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The 3 Most Important Packaging Factors in 2019

Posted by Kevin Keating at PKG on January 16, 2019 in food packaging

Many brands start the new year with renewed commitment to making it their best ever, and you can’t reach that goal if your product packaging falls short.

Woman shopping in a grocery store holding a bottle of orange juice.

Now is a great time to remind packaging designers, marketing specialists, and sales teams of the importance of product packaging design, and to educate them on what makes packaging exceptional. Not only must your packaging do its primary job of containing and protecting the product inside, but it must also reach out to both consumers and retailers, clearly conveying the central brand message. 

Here are the three most important packaging factors for 2019 and beyond.

1. Packaging That Captures Attention

You can’t physically be there next to the retail shelf to speak for your product, so you rely on the packaging design to do that for you. Humans are hard-wired to respond to visual stimulus, and they are drawn to aesthetically pleasing packaging. At the same time, however, the packaging must stand out – often from among dozens of competitors. 

One study from 2013 found that attractive packaging activates brain regions associated with impulsivity and it activates brain regions associated with feeling “rewarded.” It stands to reason that if you make your packaging both captivating and attractive, you immediately make consumers feel good while stimulating impulsiveness, which is likelier to result in their putting your product in their shopping cart.

2. Packaging That Connects the Brand Message to the Consumer

Packaging is always noticed to some degree by consumers, but does it connect with them in some important way? When packaging reassures consumers that the product fulfills a need of theirs, the connection is made. 

Man shopping in a grocery store buying beer.

Branding and packaging should work in synergy to assure the consumer that you understand their needs and that the product addresses it. You do this through key packaging attributes such as:

  • Color – which must stand out, yet be appropriate to the product category
  • Tone – which conveys values like luxury, eco-friendliness, or other values important to your target consumer
  • Typography – which must not only be legible, but appropriate to the emotional state surrounding product consumption
  • Consistency – so that your brand is instantly recognized and registers a sense of familiarity to consumers

3. Package Messaging That Is Clear and Concise

Clarity and conciseness isn’t just about the long-term trend toward minimalist packaging design. The fact is, people make decisions quickly, and your packaging designs must convey key branding elements efficiently. Regulatory rules dictate what you must put on product packaging, but that still leaves you plenty of scope for communicating the things you want to communicate. 

Highly successful brands (think Apple) convey an entire brand ethos with elegance, and minimal call-outs on the packaging. Developing designs that convey brand logo, claims, benefits, and imagery with as little fuss and as much elegance and simplicity as possible uses limited consumer attention to its best advantage, and also increases the chances of the consumer choosing your brand.

Bear in mind that all three of these packaging factors (ability to grab consumer attention, establishing a connection with the consumer, and doing so in a clear and concise manner) still allow packaging modification, so you’re not stuck with the same design indefinitely. If your product packaging designs are due for an upgrade in 2019, doing so with these factors in mind will help ensure you maintain the loyalty of your existing customers while reaching out to new ones. PKG Brand Design is always on the forefront of new CPG branding and packaging initiatives; please subscribe to our blog for the latest package design industry news!

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