NIKTEA designed by: Brandexpert Island Of Freedom
I've always been drawn to products because of their packaging. I am that person who buys wine for the label design, or a shampoo for the shape of the bottle. Though sometimes this has led to a less than thrilling merlot, it's how I operate and how a vast majority of today's consumers do too.
According to an Ipsos poll, most Americans agree that the design of a product’s packaging (72%) and the materials used to package a product (67%) often influence their purchase decisions when selecting which products to buy. Package design is seen to be even more important when buying a gift, with eight in ten agreeing that packaging design can influence their gift selection (81%).
When my husband and I launched a stroller light business in 2018, I knew that we needed to have eye-catching branding and packaging. What I learned firsthand is that launching a new business with product has significant start-up costs. (Duh, I know.) This allowed me to get a new perspective on how product-based (versus service-based) business owners feel in the early stages of a business launch. It can be overwhelming watching those dollars add up before your first sale!
My original plan for our packaging was to have a fully branded, custom box. I was inspired by the bright, bold colors and patterns from Birchbox and I recently found the following example from Causebox.
I wanted to have product information and installation steps printed directly onto the box panels. As well as use some of the real estate to promote our social media channels and website. As a new company, I knew that the more professional the product presentation was, the more receptive our target audience would be.
After getting several print quotes, I quickly realized these fully branded boxes were outside of our budget. The cost per box was very high unless we were able to order thousands of boxes. Whether we purchased a small amount at a higher cost per box, or a large amount at a lower cost per box, we were looking at a very hefty investment. I would need to come up with an alternative solution that saved money, but provided the same level of impact and professionalism.
Below is the final packaging that I created for our product. To see the full project, click here.
With this solution, I was able to cut the cost from our original quotes by 75%!
I purchased two brightly colored boxes and swapped the lids for an additional pop of color. To brand the packages, I designed belly bands that secure the lids and direct the consumer to our website and social media. Inside the box there is a two-sided insert card that thanks them for purchasing the product and lists the installation steps.
This design solution fulfilled all my needs, and didn't have me waking up in a cold sweat of buyers remorse.
This brings me to tips for new business owners who need show-stopping packaging for their products without breaking the bank. By utilizing existing containers, you can add smaller, branded elements to create a truly custom package design. Websites like PaperMart offer countless options for boxes, bags, and food packaging that are a great starting point for your product.
If you're working with a graphic designer (Hi, like me!) we can help you select the container based on material and color so that each element of your package design is cohesive with your overall brand.
What elements can you add to pre-existing containers to make your product stand out?
1. Belly Bands
Belly bands are an attractive way to secure your package while providing ample space to include your company's messaging or product information. These can be produced in a variety of sizes, paper weights, and textures. This is a great opportunity to use custom graphics, illustrations, or patterns that will also be seen on your website and marketing materials. Suggested resource: Uprinting.
2. Labels & Stickers
Labels are available in any size and shape you can imagine! Depending on the material, these can be applied to paper, plastic, or glass packages. You can also select from labels that have a solid background (think white or your brand's main color) or a transparent background that allows your package color, or product, to show through. Labels can also be applied to other materials for your business creating a cohesive look & feel like paper shopping bags, presentation folders, or as a way to secure tissue paper inside a package. Suggested resource: Stickermule.
Tags are a great option for bottles or jars that would be costly to print on or have etched. Tags can be made in a large variety of materials including paper, plastic, or fabric and in custom sizes & shapes. This approach will also allow you to use both sides when including your product and company messaging. The material that secures your tag to the container is another opportunity to create a unique package design. Suggested resource: 4over4.com.
Designing the perfect packaging can be done creatively and affordably for any business that wants to keep production costs down when ordering in lower quantities. The process is best done by working with a graphic designer who can help understand your product vision & goals, and translate that into a cohesive look including the container, branded elements, messaging, and design flourishes.
If your new company does not yet have a logo and brand style guide, that is the best place to start. Having the groundwork laid for your brand will allow you to scale your business with the confidence that your target audience is receiving consistent messaging about who you are and what you provide.
Shameless plug: If you are ready to take the dive and have custom packaging designed for your product or brand, I would love to chat! Please send me a message and we can talk about your company/product and your package design goals. If you need to take a step back and first have your logo & branding created, I'd love to start the conversation and have you on your way to selling product.