Make or Break Your Packaging Design With These 6 Rules

01 February 2021

Finding ways to make your product or service stand out from the competition can be challenging in today's condensed market – especially when there are many of the same. Your packaging design is the driving force behind successful sales and overall traction in your industry. But how can you create a good packaging design that will continue to be effective? These six rules will help you formulate the perfect packaging design with your product and target audience's unique needs always considered.

Clarity + Purpose

When developing your packaging design, it's essential to focus on the purpose of the product you're trying to sell and identify ways to communicate these benefits to your target audience. In today's consumer market, there are many of the same products in one category but from different manufacturers. It's up to you to discover how to differentiate your product from the competition, and it all comes down to your packaging design. The average consumer spends little time comparing similar products. Instead, they're drawn to products whose packaging communicates benefits, branding, and purpose. An effective packaging design will connect potential customers with your brand instantaneously and leave little mystery about content, usage, and performance. For example, if you're selling a new health and beauty product, creating a packaging design with a kitchen featured may be misleading and lack clarity for potential customers because they might instead think it's an item for cleaning your household.


At the heart of every successful brand, originality, character, and memorability exist. Whether you're shopping at a general merchandiser or a niche boutique, you'll likely find more than one manufacturer producing the same product. So, how do you set yourself apart, so potential customers notice your product and brand first? The answer is simple. Manufacturers must encapsulate authenticity not only into their product but into the packaging design. Today's consumer market is continuously faced with a myriad of brands, looks, and appeals, which is why being creative and original in your branding and packaging design is so important. You'll likely attract and keep more customers if your packaging design is created to catch their eye, draw them in, and follow through with a sale. When searching for ways to be authentic, don't limit yourself to only your industry. Explore what manufacturers are doing in other sectors, so you can become inspired and try bringing something entirely new to the table.


While it may be tempting to depict your product in the most appealing way possible, it's crucial to consider honesty and transparency when creating your packaging design. An effective packaging design will represent your product in its true form rather than adding extra bells and whistles. If your packaging design paints your product as better than it actually is, the consumer will likely feel misled or disappointed after purchasing. As a result, your overall sales and brand image could be affected. As industries continue to evolve, it's important to remember that a simple and inexpensive product isn't at the bottom of the totem pole. Many consumers are drawn to these items as long as the packaging design depicts what they'll be receiving.

First Impressions

In any sale, first impressions are vital. Did you know that many shoppers rarely focus on an individual product or notice its details unless it catches their eye? Creating your packaging design with the first impression in mind will increase your product sales because the packaging is just as important as the product itself. Since there are so many similar products on shelves today, creating a pattern or incorporating unique design elements will help your product "pop" instead of blend in. If you've developed a packaging design that you feel confident in, try creating a sample shelf and place your product among similar ones with mock-ups of their packaging designs. Does your product stand out comparatively, or do you notice small changes you can make to make it more distinctive? The world of packaging design is seemingly endless, so make sure you use it to your advantage.


Rather than only focusing on the label or wrap of your packaging design, it's encouraged to pay attention to your creation's size, shape, and overall functionality and aesthetic. Developing a practical packaging design will likely increase your sales as potential buyers will be attracted to its simplicity and efficiency. Today's shoppers search for suitable and functional products for their lifestyles, whether they're on-the-go, have little ones, or seek reliability. Many of today's products cater to convenience, meaning the packaging allows the product to be used more than once, or the packaging can be used for alternative purposes. Giving attention to practicality when creating your packaging design will help you make a well-rounded specimen that solves many of the challenges manufacturers face every day when it comes to packaging design.

Product Variation

Your packaging design should be created with the intention of a new line extension or sub-brands – even if it won't happen for a few years. If manufacturers don't consider this, a total rebrand may be the only option should you choose to bring sub-brands into the picture down the road. Creating a packaging design that doesn't set limitations on new products is necessary, so potential and existing customers can continue associating any new products with your brand and your brand alone. While you may find it appealing to develop a unique, eye-catching design for your product, it's essential to consider the big picture and what your company may decide to do in the future. Your packaging design should allow for easy visuals and product information changes, so you don't feel limited in what you can produce and release to your target audience.

Final Thoughts

Developing an effective packaging design takes time but is the base for successful sales and increased shopper interest. Manufacturers that can encompass product originality and a potential buyer's unique needs into their packaging designs are the ones that succeed in today's condensed market. Product packaging designs are how you make a lasting impression on potential and existing customers – it's what convinces shoppers to buy your product. While every product's needs and target audience is different, the first step to increasing sales and gaining traction in your industry is developing an authentic and creative packaging design.

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