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Packaging Do’s and Don’ts

Packaging matters! According to Ipsos, 72% of Americans look at the design of the packaging when choosing a product. 67% of Americans take into account the materials that were used. Customers are influenced by the packaging when faced with a choice between products.

We have all been in a grocery store and stood in front of a shelf full of similar products. Which one do you choose? If you’re not already loyal to a specific brand, there are several factors that might go into your decision-making process. One of those factors is the packaging. If it catches your eye in the right ways, you choose it.

Good packaging helps customers with brand loyalty as they see products on a shelf with ten other choices. It also helps them to feel confident with the company they are choosing. On the other hand, bad packaging may cause customers to shop elsewhere, even if they like the product. 

Whether you are looking to roll out a new product or rebrand your existing product line, it is vital to consider how you package your product and your brand. You have to consider not only the packaging of specific items but also how your products are shipped out to customers. 

Many factors go into decisions around packaging: protecting the product, encouraging customer loyalty, creating brand awareness, and keeping your budget in check. 

The do’s of packaging

To help you stand out in the crowd, here are several packaging recommendations to consider.  

Do your research

Research takes time and money. While it can be a huge investment, it can really pay off in the end. It can also help you to make the right choices so you meet your budget goals while getting the biggest bang for your buck. 

Know your target audience

As you develop your packaging, it is important to know and understand your target market. This will impact many of your choices. 

Are you focused on a younger or older demographic? Is your product used more by women or men? What is most important to your target audience? How will your product be distributed? These and other questions can help you determine how to package and market your products.

Ultimately, you want your packaging to communicate your brand to your target customers. It should express what the product does and how it impacts the customer while also sharing your company’s mission and values.

Check the industry requirements

Take time to understand any standards or guidelines that are in place based on the specific product’s industry. Food products, for example, have set regulations that must be followed when it comes to packaging and distributing. 

Not only can the industry standards influence the type of materials used in the packaging, but they may also impact what can or cannot be on the package. Know the rules before you start making decisions. Then, review your options to choose which one is best for your product and company. 

Pay attention to the details

As the saying goes, “the devil is in the details.” The details of your packaging and shipping materials can make all the difference when it comes to your customers and building brand loyalty.

What is your brand?

As The Hartford explains, your brand is “The image customers have of your business, so take the time to define it thoughtfully and early, before the market does it for you. That way, your company’s image will be what you intend it to be.”

As you think about your brand, consider your logo. Is it easily recognizable? Or does it look too similar to another brand’s logo? You want a logo that your customers can easily identify with your brand and your products.

As you think beyond your logo, you also want to consider the colors and the fonts that you use as part of your brand. They can be just as important as your logo. You want to choose colors and fonts that appeal to your audience. Colors have meanings to viewers. For example, red is often used as a call to action or to create energy. However, it can also be associated with clearance items. Used properly, the color red can add vibrancy to your product’s packaging.

You also want to think about what story you want to tell through your packaging. If you are trying evoke certain emotions, use colors and fonts in your design that create those feelings for your customers. 

Be creative

As you develop your brand and packaging, be creative. Try different things to see what works best. This also helps ensure that your design doesn’t fall flat when up against competitors with similar products.

Think outside the box, literally and figuratively. Are there ways to package the product that are unique? Are there things you can modify on the existing packaging to make it stand more?

Also think about how the product will be shipped to your customer. The shipping materials can be just as important as the product packaging.

As you think about shipping, consider using custom printed boxes and packing tape. This can get your customer excited when they see the package on their doorstep because they know what is inside. It can also create more brand awareness as the package goes through the shipping process with all who come into contact with the box.

Also consider the experience inside the box. Use tissue paper printed or stamped with your logo. Design hangtags that call attention to your brand and your product. Give your customers stickers or decals that they can use to express their brand loyalty. Include a thank you note in the box to show your gratitude for their choosing your product.      


As you create your packaging, optimize as much as possible. Consider the various aspects involved from beginning to end. Think about production, storage, display, delivery, and all things in between.

Look for ways to be cost efficient. For example, should a product be mailed in a large cardboard box when a small custom pouch will do? 

The little details

Remember the little details that can easily be overlooked as your finalize your packaging. If you need to legally includes specific language, make sure it is clearly and properly displayed.

Include instructions on how to use your product. You may also need to include instructions on how to open the packaging if it is not clear. Other things to list may include: quantity, ingredients, and contact information. 

The don’ts of packaging

Now that we’ve covered many of the things to do in packaging, let’s talk about some of the mistakes to avoid.

Don’t use the wrong size

As NextDayFlyers points out, “size matters” when it comes to packaging. One of the purposes of the packaging is to keep your product safe. This holds true for both the product packaging and the packaging materials you use to ship your products.

You want to choose the right sized packaging to ensure that your product is safe. If the packaging is too big, the product might unnecessarily shift about becoming damaged. If it is too small, it might be crammed into the package being damaged in the process. 

The right size can also save you money. You won’t be spending more money on packing materials to keep your product safe. You also won’t be replacing products that were damaged due to improper packaging.

Another possible side effect of improper packaging is the customer feeling underwhelmed. If they open a larger box that contains a much smaller item, the customer might feel like they are getting jipped.  

Don’t waste

Sustainability is an important topic in today’s business world. Customers are looking for companies that support their ideals for eco-friendly packaging and packaging that does create excessive waste.

It is necessary to find the right balance between sustainable packaging practices and functionality. As you plan to meet the needs of your customers, consider if you’re being wasteful. Are there too many layers of bubble wrap, too much plastic, or too many air pillows? If so, find ways to reduce. Your customers will thank you and support you. 

Don’t overload the design

This goes back to talking about your brand and your design. As you develop your packaging, do not overload it. Don’t add more colors when two will do. Don’t add unnecessary writing just to fill space. 

Keeping it simple is often times the best way to get your product noticed. 

Don’t forget about the customer

Lastly, never forget about your customers. You want to create a positive experience for them from start to finish. You want them to not only enjoy your product, but to love the whole “package.”

You want the product and packaging to look like it cost more than they paid for. Lower quality packaging may save a few pennies, but it can make a product look cheap and undesirable.

Also, you never want to mislead your customers during any step of the process. You want to make sure your customers feel heard and taken care of. If not, you may be creating a sad customer experience that pushes them away rather than a happy experience that invites them in.

When all is said and done, you make money by having repeat customers who continually come back and who are willing to spread the word about how much they love your products. 

Are you looking to outsource your commercial packaging needs? Contact Development Workshop today to see if our team can assist in meeting your assembly and packaging needs.