The latest UKIP logo has only been out for a few hours and already it’s whipping up a storm of controversy.
The story starts this morning at UKIP’s National Conference 2017 in Torquay. The United Kingdom Independence Party unveiled a couple of new logos for members to vote on – one very dull and boring, the other roaring.
If you sell a consumer product, you’ll know how important advertising and branding are to your success. However, many brands are falling at the final (and most important hurdle) – the packaging itself. Packaging has a huge effect on the way consumers perceive your product, meaning that your design can mean the difference between its success, and its failure.
Don’t let bad packaging ruin a good product. Whether you’ve outsourced your packaging design or are taking on the job yourself, make sure that you’re not making any of these five main mistakes when designing your product packaging.
1. Not designing for your target market
Usually, when you ask a key stakeholder who they want to buy your product, they’ll say “everyone”. As marketers, we know that there are actually very few instances where this should be the case. For most products, you’ll have a key target audience, and your packaging should be designed accordingly.
Advertising that is universal tends to be diluted and weak. If you design for everyone, your language, imagery and design won’t be targeted enough for your selected group. Therefore, In order to design your packaging effectively, you need to thoroughly understand the desires and requirements of your customers (which you’ll know from your segmentation work anyway).
2. Style over substance
Of course, you want your packaging to look great, and perhaps even be in the running for a packaging design award or two. But if it doesn’t appropriately reveal and sell the product, grab the attention of customers and make obvious what the product actually does, it’s not much use as packaging at all.
Also, it’s important to do your research when it comes to the stores which will actually be selling your product. If they have specific requirements when it comes to the size, weight or appearance of your packaging, they may reject your stock if it doesn’t cater to this. This could result in a costly redesign and a delay in taking your product to market.
3. Not giving packaging enough shelf appeal
This being said, marketers often have the opposite problem to the one we mentioned above. They spend so much time ensuring that their packaging is fit for purpose, conforms to all legal obligations and contains as much information as possible, that the final product ends up looking a bit… well, dull. Such requirements need to be balanced with design elements that are going to hook your target market and make sure they pay attention to your product.
Keep an eye on key packaging trends, and make sure you carefully consider the colours, typography and language you use. While packaging should always stick fairly closely to your brand guidelines (you want to tie it into your existing designs to ensure people recognise that the product comes from your company) you can practice a bit of creative flair. The shop shelf is one of the only places you will be directly placed alongside your competitors. Competition will be fierce – so step up to the plate!
4. Ignoring the basics
Consumers are busier than ever and lead hectic lifestyles, so often need products which make things as easy as possible for them. In the same vein, which they need convenience, portability and ease of use from their packaging. Making your product easy to open and carry around might sound simple, but you’d be surprised at how often these aspects are overlooked in favour of style.
Of course, as we’ve already discussed, giving your product “shelf appeal” in order to influence customer’s real time buying decisions is so important. But you also need to make sure your product’s packaging is fit for purpose and a pleasure to use.
5. Not including a human touch
Ask yourself: what’s different about my packaging? Why should a consumer choose my product, instead of the one next to it? We’re exposed to so many choices and variations on a daily basis, that you need the personal essence of your business to shine through on your packaging, to set you apart from the rest. There are a few major ways you can achieve this.
Customers are now savvier than ever before about the environmental impact of packaging, and are acting more responsibly when it comes to purchasing behaviours. Eco-friendliness should now be a key component of your packaging design, and you shouldn’t be shy about communicating this to customers through use of iconic recycling symbols and information.
Telling your business story can also be effective. A concise paragraph on the back of your packaging, letting a consumer into your story so far, adds an authentic and human touch and could just be the deciding factor behind their final purchasing decision.
Is your packaging letting you down?
Whilst we’re more into PPC & SEO, Hampshire digital agency Clever Marketing are still strong on graphic design.
Taking time out to write a design brief to be proud of can seem like a pretty daunting task; especially if you have little or no experience of ever completing one. How do you get all your ideas across in a clear and concise way, and make sure the designer is on your wavelength? Well, here at Hampshire Digital Agency Clever Marketing we have put together a few points which should help get you on the right track.
It’s important to remember the designers who take on your brief will more than likely have little or no knowledge of your company and what you do. You need to introduce yourself and give them insights into your company’s background.
Who is your business and what you do?
What is your history and how did you get here?
Do you have an existing website or comprehensive brand guidelines?
These are key factors which will help the designers get to know you better.
How did you get here?
The key to a successful project begins with your brief to the designer, so try to give them as much information as possible about the background and history of your new project.
Why are you doing it and what do you expect to achieve?
How does it fit in with all your other marketing activities?
What is your budget?
Your target audience
This information is vital when creating a design brief.
Are you targeting a specific age group or demographic?
Are the audience going to be newcomers to the subject matter, or already ‘in the know’?
Give the designer any insights into your business marketplace, and what you want to achieve within it. Have you completed any market research that would be relevant to the project?
Who are your competitors, and what do they do better than you?
What do you want?
Whether you’re designing a whole brand, a website, or a brochure, be sure to let your designer know your goals and expectations; including any deliverables for the project at the beginning.
Are there any specifications or sizes the designer needs to adhere to?
Think about everything you want before the project commences. Successful concepts usually span different media, which will result in a more cohesive marketing campaign that will return better results for your company. Designers need to know this from the beginning of the project so they can ensure their ideas work on all levels.
Get this right and you’ll have a design brief to be proud of.
Likes or dislikes
Discussing examples of similar projects you like or dislike will ensure your designer has an understanding of your personal tastes and preferences, and avoid any nasty surprises when it comes to seeing the first proofs! Don’t have any examples? No problem! Perhaps there are particular colours or typefaces you favour?
Even an emotion you wish to convey can be helpful with the design process. Remember, the more information you give to your designer, the more likely it is that you’ll get back something you love, so be generous!
Chat about it
Getting a second opinion can be really beneficial for any project, so be sure to talk through the brief with your colleagues before you engage a designer. This may seem like a simple task, but it can often be overlooked. Making sure you all have the right goals in mind before you send the brief off will ensure that the result will be one you can all agree on, and should avoid any unnecessary and costly amends!
Need it quick?
Do you have a specific deadline in mind for the delivery of your project?
It’s important to discuss a time-frame with your designer at the very beginning so you can determine whether your deadline is achievable, or discuss a quicker alternative if needed.
Now that you’ve got a project brief to be proud of are you ready to get that project underway?
Get in touch with Hampshire Digital Agency Clever Marketing and we’ll be happy to discuss your print, web design, PPC campaigns or SEO requirements.
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