First Impressions: Why the Right Product Package Design Matters

First Impressions: Why the Right Product Package Design Matters

First impressions are everything, especially for a product you're trying to sell. Don't think so?

Around 70 percent of American shoppers agreed that products packaged with paper have more creative potential. In other words, package design matters.

With that in mind, finding the right packaging designs have the potential to make or break your marketing success.  So here are some things to consider for your brand's packaging.

1. What is the "Perfect" Package Design? 

The best package design addresses the target customer. In order to produce effective packaging, you should ask how to product can capture your target customer's attention.

To do this, you need to identify your target customer. How does our product offer display a solution to a customer problem? What visual icons and symbols are most relevant or recognizable to our customer demographic?

2. The First Moment of Truth

One of the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) for your product is the First Moment of Truth (FMOT).


The First Moment of Truth is the customer’s first interaction with a brand and the short window of time it takes to convert that interaction to a sale.

Keep in mind that this window of time only lasts for a few seconds, so you need to capture customer attention quickly. If your customers don't consider your brand within the first few seconds, your brand likely has poor "shelf impact."

3. Shelf Impact

Customers simply move on to more attractive items on the shelf if you miss your window of opportunity to capture them.

One of the brands that stand out the most with strong shelf impact is Oreo. The iconic product package design places the cookie front and center with its black top and white middle coloring.

The alternating black and white along with the circular nature of the cookie creates a sort of bullseye effect. Since the Oreo icon naturally resembles a target, enlarging the icon and centering it on the package naturally brings in customers.

Shelf impact applies to products in both physical and online stores.  You can use this same principle to capture your own customers' attention.

If you're using custom packaging you'll need to distinguish effective designs from ineffective ones.

4. Buyer Trust 

A cookie definitely has some easy selling points, so it can be easier to create designs for them.

So what happens if you have designs with a less intuitive icon? If you're selling a more utility-based product such as blank white T-shirts, you may want to advertise with stock photos of live people.

This works particularly well for eCommerce stores or websites with landing pages.  Using a human face on your site is known to increase buyer trust and give your site a more positive reputation.

5. Practicality vs. Flash

When it comes to the package itself, practicality beats flash every time.

The graphic for the product should be just as intuitive as the physical package. Your packaging varies base on the physical requirements of your products. This only means that the creativity comes with the shape and color of your packaging.

If you have to use boxes, try encasing your product in multiple colored boxes to increase your customer's anticipation.  While this is a nice aesthetic touch, it also promotes better protection and insulation.

These are the reasons why phone companies use this packaging method.

On the other hand, if you have to use bottles to encase a liquid product, consider using both an internal and a larger external cap to properly seal the top of the bottle. Not only will this protect your product but it provides an opportunity for customization.

Packaging Design is Storytelling

Packaging design is a way to tell your product's story before the customer can fully interact with your product. There are millions of products shouting for attention, so your package design should be a unique voice above the noise.

If you're looking for more ways to make your brand stand out, take a look at some other articles on the site!

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