Turn Heads, Make Sales: An Introduction to Effective Product Packaging

There are approximately 33.2 million small businesses out there competing for customer mindshare in the U.S. alone. Granted, many of these businesses don’t sell physical products or only sell products made by other people.

For many businesses, though, product packing is a concern from day one. After all, that local pizza shop doesn’t want its boxes to look like they came from a competitor. Manufacturers want their packages to look distinct on the shelf.

If you’re in the process of making custom product packaging, keep reading for a guide to effective product packaging.


Before you worry too much about things like color schemes, you must consider the nature of your product. If your product is liquid, you’ll need packaging that can hold liquids and endure shipping. If your product is heavy, you need packaging sturdy enough to hold it.

Packaging a product with the wrong materials can cause damage in shipping and leave you with unhappy customers. Start with the pragmatic, and then move on to the visual.

Consider Your Customers

Once you settle on the right material for your product, then you must consider product marketing. Specifically, you must consider the target market for your product.

Once you move beyond the visual essentials like your company logo and brand colors, you must ask how best to appeal to the target market. Do you want to highlight product features or focus on things like sustainability?

With customers increasingly concerned about the environment, if your target market is 20-somethings or 30-somethings, you almost must include something about the materials in your packaging.

If, on the other hand, your target market consists of retirees, you must think about how they’ll open the package. You also need the essential information provided in larger fonts to make for easier reading.

Consider the Sales Setting

You must also consider where the product will get sold most often. If a product will sell from your website or an online retailer, you want packaging with minimal room for movement during shipping. You can use images of the product to help promote it.

If the product will sell from a retail shelf, you must think about ways to make it look appealing in that setting.

Get Outside Help

For many companies, especially smaller companies without a dedicated marketing department, the product packaging design process can prove miserable.

Some businesses turn to branding design firms to help them with product packaging. These firms can balance the pragmatic elements with the visual design elements that all product packaging needs.

Product Packaging and You

For any business that makes its own products, product packaging is a concern. You want packaging that stands out, but it must stand out in the right way for the right target market.

Beyond that, you need packaging that meets the specific needs of the product, such as plastic bottles for liquid products or folding boxes for lightweight products.

Looking for more design tips for your business products? Check out the posts over in our Business section.

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