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How Your Packaging Can (and Should) Support Your Marketing 

How Your Packaging Can (and Should) Support Your Marketing 

By Rieva Lesonsky, Guest Blogger
Published: April 5, 2016 Updated: April 5, 2016

Are you taking full advantage of the marketing capabilities of your business’s product packaging? Your packaging can be the deciding factor in whether a prospective customer purchases your product or not. To ensure your packaging is doing its job to help market your product, here are some tips:

  1. Scope out the competition. Who are your closest competitors, and what does their product packaging look like? You need to know what products will be next to yours on store shelves in order to make them stand out from the pack. What works and what doesn't work in your competitors' product packaging?
  2. Keep your packaging consistent with your brand. Your product packaging should be instantly recognizable as coming from your business. Convey this visually by using the same logo, colors, typefaces and design elements as the rest of your marketing materials.
  3. Ensure it’s eye-catching. In general, simpler is better when it comes to product packaging. Prospective purchasers don't want to spend a lot of time perusing store shelves; they just want to glance around and quickly grab what they need. You may need to pare down some of the elements you include in your other marketing materials in order to make your packaging less busy, or move them to the back of the package so the front is clean.
  4. Use your materials to tell a story. What does your brand stand for, and how can your packaging convey that at a glance? The materials you use provide visual "shorthand" for your brand. If your brand is homespun and handmade, for example, old-fashioned packaging materials such as plain brown paper or glass jars can convey that image. A high-tech smartphone accessory, on the other hand, would make more sense in sleek, plastic packaging.
  5. Don't put form above function. Keep in mind how your product will be transported, shelved and displayed. For example, if all the other products in your category are a rectangular boxes, packaging yours in a cylindrical canister might make it stand out — but might also make it hard for retailers to shelve properly. Using packaging that's literally too outside the box or out of the ordinary can also confuse customers as to what exactly is in the package.
  6. Include the basics. Although you’ll use the front of your product packaging to catch customers' eyes, you should put the basic information about your business on the back. This includes your address, phone number, website and any information that might be required by law, such as ingredients or warnings.

As you can see, there's a lot involved in creating product packaging that works as a marketing tool. It’s a good idea to consult a packaging designer experienced in your industry. He or she can help you come up with packaging that is not only functional, but that also sells.

About the Author:

Rieva Lesonsky
Rieva Lesonsky

Guest Blogger

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and President of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow Rieva at Twitter.com/Rieva and visit SmallBizDaily.com to sign up for her free TrendCast reports. She's been covering small business and entrepreneurial issues for more than 30 years, is the author of several books about entrepreneurship and was the editorial director of Entrepreneur magazine for over two decades