Why Focus on Packaging Design?

Don't judge a book by its cover. We've all heard this expression, but still, we all do it. Literally, if a book has a beautiful cover with
January 25, 2011 Don't judge a book by its cover. We've all heard this expression, but still, we all do it. Literally, if a book has a beautiful cover with an eye-catching image, chances are you will pick it up and flip through it. The same is true of consumer goods, whether a box of cereal, a cleaning product, or a pair of socks. If the package is not immediately visually appealing to a customer, the product, no matter how good, can end up languishing on a store shelf.

Packaging vs. Marketing
When launching a product line or re-thinking an established brand, what your product looks like is one of the most important decisions a company can make. Package design is a foundation for the rest of the brand and is a decision that must be pondered at the onset of the business process, not just as a marketing device. Packaging has to be more than marketing, because it is truly the front line of customer interaction. Why is packaging so key? The product is the purest expression of your company's brand. Good packaging can make the consumer feel as if the brand belongs in their home, making the point of sale purchase even easier. And, generally, there’s not much that can equal the power of a customer actually using and enjoying your product in their own home.

Packaging that Pops
The question of what will make your product pop on a shelf and catch a customer's eye is an important one. Because of the impact of package design, if you have the budget to work with a branding agency, it could be a good idea to consult with one that specializes in this aspect of your brand plan. Whether you hire an agency or work on your own, make sure to design according to what you, as the brand owner, believe best captures the essence of your product.

Maximizing Your Time and Money
Designing packaging for a product, let alone an entire product line, can be a time consuming process. For a small businesses working with a branding agency, time definitely equals money and, if you are like most small businesses, you probably don't have either to spare. For some valuable tips for saving both time and money when working with a branding agency, see Article 2 in this series, 10 Tips for Maximizing Your Time and Budget with an Agency. {link to article}

This article is part of our 
Project RE:Brand web series in which small businesses undergo brand makeovers from design experts. {link to project rebrand homepage} ?

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Stefan Boublil is the Creative Director at the apartment, a NYC-based creative agency offering fully integrated branding, marketing, architecture, packaging, and interior design services. 
Watch Stefan and his lead designer Lisa Simpson provide branding advice to an OPEN Cardmember in our special web series, Project RE:Brand.  

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