Bad Packaging Design: What NOT to Do

You put a lot into your brand. In many ways, it’s like your baby. Every detail, every decision, every word, color and image…you’ve thought about them all. So there’s no way you’re going to drop the ball when it comes to your packaging…right?

It’s perhaps one of the most important (and often overlooked) parts of a business plan – packaging. Your packaging says a lot about you and your brand image. Even if you don’t realize it. And at the end of the day, packaging might make more of a difference than you may think.

According to recent marketing research and studies done on packaging and consumer behavior, 52 percent of online buyers say they are more likely to shop a brand again if their items arrive in premium packaging. And some brands have seen consumer interest increase by as much as 30 percent when it’s obvious to their customer that packaging is a top priority.

But what, exactly, makes packaging “good”? You have to think about a lot when you’re designing your product packaging. Let’s not mistake this…there are more ways to go wrong with your packaging than there are to get it right.

On that note, let’s take a look at the top 4 ways packaging can take a hard left for brands. Here are 4 things you want to avoid when you’re designing your packaging and custom boxes.

Design Mistake #1: Impossible-to-get-in-to packaging
Don’t over complicate your packaging. Sure, keep your product safe and sound for shipping, but nobody wants to take a trip to the garage to retrieve a screwdriver from the toolbox so they can get into their kid’s new Barbie camper Christmas morning. The same can be said for that thick, razor-sharp, Fort Knox-esque plastic you need a chainsaw to get into.
Top Tip: Use the necessary amount of packaging to safeguard your product, but don’t make it so hard to open that your customers are cursing your name.

Design Mistake #2: Missing the opportunity to brand
Boring, non-descript packaging is a HUGE miss for brands. Take advantage of the opportunity to make a real name for your brand in your space with your packaging. You want to shine, and packaging is one way to seriously alter your consumers’ perception of who you are and what you stand for. Don’t miss out on this! Brand identity leads to brand loyalty.

Top Tip: Packaging is prime real estate for brand recognition efforts. Be sure to use it effectively with custom printed boxes.

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Design Mistake #3: Forgetting your mission
What are you? More importantly, who are you? What do you bring to the proverbial consumer table? Your packaging should reflect that. Are you a pretty product? Pretty packaging! Are you the best darn beef jerky anyone’s ever tasted? Your packaging should look good enough to make customers drool. Are you the top-selling-toddler-toy on the market in 2018? I should see your fun, colorful, eye-catching packaging from two aisles over (and so should my kid).

Top Tip: Whatever your product, be sure your packaging is an extension of and reflects that experience.

Design Mistake #4: Ignoring who your audience is
This one is the short-n-sweet, “duh” tip. But it’s worth mentioning because it’s actually a mistake we still see brands making. Often. Know your audience. Are you a green company? Probably shouldn’t use Styrofoam packaging. Or toxic inks to print. Bonus tip? You can add to your brand story by capitalizing on these little things you cared enough to seek out: “printed with non-toxic, environmentally-responsible ink on 100 percent post-consumer recycled and recyclable products.” Hi, Green, nice to meet you!

Top Tip: Stay true to your roots through and through, right down to your packaging. Customers are finicky, and demanding, and will hesitate exactly zero seconds before they call you out for not giving them the whole experience from A to Z.

Packaging is (or should be) one of your top priorities when it comes to your branding efforts. Sometimes, knowing what not to do is half the battle.

Need help with your packaging design? Reach out to Custom Boxes Now for creative, effective solutions that work for you, your brand, your product and your customers.

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