect to design. Perforation patterns may create issues if the package design doesn’t account for how the production equipment operates.
Perforations in the wrong places will lead to tearing, which affects the strength of the packaging. Make sure the company you hire understands these critical requirements. When you hire Factory Creative, we fully understand all that is involved in developing a truly functional package that will provide you increased ROI and sales.
Packages should be designed to be unpacked as efficiently as possible, in bulk, or when purchased individually off the store shelf. How easy the packaging is to open will depend upon the material it’s made from, along with the quality of opening instructions provided. Conversely, reducing the amount of packaging material or using a material with less durability may make packages easier to open and cost less, but at the expense of structural integrity during shipping and storage.
Develop and test multiple package prototypes to run through the production equipment for damage assessment, and also perform crush and drop tests. Give retailers and consumers even more confidence in your brand by investing in a certification from the International Safe Transit Association, demonstrating that the packaging meets test standard requirements for safe transit.
Before hiring a package design company starts, it’s important to determine the requirements of retailers. A good place to start is by reviewing shopping data, taking note of what packaging works best for storage and store shelves, in addition to what types of packaging sell the most.
Specifically, package designers need to know:
– Shelf dimensions
– Rate of sale
– Type of automated warehouse system
– Distance traveled
– Pallet type, weight, height, material, and signage
Understanding retailers’ specs in advance gives the Dallas package design company solid guidelines to conform to, decreasing the likelihood of needing to make changes as a result of material or production constraints.
2. Consumer Needs and Awareness
A good place to start is acquiring the necessary target market data based on research and analysis performed by the marketing team. Then, define the overall message the package should communicate to the desired consumers, including the exact product information, text, and/or instructions to be displayed on the packaging.
If designed correctly, consumers will be able to determine the product’s purpose at first glance. Awareness is the basis of innovation and creativity. The human mind is designed to filter and remember things that are special. If you have been able to capture the brief attention of the shopper, it’s enough to add to your credibility. For this, the product packaging has to emotionally connect with the customer’s expectations and win over all competing goods.
3. Design Process
Now that retail requirements, production planning, and consumer needs are outlined, the design work may begin. Hiring a package design company should define these initial items first, if not, you might reconsider that design firm. Moreover, the package design company needs to define the mandatory branding and labeling requirements before starting the design process.
It is about more than just creativity. To be able to create a successful product, the package design company you are hiring needs to fully understand your target audience. For example, if you are designing something for kids, it should be bright, colorful and playful, and use fun graphics and words. On the other hand, if you are looking to address the more matured audience, the design should be focusing more on functionality and purpose.
One of the most important aspects of a package’s design in the saturated CPG market is that it must be distinguishable from surrounding products and grab the consumer’s attention, especially if your product is food-related. A successful package design will create a sensory experience for consumers and strengthen their engagement with the product as well as the brand.
4. Vetting Multiple Packaging Designs
Before you settle on a particular design it is advisable to seek other people’s opinions. The idea is to present different packaging design options to several objective persons for evaluation and letting them pinpoint the design they think will be most appropriate for your product. Briefing them about what need the product aims to address and the section of the market you are targeting will help inform their decision.
Two words to remember: Simplify and Clarify. Change the pace from the visual hodgepodge consumers see every day, like in grocery stores, shopping malls, and media ads. A good design doesn’t need to be loud to get noticed. Base the design elements’ layout on grid alignments. Our brains are familiar with grid-like patterns we see in urban landscapes and nature, so when designs are distributed between 3- and 4-column layouts, they’re easy to look at.
Don’t attempt to fill every available space on the packaging. Instead, use white space to help emphasize certain components and lead viewers to what’s important. Clean, minimalist design is timeless, especially if your product is cosmetic related. If so, you’ll need to consider Dallas Cosmetic Packaging Designers that have experience in this specialized field – such as Factory Creative.
A highly-experienced package design company like Factory Creative will use color to draw attention to a focal point on the packaging, as well as differentiate between individual products in the same line like different flavors. They should be selecting the appropriate color palette based on the desired emotions consumers should feel, but only use colors that interact well together.
Fonts displayed on the packaging should reflect the company brand, product line, or both. They should be clean, simple, and easy to read, which is facilitated by using contrasting font hierarchy in the heading, subheading, body, and other areas.
8. Brand Awareness: Does the Package Design Company Have Branding Experience?
Every product package should be used as an opportunity for brands to impress consumers and build a relationship. Because product packaging is typically a consumer’s initial interaction with the brand, he or she needs to remember this first impression as a positive experience. The packaging material, branding, text, and graphics need to be a clear representation of the organization’s mission and values while not detracting from the overall packaging design.
Be sure the company you contract has branding agency experience – one who understands how to build and maintain a strong brand – not just package design experience. Remember, you’ll need value add services like Brand Strategy, Website Design, Logo Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, Brochure Design and Digital Marketing services to support your overall to-go-market strategy.
Consumers are very aware of organizations’ environmental and social responsibilities. This means that depending on the type and reputation of the organization, consumers may expect packaging to be biodegradable or renewable, and to be sustainably produced. Consumer needs aside, CPG companies should make the reduction of packaging waste, and the packaging’s impact on the planet, a primary goal for every package design.
Consumers should be able to determine what’s inside the packaging almost instantly. One way to achieve this is by summarizing consumers’ pain points or priorities and displaying problem statements (think OTC medications). Another means would be to use the product itself as part of the packaging design, with cutouts or transparency, essentially designing around the product like with light bulbs or food and beverage items. If the packaging needs to provide instructions, use simple, easy-to-follow graphics with minimal text, assuming they don’t take away from the overall design.
10. Omitting Crucial Product Label Details
Consumers have a habit of trying to find out all about the various products that they use regularly. This will naturally start with a scrutiny of these products’ labels. The scrutiny is typically more intense after a product has been bought, say after the customer is back home after shopping.
11. Highlighting Your Product’s Unique Attributes
It is foolish to assume that your product will do well even though its packaging bears only a scanty description of the contents. What information will prospective customers use to make a buying decision? Include important details about your product that make it unique, so it stands out against competitors.
12. Provide Different Package Sizes
For some products, you may have to provide different package sizes. Selling a single package size for products may not benefit every consumer, so adding a variety of package sizes will reach a wider variety of consumers with different needs.
Customers make their purchasing decisions based on various factors including price, use frequency, shelf life, sell by date, personal lifestyle, and so on. If your package design company ignores such concerns, this may greatly affect your product’s commercial success.
Tailoring the package design to consumer needs by presenting a method to satisfy them is a great way for brands to connect with consumers and establish trust. Highlight the primary reason a consumer should purchase the product. Stay true to the brand’s vision, but don’t be afraid to step outside of the industry’s design norms.
It’s wise to use similar design concepts across product lines because it makes recognizing the brand and products easier for the consumer.
The packaging material selected will be contingent on the design theme and consumer needs. Just like colors, the texture of a given material will evoke a specific feeling for consumers, so the material needs to be in line with the design theme.
Depending on the type of product you are looking to sell, you might want to pitch about its eco-friendliness, theme, ease of use and similar things. Overall, it’s about what kind of packaging design will attract your audience to spend more time at the shelf understanding your product. Make your customers curious and then surprise them with something unique!
However, if a given brand is big enough, it can create variants of branding elements and product packaging. These variants work well for temporary promotions because they give brands a unique opportunity to connect with consumers on a more intimate level, or to connect with new consumers they may not have reached otherwise.
To survive in the highly competitive CPG market, organizations need to exploit every resource possible. Luckily, product packaging can do more than protect a product, from the time it’s produced to the time it’s consumed.
Industry-leading companies are using a package design company as part of their marketing strategies because it serves as many consumers’ introductions to these brands. Therefore, what the packaging is made of, how it’s made, and how it looks are all just as important as what it does.
To produce innovative packaging designs that create connections with consumers is a constant battle, but is critical to attracting them, identifying their needs, and building foundations for lasting relationships. Using these essential elements for smart packaging design gives CPG organizations the necessary framework to efficiently communicate a product’s purpose and how it’s beneficial to the consumer.
Need help developing your next packaging launch? Contact Factory Creative today – we have the results-driven solution you’ve been searching for.