When it comes to breaking into the competitive realm of supermarket shelves, your product’s packaging becomes a silent yet incredibly persuasive ambassador. As a Consumer-Packaged Goods consultant, I’ve witnessed firsthand the pivotal role packaging plays in the journey to retail triumph. You have roughly three to five seconds to make an impression before the customer is down the aisle, looking at other stuff. Here’s a closer look at the do’s and don’ts of packaging, along with some invaluable insights: 

The Do’s: 

  1. Vibes Matter: Imagine your product shouldering 30-40% of the packaging’s real estate. This strategic positioning instantly conveys what’s inside and invites the consumer to visualize how it fits into their life.
  2. Branding Brilliance: Your brand identity should be prominently featured, like a star on the packaging stage. It’s the instant connection between your product and the consumer. Think of it as your trademark handshake.
  3. Color Harmony and Brand Kits: Carefully chosen colors should not only catch the eye but also mirror the personality of your product. Consider using a brand kit to ensure consistency across all touchpoints. Color harmony creates a visual rhythm that’s easy to remember.
  4. Powerful Claims: Harness the power of claims like “Keto,” “Soy Free,” and “Gluten Free.” These labels are beacons of reassurance for health-conscious consumers. Make sure they are visible and clearly communicated.
  5. Instant Impact: In those fleeting 3-5 seconds, your packaging should convey the essence of your product. What do you want them to see? Highlight the most enticing and unique aspects, whether it’s the product’s name, key benefits, or a visual differentiator.
  6. Expandable Consumption: Drawing from my Coca-Cola days, consider the psychology of consumption. Packaging that encourages more consumption, like cold beverages, can lead to increased sales. Create a design that entices consumers to enjoy your product more frequently.

The Don’ts: 

  1. Clutter-Free Zone: Avoid clutter at all costs. A cluttered package can overwhelm and confuse consumers. Keep the design clean and uncluttered to ensure your key messages shine. 
  2. Consider the Consumer: You must think about how the consumer will see your product. That means ALL the elements that will be at play in the presentation and ultimately the perception of it. The reason I bring this up is because oftentimes people don’t consider physical conditions like lighting and how it will affect their product. For instance, if your product has a glossy black package (as one of my coffee clients did) then the lighting in the stores could reflect off the bags and make them hard to see (as it did for us).

Remember, your packaging isn’t just a container; it’s your brand’s voice on the shelf. It’s the first impression, the trusted guide, and the decisive factor in those critical seconds of interaction with the consumer. By following these do’s and don’ts, you can craft packaging that not only catches the eye but also captures the hearts and minds of your target audience. Your product’s success in the supermarket awaits, and it all begins with the art of packaging. If you’re in the process of figuring out your retail journey, I would love to chat! 

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