Developing New Packaging? Do Your Research
Packaging development can be broken down into three phases: research and analysis, strategy, and design and implementation.
Although all three phases are important and necessary, the cornerstone of the development process is the research and analysis, which lays the groundwork and creates a starting place for strategizing the right packaging for your product.
Study the market
You can’t create effective packaging without understanding how your target customers will view and interact with your product among competitors. The deeper the research, the better you will be able to create packaging that will appeal to consumers and help your product stand out amongst all the others on the shelf.
- Is there a trend toward recycled materials or luxury packaging?
- What colors are most popular and might make you stand out from the crowd?
- Can you adjust the size of your package?
- Will an innovative package (e.g., moving from a box to a pouch or having the package double as a serving tray) benefit you or make your product harder to recognize in the product segment?
Understand the practical requirements of your product’s packaging
Generally speaking, you want to maximize the product’s value and customer appeal, while minimizing the storage requirements and transport costs.
- Do your customers want to buy in bulk?
- Is fitting on the store shelf a primary concern?
- Do you need packaging that protects your product from damage or theft?
- Do you need to protect against spoilage or preserve shelf life?
Get to know the purchasers of your product
There are three primary methods for gaining insight into consumer preferences: in-depth interviews, focus groups, and ethnography or observational studies. Focus groups are typically not recommended for this type of research because participants may remain silent or be influenced by other respondents.
By interviewing consumers, you can determine the colors, patterns, designs, or images that make a package memorable. You might even ask interviewees to draw package designs from memory to determine what consumers rely on for brand identification.
By observing, you can determine what draws a consumer to your product, how long they hold the product, and whether they read the ingredient labels. You can study size preferences, the types of packaging (e.g., glass vs. pouches) and packaging materials (e.g., eco-friendly, reusable) that consumers are interested in, and which types of packaging draw the most purchasing interest.
These steps are critical in your package design process, and most organizations look for help in completing them. Enlist the help of our package design experts, who will take the time to gather the data needed to create the best package for your brand.
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