UDM – The Art of Packaging

Why Packaging Design

Why packaging design is a brand asset that cannot be neglected

We live in a consumerist world where buying products on a daily basis is inevitable. Some products are essential commodities that we can’t do without. And some are non-essential wants that make us feel good. Every item, regardless of what purpose it serves in our lives, comes wrapped in some sort of packaging. Some bundled neatly in a fancy box, some packed shabbily in a plastic cover. Some have unique printing techniques; some just have the most essential details stamped on.

This then begs the following questions: What exactly is packaging design. If not all products are packaged the same way, does it really matter if a brand invests in packaging? Does packaging design really play a vital role in driving sales of the product?

The answer is quite simple.

At UDM, we believe in the one true mantra when it comes to packaging design: “Packaging is your silent salesman”. A brand’s product can be absolutely astonishing, be the best-in-class, and have top-notch quality, but, if the packaging design is not well-defined, the consumer would be wary of buying this product.

Over the years of being in the industry and understanding consumer and brand behaviour, we find that a lot of good products do not perform well in the market solely because of bad packaging design. A whole lot of brands neglect the packaging design for all of their products with the notion of treating packaging design as a marketing expense instead of a brand investment. At UDM, we believe that a brand’s marketing communications needs to be supported by well-designed packaging for one very logical reason – your brand might not be able to advertise for 365 days, however, your packaging design will communicate your brand’s efforts every single time, every single day.

A good packaging design for any product is usually the driver for the very first sale that happens for the product. If a product is amazing, the customer is sure to repeat their purchase. However, without turning a prospect into a customer, it is impossible to get a patron.

The following are key learnings that we have gathered over the years. Feel free to use them the next time you approach packaging design for a brand’s products.

  • Packaging design goes beyond the structure, label and quality of print of the packaging. It is to be treated as a vital element of the brand – an asset that brings value to the brand.
  • Packaging design needs an eye for detail and thorough research. Consumers associate an emotion with a product from a brand based on the packaging design. This emotion also translates into understanding the quality and price of the product
  • Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) or daily essentials like food, snacks, soap etc., are available in abundance from multiple brands. Good packaging design greatly influences a customer’s decision to buy these essentials from a particular brand
  • Packaging design also transcends into the physical aspects of packaging. Good packaging design is always functional, simple and serves at least 1 or more purposes. The good packaging design should not be complicated or overdone
  • Packaging design should always be cost-effective. Packaging for a product should not necessarily exceed the value of the product. Always understand that the consumer associates price with packaging and hence packaging design should not negatively influence the purchasing power of the consumer
  • Packaging design should also be appropriate for a demographic. A product meant for a certain demographic market should always be packaged in a way that appeals to that demographic
  • To add to the functionality, packaging design should always be apt in communicating what the product is about and what the brand stands for. Vital information should not be left out to accommodate for aesthetic value
  • Packaging design should also be eco-conscious. In a world that adopts green trends, good packaging design should use little to no amount of non-biodegradable material, use plant-based ink and use as little packaging material as possible
  • Good packaging design should always reflect the brand and then highlight the product. The design should have proper emphasis given to the brand logo and product name and the biggest attributes that need to be immediately communicated to the consumer. This ensures visibility from the shelves
  • Good packaging design should also always look good. Proper research on design trends is important when designing packaging for any product. Good packaging design is refreshing and long-lasting even after many years of being on the shelves

Now that we know how to design good packaging for a product, here are a few important things that we have observed from what consumers feel when they browse the shelves.

  • Packaging design plays a vital role in how consumers perceive your brand. A brand’s marketing efforts might go unnoticed by a consumer, but when on the shelf, the consumer is sure to see the product. This is the first point of contact between a consumer and the brand and this is also how the consumer identifies the brand
  • Packaging design is essential in distinguishing a brand’s products from its competition. While it is important to have relevant packaging based on the kind of product, being very similar to competitors in terms of colour, design and shape renders the brand indistinguishable, and being extremely different doesn’t associate with the product category. Always find the right balance
  • Packaging design communicates the brand’s voice to the consumer and sets an image of the brand in the mind of the consumer.
  • Packaging design attracts the attention of the customer. On a shelf with multiple competing products, good packaging design helps customers make a solid purchase decision
  • Good packaging design cuts through the clutter and leaves the competition behind
  • Good packaging design is seen as an investment made for the long term. It is not to be treated as an expense
  • Certain emotions that cannot be conveyed through marketing and advertising can be communicated to the consumer through great packaging design.

In conclusion, brands need to view packaging design as a serious aspect of building their brand, and agencies that work on packaging design need to find a balance between form, function and financial sense.

  • Packaging design plays a vital role in how consumers perceive your brand. A brand’s marketing efforts might go unnoticed by a consumer, but when on the shelf, the consumer is sure to see the product. This is the first point of contact between a consumer and the brand and this is also how the consumer identifies the brand
  • Packaging design is essential in distinguishing a brand’s products from its competition. While it is important to have relevant packaging based on the kind of product, being very similar to competitors in terms of color, design and shape renders the brand indistinguishable, and being extremely different doesn’t associate with the product category. Always find the right balance
  • Packaging design communicates the brand’s voice to the consumer and sets an image of the brand in the mind of the consumer
  • Packaging design attracts the attention of the customer. On a shelf with multiple competing products, good packaging design helps customers make a solid purchase decision
  • Good packaging design cuts through the clutter and leaves the competition behind
  • Good packaging design is seen as an investment made for the long term. It is not to be treated as an expense
  • Certain emotions that cannot be conveyed through marketing and advertising can be communicated to the consumer through great packaging design

In conclusion, brands need to view packaging design as a serious aspect of building their brand, and agencies that work on packaging design need to find a balance between form, function and financial sense