Comprehensive Guide to Product Packaging

Ever heard of "consumer neuroscience?" It's a sub-discipline of marketing that studies the underlying neural conditions, psychology, and behavioral consequences of commercial consumption. It uses neuroscientific methods and procedures like EEG, MRI, and eye-tracking to understand consumers' process when making purchase decisions. Experts of consumer neuroscience say that product packaging is a significant influencer:

  • Aesthetic packaging supports people's desire for self-expression.
  • Packaging affects how consumers measure their needs (e.g., The way food is packaged can influence how much customers want to eat).
  • Packaging can spark emotional triggers, like ethnocentrism, philanthropy, health-consciousness, preference for sustainable products, and fear of "harmful" materials or ingredients.
  • Unique packaging raises interest among customers.
  • Beautiful visuals attract attention and encourage a higher form of visual processing. Essentially, customers give more consideration to products whose packaging they find attractive.

All these findings reinforce the need for functional yet appealing packaging; because even without delving into the complex theories of consumer neuroscience, there's enough evidence to support this statement. A national study in 2018 revealed that for seven out of 10 consumers, packaging design could get them to buy a product

If you have a sellable product, you can make it even more appealing to your target market by investing time, effort, and resources in its packaging. This guide can show you how.

Designing Your Packaging

You need to decide on a design before bulk-buying from your preferred box and packaging suppliers. You have a choice: to stick to the basics or to give your packaging a little pizzaz to excite and entice your customers.

A lot depends on your branding and whom you are selling your products to. If you’re selling hardware supplies, for example, you will no doubt consider the durability and functionality of packing materials more than their appearance. But if you’re selling arts and crafts to children, you’ll have to develop packaging that’s attractive to kids or can at least convince parents that they bought age-appropriate products. Bubble wrap and austere-looking boxes would be the last thing they’ll expect.

If your business puts a huge emphasis on aesthetics (e.g., a unique appearance is part of the value proposition you offer to your customers), it will serve you well to stick to that ethos from the product to its packaging. This means investing a bit more in designing and choosing packaging materials. Consider how luxury brands package leather bags or designer clothing. They consider the packaging as part of their “presentation,” so the design of their boxes and bags often mirror the style of the products they sell.

Customized Inserts and Boxes

Are you looking for a more affordable and feasible way of customizing your product packaging? Customize boxes so that the shape and dimensions are perfect for the goods you sell. You can also produce molded inserts made of plastic, styrofoam, or cardboard. The advantage with molded inserts is that you can use standard boxes even if they have an irregular shape. They also protect your products: the inserts fill out the blank space inside the cardboard box and keep the items suspended at the center.

Affordable Options

What if you’re a small business and don’t have the funds to go all-out in customizing packing materials? You can still score points for aesthetics with the following tips:

  • Customize the printed design or color of your boxes - It’s more affordable to buy standard-sized flat board boxes by bulk and have them printed with your company logo than to custom-cut corrugated cardboard into unique shapes and dimensions. An even more economical method would be to print stickers bearing your brand’s logo and stick them on your packing boxes.
  • Customize the print on your kraft tape - Generic packaging or duct tape on customized boxes will be such an eyesore. The former will diminish the appeal of the latter, if not obliterate it entirely. It’s better to be consistent with your packaging than to do it halfway through. Create a design for your kraft tape. It could be as simple as having your business’s name or logo in spatial patterns or something more exciting, like a full spread of graphic art unique to your brand.
  • Add some personalized touches - An expertly-tied ribbon or twine can add some style to your packaging and elevate its overall look. These details cost little, too, but can make your packaged products look well put together.

Choosing Packing Materials

We recommend selecting materials while finalizing the design of your product packaging. This way, you won’t go back-and-forth with your designers because you found out too late that the only materials that can bring your design to life are a tad too expensive.

No matter the design you choose, your product packaging must be durable (more so if you sell online and offer nationwide delivery). Here are a few more tips on coming up with a presentable and reliable product packaging:

  • Use packaging fillers - Crumpled newsprint sheets and industrial peanuts are examples of cost-effective packaging fillers. They absorb external impact and protect your products if delivery services accidentally drop or hit something on your packing boxes. Fillers can also make simple packaging look more presentable to the customer. For example, you can buy industrial peanuts in the same color as your brand logo.
  • Use protective materials - Customers are impressed with pretty packaging, but what really makes them happy is seeing that their purchases were packaged with care. Wrap breakables or scratch-prone items in foam pouches or sheets, and secure the edges with corner guards made of styrofoam. Customers appreciate thoughtful details like these. More importantly, they foster trust and loyalty to your business.

Customers judge products by their packaging. Shabby product presentation doesn’t inspire confidence; quality design and materials do. You might not be given a second opportunity to prove that your products offer more value than they look, so prioritize packaging as much as the products themselves.

For high-quality quality and customizable product packaging supplies, get in touch with The Boxery. Contact us today.