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5 Common Packaging Errors and How to Fix Them

Man looking inside a cardboard box with a puzzled expression.

CPG packaging mistakes happen. In retrospect, it may be a humorous story to share at a party, but at the time, it's probably nothing to laugh about. What are some of the most common CPG packaging errors? How can you avoid or fix them to protect your customers and your brand's reputation?

5 Common CPG Packaging Errors

Not only can a CPG packaging error cause stress, headaches, and lost revenue, but it can destroy customer relationships and harm your brand. From poor packaging designs to typos, CPG packaging errors are far more common than anyone wants to admit. Some common CPG packaging mistakes include:

1. Packaging Waste

Does your product use only 60% of the box space? Not only can the remaining 40% of air-filled head space cause the product to shift or break, it is incredibly inefficient. Packaging waste is increasingly raising eyebrows with our eco-friendly and aware customers. 

If they receive products that are packaged in an obviously wasteful way, you will likely be the subject of scorn on social media, along with losing future sales. Do your best to consider smarter packaging that doesn't harm the planet by wasting unnecessary packaging materials. 

The latest data shows 92% of our customers are worried about the environment. Pay attention to these concerns to avoid packaging mistakes that will drive your customers to the competition.

2. Print Errors

Packaging print errors are common. Typos are the bane of every CPG marketing team. But poor designs are just as fraught with problems. Once a misspelled word on a package is out there, it's hard to get it back. It's too expensive to recall, and there's nothing wrong with the product inside, anyway. 

Before you know it, memes are circulating with your CPG packaging mistake, and your worst nightmare is real. You can avoid the issue, however, by slowing the proofing process until you are sure you are ready to go to market.

3. Tough Unboxing

Every parent hates toys because the boxes are so hard to open. It's ridiculous, really, but having a package that is so difficult to open you need a chainsaw, is not only inconvenient for the consumer but also probably wasteful and bad for the environment to boot. 

Frustrating your customers with a difficult-to-open package is not the experience that will keep them coming back. Make sure your packaging testing process includes opening the box and seeing what's inside.

Woman placing her hands at her temples and screaming in frustration.

4. Package Differentiation

Packaging differentiation is critical to standing out from the competition. We know targeting what's working by stealing the ideas of your market-leading competitor is too often standard practice. 

But if your product ends up looking just like the competition, how will you differentiate your brand with the end-user? Standing out with customized packaging that mirrors your brand identity will teach your target audience to look for your products. 

5. Labeling Errors

Labeling errors is a CPG packaging mistake that can include a shipping error or the wrong tracking code or even forgetting to label a hazardous or fragile product. Like those pesky typos, it's crucial to thoroughly check and triple check all parts of your CPG packaging at all stages of the process, from design to shipping to opening.

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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