Between 65-70% of purchasing decisions are made in store, so the way your product looks on a shelf or in a display can have a massive impact on whether or not customers buy your product. To help you stand out, here’s 5 tips to give you a competitive edge when designing your packaging.

1. Reflect your brand

How you communicate with your customer needs to reflect your brand, and your packaging is no different. Ask yourself what kind of brand message you are aiming at and incorporate that into your packaging design. For example, if you use all natural products in your skin care, reflect that on the box shape, style, materials and design and use what makes your business different to help sell it.

Remember, your packaging is an additional sales tool that you can use to encourage your customers to buy. If it’s of high quality, well designed and reflective of your brand, your customers will be more likely to choose your product over a competitors.

Packaging is often seen as a mark of quality and can help convince your customers to buy.

2. Be clear

It’s tempting to cover your packaging with text and images to convey as much detail about your product as possible, but that can actually harm your chances of a sale.

On average, you have three seconds of your customer’s attention before they move on to looking at another product. If they can’t understand what your product is in those first few seconds, they won’t be interested in investigating further.

Try and have a primary focus point on your packaging that will immediately grab attention and show your customer what it is they’re looking at. Once you’ve made them notice your product and pick it up, additional information can be conveyed in your considered and balanced brand style on the back or sides of the packaging.

3. Never underestimate the power of great photography.

If windows or apertures aren’t appropriate to your packaging mechanics, great photography can have a massive impact on your customers.

Chocolate bar packagingWell-designed packaging can fall short of success if the images you include on it don’t look professional. Often, this image is the first interaction your potential customer has with your product, so you need it to look great, reflect what’s inside, and stand out amongst its competitors. Substandard images won’t encourage customers to investigate further and you could lose out on sales.

If you’re selling online rather than in a store, make sure you include great images of your packaging on your website or eCommerce listing too. It can sway a customer to buy if they can see that you’ve put as much effort into the packaging as you have into your product. If you can show your customers that you’ve invested in quality at all stages of your business, they’ll feel much more confident when placing an order that they’ll be getting something worthy of their purchase.

4. Colours

Carefully consider the colours you’re going to use on your packaging, as it can have a big impact on whether or not a customer makes a purchase.

Depending on the product, using colours that complement your brands’ message/tone of voice can be a great idea, as it will visually help strengthen your customer’s relationship with your brand, helping the overall presentation look as considered as the product it accommodates.

5. Test that it works

A reputable design agency should recommend you don’t spend lots of time and money on a packaging design and roll it out to customers before you’ve had a chance to see whether or not it actually appeals to them.

From the designers point of view there are cost efficient, smart and effective ways to approach this. While it may cost you a little more money in the first instance, consider running a focus group to trial the packaging, you’ll save and make more money in the long run by investing in this simple research.

Gather together a group of your target market to get their feedback on your design and listen to what they have to say. Be prepared to go back to your designers to make tweaks to your initial design based on their comments to improve the offer you put out to potential customers. If the target audience don’t like it in the tester session, they won’t want to buy it in store.


When considering the packaging for your product, there are a number of things that you need to keep in mind. As it’s a way of communicating with your customers, you’ll need to make sure your brand style is clearly recognisable on the packaging and that your colours and quality images are all reflective of your business as a whole - don’t just blindly trust your designer’s decisions, be a part of the process, as nobody understands your brand and products better than you do. Ask a focus group of your target market for their opinions, they’re the ones who’d choose whether or not to buy your product and these are the most important part of the chain.

Article by Paula from Blackhouse Creative.

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