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You’ve worked hard to develop a product, have a good understanding of the target audience and have projected sales. Now you have to package it and send it out into the world. Very exciting! But even before you start designing your packaging, you need a proper framework that takes into consideration the essentials to which you’ll add your product’s unique personality and benefits.

Cover the regulations

Before you start designing, also make sure that one or more people on the design team are intimately familiar with the packaging codes of the region in which the product will be sold. If you don’t completely cover this essential aspect, you are in danger of having to start the process all over again. What are the packaging’s minimum requirements in terms of identification, product description, language and legalese? This can have a huge effect on what is printed on the package and where. Take these into consideration before even starting the design and you’ll stay out of trouble.

Developing the packaging with expert advice

You want your packaging to be an optimal experience for the end user but it has to be an optimal experience for your distributors and retailers as well. Consult with them during the packaging design process. They are already familiar with your product’s competitors, and what aspect of their packaging helps them sell well. Don’t necessarily mimic those aspects but rather use them as reference to design packaging that stands out from what they’ve done and does it better. This is also a chance to increase the user friendliness of the packaging: Design it so it is easy to set up, easy to pick up and hard to break.

Your retailers will also know the rate at which your competitors sell and will have pricing and performance expectations for your product too. They’ll tell you how many of your products they think should be on their shelf at a time.  They’ll have expectations in terms of pallet size, weight, number of products on the pallet. Address these expectations early on and work through each point with them. Are you able to meet their expectations while staying in line with your budget and business goals? Coming to agreements with them will give you clearer design guidelines on the packaging before you even start it, not to mention build in your distributors’ and retailer’s acceptation and confidence in your product.

This process can sometimes be complex. If you need help with it, we’re here for you.

In the next instalment, I’ll talk about executing the design and choosing an appropriate print method to maximize its impact.