How Brands Stay Competitive through Packaging Design and Printing

How important is package design when it comes to staying a step ahead of the competition?

As much as we all love the features and benefits of our products, it’s easy to forget that consumers often don’t see them as distinctive. Retail purchases are emotional as well as rational, and that emotional connection begins with package design. This is why it is crucial to partner with a retail packaging company specializing in design and printing that understands your products and customers.

Imagine you sell moisturizer, and your product is packaged in a subscription box that allows buyers to sample several similar products. Quality will certainly be a factor in which item the buyer chooses to keep and use, but the first one they sample will be the one whose packaging and design looks most appealing.

If your design hasn’t been updated for a while, or falls short compared to competitors, how likely is it that they’ll reach for your product first?

The buyer’s experience with your goods starts with your packaging and printing. If your design fails to stand out or evolve with your market, you’ll inevitably fall behind.

product printing design

Evolve Your Branding Constantly with Packaging Design

For better or worse, most brands won’t become as iconic as Coca Cola.

Most companies have to update their branding periodically to remain fresh in the minds of customers. You don’t want to have the same graphics as 30 years ago when your competitors have revamped their brand design five times since.

The best part about updating your package design is that it’s more cost-effective than updating your product.

It’s a cheaper lever to pull when you’re looking for ways to increase sales or capture a new market. Companies change their packaging twice as often as they update the items they sell. People make subconscious conclusions about how new and exciting a product is based on how new and exciting the packaging is. Updating your brand design is an inexpensive way to refresh your shelf appeal.

retail packaging design

Balance Innovation with Your Brand Identity

Any time you experiment with a new look for your product packaging it should reflect your brand values. Use market research to decide where to make changes.

First, it’s important to evaluate what your competition is doing with their packaging. It might be a good idea to emulate their approach, but it might be better to strike out in a different, eye-catching direction. You can’t know what innovation looks like without first understanding what’s currently in play.

packaging companies

A Methodical Approach to Packaging Design Changes

If you are thinking about changes to your product packaging design, you may want to do it in incremental stages. The last thing you want is to lose the emotional connection consumers have with your brand.

Slow, methodical changes let your customers know they’ll get the same quality product they’ve come to expect. Working with an experienced graphics and structural engineering team can help you identify changes you can make over a period of time that are also cost-effective. Even small tweaks can help your brand stand out more on the shelves. Additionally, a methodical approach can help prevent costly errors in retail packaging commonly faced by growing brands.

This approach offers the added benefits of keeping your procurement stable throughout any updates, making brand evolution a little more cost-effective.

box design

Create a Unique “Unboxing Experience”

Who imagined a day when people would watch videos just to see a product being unboxed?

There are entirely new dimensions to how customers engage with your packaging. That’s why you need to consider the visual and tactile aspects of the buyer’s experience.

Structural engineers can help you develop packaging approaches that work well when your product is showcased online or in person. Additionally, these designers can sometimes help you tap into the viral marketing space of unboxing.

If it makes sense for your brand, you can create a packaging experience for customers that is totally unique to your product.

retail box design

Understand Your Brand’s Role in Client’s Lives

People often become attached to elements of a brand over time, making it difficult for companies to manage design changes without alienating loyal customers.

There are plenty of stories of brands trying something radically new that end with upset customers and a total rolling back of the updated designs. This doesn’t mean that brands shouldn’t evolve. It just means companies need to consider how those changes will impact their audience beyond recognizing the item on store shelves.

Your printing and packaging partner should help you find a happy medium by identifying the elements of your brand that resonate most strongly with existing customers, as well as providing ideas for how to update them without losing the spirit of the original design.

Styles and tastes evolve over time, and ignoring them is the fastest road to irrelevance. But change doesn’t have to be painful. Working with experienced graphic designers and structural engineers can help you bridge the space between where you’re at and where you want to be.

Start by reviewing the designs your competition uses, then consult with a full service packaging company to embark on a gradual refresh.

Guide to find the right packaging supplier that fits your needs