1. Determine how your packaging will fit within the whole brand experience
Depending on the item, packaging can include outer packaging, inner packaging, product packaging, or all three. Whether you’re selling online or in stores, it’s important to consider all packaging as a part of the entire brand experience, not an isolated event. Your packaging should:
- Epitomise your brand personality and values
- Be consistent with other branded marketing tools
- Be tailored to the target audience
- Be more than just packaging, but a brand experience that elicits certain feelings—can you excite, inspire or delight by creating something unique or special?
For example, Go-to sells women’s skincare products online, using humorous, friendly and transparent discourse that is carried through their website, emails, social media and packaging. Their packaging includes a branded shipping box, inner packaging and product packaging. Each parcel also contains a card in the brand tone of voice, explaining how to use their products and a fortune cookie with a unique branded message. With consistency between all of their touch points, they are able to reinforce their brand message and delight their customers through exceptional experiences.
2. Consider essential functional requirements
It’s so important to make sure that you determine any essential functional requirements before you start picking out patterns and typography. Ask yourself—
- Does the packaging need to communicate any important information about the product’s use or contents (e.g. nutrition information, safety or care instructions)? Try to figure out all required information, marks or instructions before you begin the design phase so you know how much space you need to account for.
- Is the packaging protecting or sealing the product? How will this affect the design?
- Are there any specific conditions that will affect the quality of the product? Is the product affected by light? Does it need ventilation? Does it need to be waterproof? Is it kept in very hot or cold conditions?
- Will it be discarded upon opening or will it be kept until the product is completely used?
- How will it be transported or shipped? Does the packaging need to follow a ‘nesting’ structure or fit within certain size, weight or volume constraints?
These factors are the essential requirements or ‘must-haves’ so that the quality of your product isn’t compromised. They will affect the type of materials you use and the overall shape and design of the packaging, so are essential to think about before you get started!