Best practices

Marketing Strategy: Best practices for packaging design

Discover the best practices for packaging design in marketing strategy. Learn how to create packaging that stands out on the shelf and attracts customers.

Packaging design is an essential component of any successful marketing strategy. The right packaging can attract consumers, communicate the brand message, and even influence purchasing decisions. In this article, we'll explore the best practices for designing effective packaging that can help boost sales and build a stronger brand identity.

Understanding the importance of packaging design in marketing

When it comes to marketing, packaging design can make all the difference. It's often the first point of contact between the consumer and the product, so it needs to convey the brand's message and values while standing out on the shelf. But, there's more to packaging design than just catching the consumer's eye.

Did you know that packaging design can also affect the product's shelf life? Proper packaging can protect the product from damage, spoilage, and contamination. This is especially important for food items and other perishable goods. Packaging design can also impact the product's sustainability. Eco-friendly packaging can appeal to environmentally conscious consumers and help reduce waste.

The role of packaging in brand identity

Packaging is a valuable tool for shaping a brand's identity. It should visually represent the brand and evoke its core values. When consumers see consistent packaging across different products, they'll recognize the brand and associate it with the quality they expect. But, packaging can also play a role in storytelling. For example, a company that prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients can use packaging to tell that story. By including information about the ingredients or the company's history on the packaging, consumers can feel more connected to the brand.

How packaging influences consumer behavior

The packaging design can affect the way consumers perceive the product, and ultimately, their purchasing decision. For example, if the package is poorly designed, the product may appear less appealing and less valuable. On the other hand, well-designed packaging can create a positive first impression, which can lead to more sales.

But, packaging can also be used to influence consumer behavior beyond just the initial purchase. For example, packaging that is easy to open and reseal can encourage repeat purchases. Packaging that is designed to be reusable or repurposed can also create a sense of loyalty and brand advocacy among consumers.

Packaging as a marketing tool

When it comes to marketing, packaging can be used to create a unique selling point. A company can differentiate its product in a crowded market by creating packaging that stands out on the shelf. This can be achieved through creative design, unique materials, or innovative features. But, packaging can also be used to create a sense of exclusivity. Limited edition packaging or packaging that is only available in certain stores can create a sense of urgency and desire among consumers.

Overall, packaging design is a critical component of any marketing strategy. It can impact brand identity, consumer behavior, and even the product's shelf life. By investing in high-quality packaging design, companies can create a competitive advantage and stand out in a crowded market.

Key elements of effective packaging design

Effective packaging design can make all the difference when it comes to attracting and retaining customers. Below are some key elements that can help ensure your packaging design is top-notch.

Visual appeal and color psychology

The first thing consumers notice about packaging is its visual appeal. It's crucial to use colors and imagery that are attractive and relevant to the product. For example, health products often feature light greens and blues, which convey a sense of wellness and calm. Similarly, energy drinks often use bright and vibrant colors to create excitement.

But it's not just about choosing colors that look good. It's also important to consider color psychology. Different colors can evoke different emotions and associations in consumers. For example, red can signify passion or urgency, while yellow can convey happiness or optimism. By understanding the psychology of color, you can choose colors that not only look good, but also effectively communicate the desired message about your product.

Typography and readability

Another important aspect of packaging design is typography and readability. The text on the packaging should be easy to read and quickly convey the necessary information about the product. This includes the product name, brand, and any additional selling points.

But typography is more than just selecting a font. It also involves choosing the right size, spacing, and placement of text. For example, important information should be prominently displayed and easy to find, while less important information can be smaller or placed in a less prominent location. By carefully considering typography and readability, you can ensure that consumers can quickly and easily understand what your product is all about.

Material selection and sustainability

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of packaging. Companies can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability by using eco-friendly materials, such as biodegradable plastics, paperboard, or glass. Not only does this reduce the company's carbon footprint, but it also appeals to environmentally conscious consumers.

But sustainability isn't just about using eco-friendly materials. It's also about reducing waste and ensuring that packaging is recyclable or reusable. For example, some companies have started using refillable packaging, where consumers can purchase a product in a reusable container and then refill it as needed. By considering the entire lifecycle of packaging, companies can reduce their environmental impact and appeal to consumers who value sustainability.

Functionality and user experience

Packaging must not only look good, but it also needs to be practical and functional. For example, packaging for liquids should be spill-proof and easy to pour. Similarly, packaging for food should be easy to open and close, and maintain the product's freshness.

But functionality goes beyond just the basic requirements of packaging. It also involves considering the entire user experience. For example, packaging can be designed to make it easy for consumers to transport and store the product, or to enhance the overall experience of using the product. By designing packaging with functionality and user experience in mind, companies can create a more positive and memorable experience for consumers.

The packaging design process

Defining your target audience

The first step in the packaging design process is to identify the target audience. This includes demographics such as age, gender, and income, as well as interests and lifestyle habits. By understanding the target audience, designers can create packaging that appeals directly to them.

For example, if the target audience is young adults who are health-conscious, the packaging design could feature bold, vibrant colors and imagery that reflects an active lifestyle. On the other hand, if the target audience is older adults who are concerned about sustainability, the packaging design could feature eco-friendly materials and messaging that emphasizes the product's environmental benefits.

Researching competitors and market trends

Next, it's crucial to research competitors and market trends. This includes analyzing the packaging design strategies of similar products and identifying gaps in the market. It's also essential to stay up to date with the latest design trends and techniques.

For instance, if the product is a new type of energy drink, the designer could research the packaging designs of other energy drink brands and identify what elements are common among them. They could then use this information to create a unique packaging design that stands out from the competition.

Developing a design concept

Once the target audience and trends have been identified, it's time to develop a design concept. This involves creating sketches and mockups of the packaging design that reflect the brand identity and appeal directly to the target audience.

For example, if the product is a luxury skincare line, the packaging design concept could feature elegant, minimalist designs with a focus on high-quality materials and finishes. The designer could also incorporate the brand's logo and color scheme into the packaging design to create a cohesive brand identity.

Iterating and refining the design

Design is an iterative process, and creating packaging is no exception. Once a design has been developed, it's essential to test and refine it based on feedback from the target audience. This could involve tweaking the colors, typography, or imagery to better reflect the brand message.

For instance, if the target audience for a new line of pet food is pet owners who prioritize natural ingredients, the designer could iterate on the packaging design by incorporating earthy colors and imagery of fresh, wholesome ingredients. They could also refine the messaging to emphasize the product's natural ingredients and health benefits.

Testing and evaluating the final product

Before launching the packaging design, it's necessary to test it with the target audience and evaluate its effectiveness. This could involve focus testing, consumer surveys, or A/B testing to determine which design is more effective at driving sales.

For example, if the product is a new line of organic baby food, the designer could test the packaging design with new parents to see which design they find most appealing and trustworthy. They could then use this feedback to make any necessary changes to the packaging design before launching the product.


Packaging design is an integral part of any successful marketing strategy. By understanding the importance of packaging design, key elements of effective packaging, and the packaging design process, companies can create packaging that stands out on the shelf, communicates the brand message, and drives sales.