Packaging Innovation
December 2, 2013

How clever packaging design can make your product shine on the shelf

Let’s say you’re a small brand, just starting your way to multi-million dollar selling stardom. How can you stand out on supermarket shelves from the rest of the established brands? In other words: how can small companies’ packaging design influence sales positively?

Designing clever packaging starts with studying competitors

So what are the distinct qualities packaging should possess to elevate sales in supermarkets? When competing with powerful corporate brands the most important thing for any newcomer is to study the competition’s packaging. What colors do they use, what materials, what about typography and the shape of the design? When designing your own product the goal then is to distinguish yourself from competitors but within certain limits. For instance, a producer of cereal won’t come a long way when the packaging isn’t instantly recognizable as such. Designing a bottle shaped container for your product might be a bad idea then.

Standing out doesn’t necessarily mean to be visually ‘loud’. If your competitors all use a graphically heavy design it might be refreshing for consumers to see a brand with a clean, less-is-more design. Charm will bring you a long way.

You only have 30 seconds

When designing packaging new brands should keep in mind that consumers only need 30 seconds of shelf scanning to make a judgment call. Minute packaging details, how marvelous they might be, are altogether lost on consumers in grocery environments. The goals is to find what you’re looking for, as fast as you can.

Focus on user appeal

Packaging items that can be used in multiple ways typically do well on supermarket shelves. Heinz, for instance, recently unveiled a condiment packet that gives the user the option of either squeezing the ketchup from the container of removing the film to dip food directly in the sauce. The lesson here is to always look at your own design from a consumer’s point of view. Usability is are winner!

Clever packaging design is eco-friendly

Use as little material as possible for your packaging design. It will not only reduce production costs, it will make your brand look good from an environmental point of view and build you a solid reputation. Many consumers these days are concerned with the environment and are willing to adjust their buying habits out of ideological reasons.