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10 Critical Questions to Ask Before Starting Your Packaging Design Journey

Every consumer, regardless of demographic, age or need, interacts with a product’s packaging before making a buying decision. Packaging can have a tremendous impact on that buying decision. The right packaging will yield long-term, loyal customers. The wrong packaging can mean low sales and potential losses.

Therefore, it is vital for all brands to design high-quality packaging that will reflect well on their mission and make a good first impression on potential customers. With this goal in mind, what are a few questions that you need to ask yourself before embarking on a journey to design your packaging?

10 Critical Questions to Ask About Designing Packaging

  1. What are the logistical and structural requirements for your product packaging?

When thinking about the designs that the packaging is going to take, it is important to think about the necessities first. How strong does the packaging need to be? Does it need to be child-resistant due to the contents? Are there multiple compartments needed to separate certain items? Think about the necessities first and design around them.

2. Who is your target buyer?

Next, think about the target audience of the intended product. Is it a certain age group? Is it a certain gender? Is it a target demographic in terms of lifestyle, music preferences, or interests? Thinking about the intended audience will help provide a frame for the rest of the packaging design and ensure you design something that will capture their attention.

3. How and where will your product be purchased?

In addition, it is important to think about where your product is going to be displayed. Is this an item that is going to be bought virtually? Will it sit on the shelves at retail stores? Is the item for a high-end boutique? Understanding the environment where your product will be sold is critical to understanding how it needs to fit it yet stand out from the rest of other products competing for buyers’ attention. You want to make sure that your product fits in well with its surroundings and still makes a mark.

4. What are the must-have brand requirements?

While this may seem obvious, it’s imperative that you dictate branding elements and requirements early on. Not doing so can lead to designs that don’t resemble your brand or are too outside your core brand which can cause confusion for consumers in the market.  Is there a certain font or logo that needs to be in place? How are these going to be incorporated with the rest of the package? These types of questions need to be clearly communicated to your design team early on in the design process.

5. What substrate do you have in mind?

The substrate you choose for your secondary packaging can often make a difference in terms of what types of inks or print effects can be used. Think plastic vs. paperboard. They both require different print techniques and some techniques will not be possible on a full plastic packaging. Certain print effects like embossing or metallics may not work well with all substrates so be sure to understand the limitations of your substrate of choice or consult with a print expert to guide your decision.

6. What’s your packaging budget?

In order to avoid mishaps and disappointments, your packaging budget must be set. Some of the costs associated with designing your new packaging will be one-time fees and others will be recurring costs on a per-item basis. Thinking about this ahead of time will help quantify the bottom-line and allow you to plan for the future. This will also make your procurement department happy knowing that you’re keeping tabs on your budget.

7. What packaging structure is best suited for your product?

What type of packaging is going to be best for your product? The structure of your packaging can make a big difference in terms of getting noticed, its pricing and its overall success. You’ll have plenty of choices when it comes to structures. Think about set boxes, standard cartons, telescoping cartons, and much more!

8. Does your packaging require unique identifiers or multi-SKU-based iterations?

Sometimes, packaging requires unique identifiers for safety purposes, tracking purposes, or inventory requirements. Think about where these will be displayed on the package if required and how that will impact its design.

9. How does your product packaging fit in with the rest of your brand and products?

Additionally, decide if your packaging needs to complement an existing product line or act as an extension of it. This may require that you study that other product’s packaging to identify ways to complement it yet make it unique.

10. Do you have a printer you can discuss your project with?

Finally, make sure to collaborate with a printer as early as possible. Having the printer involved from day one can avoid certain hassles, prevent re-designs, and ensure that the packaging matches your vision. This makes the project easier and the outcome will be better.

Designing Superior Packaging

Answering these crucial questions will help every packaging design journey start moving in the right direction. Having proper packaging will win the loyalty of customers and their business. For help answering these tough questions, rely on the experience and the innovation of JohnsByrne. Our experienced team can help every brand come up with a packaging design that will meet the needs of both the company and the customer. Our award-winning approach encompasses a wide array of packaging options. Armed with the latest print technology and the most innovative designs, we can help every brand make a great first impression.

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