How Great Packaging Can Promote Your Product
Positive First Impressions
A top package design company can help your business harness their brand identity and translate it into the right materials to encase a product, the correct color palette to increase customer recognition and the best label to represent the company.
It only takes seven seconds for consumers to judge your product -- and quite a bit of that first impression is cultivated through package design. It can be easy to dismiss the importance of proper packaging, but just like readers judge a book by their cover, your consumers will judge your product by its packaging.
Reflect Buyer Values
Sixty-four percent of consumers say that shared values increase their trust in a brand -- and great branding firms can cultivate B2C trust through their branding and package designs. A team of top marketing experts will be able to pinpoint your demographic and target them through specific messaging and design.
Various elements can showcase your brand’s core values, mission, and morals, including choice of graphics or images, font, and color palette -- the latter two, in particular, can foster emotions, psychological responses, or cultural associations.
Social Media Promotions
Although you want a product to be functional, it also should be beautiful. The ideal scenario is one in which your consumers are proud to show off your product to their friends and followers -- particularly because word of mouth marketing creates five times more sales than paid media.
What’s more, 30 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended to them by a blogger or social media influencer. Top marketing and public relations agencies can work with your design team to create a grassroots advertising campaign that promotes your product on social media for pennies on the dollar, making your ROI for a stunning package design even better.
The best packaging agencies know to work side-by-side with branding experts to develop packaging that is a direct reflection of the brand as a whole. This subconsciously tells consumers that a particular item belongs to a brand they know and trust, increasing the likelihood that they will purchase it
In fact, a signature color can increase brand recognition by 80 percent, and a brand that is presented consistently can see up to 23 percent more revenue. Therefore, the right colors, fonts, imagery and overall package design aesthetic inform how successful a product launch will be.
Protect The Product
Although packaging should be beautiful and reflect the brand, top agencies also know that the main reason packaging exists in the first place is to protect the product. Therefore, package design experts should be sourcing material that is cost effective and sturdy enough to get your item from point A to point B.
For example, e-commerce store merchandise or fragile products made of glass or ceramics will need a more robust package design that hardware store items from a brand that caters to brick-and-mortar distributors. If a product arrives to a consumer damaged, it will foster a negative connotation about the brand as a whole and lessen the likelihood that said customer will complete additional purchases.
Questions to Ask A Packaging & Graphic Design Agency Before You Hire Them
Top graphic and package design agencies have teams filled with leading design, branding and marketing experts to help clients find success. However, it’s important that you feel confident in the specific team working with your brand. Ask the following questions to gain confidence in every candidate. Plus, don’t be afraid to request specific creatives or managers from the agency -- you are paying for results and deserve the team you believe can deliver.
- Who will be working on our project and what is their experience?
- How dedicated will they be to our project?
- What role will they fulfill throughout this project?
- What successful projects have they worked on and what was their role?
- How long have they been with the agency?
Packaging design is a complex form of design, as it utilizes manufacturing, graphic design and logistical decisions. Therefore, you shouldn’t just choose any graphic design team to handle your project -- pick the packaging firm that is familiar with your industry and has an organized creative process that can track each step of creation.
- How will you determine the timeline for the project? How do you plan to keep it on track?
- What is the creative process?
- How will you integrate the creative process with the logistics?
- How do you find packaging materials that are on-brand, functional and cost-effective?
- What criteria do you use to determine that a material meets these marks?
- Will the design process involve any other departments, such as branding or marketing? In what capacity?
Reputable design agencies have a robust portfolio filled with various clients and projects that will showcase their design and problem-solving skills. Before you contact an agency, research some of their prior work to understand their history and aesthetic, then ask the agency specific questions about those projects and the outcomes.
- Have you designed packaging before?
- Are you familiar with our product or industry? How did your agency get that experience?
- Tell us about some of your favorite packaging projects? What did you learn, what went well, and what was the result?
- What business or marketing problems have some of your projects solved? What were the results of your work?
A top packaging agency’s portfolio will demonstrate their work well -- but real client reviews will speak volumes. As you search for the best design firm to package and market your latest product, make sure that their clients are happy with the actual results of a product package design.
- Tell us about some successful product package designs? What aspects of the process made it lucrative?
- Have you worked on any unsuccessful campaigns? What did you learn throughout that process and how have you implemented necessary changes to avoid that outcome(s) in subsequent projects?
- Who are some clients you have worked with? Do you have any repeat or regular clients?
- Would any of your clients be willing to speak to us about their experience with your agency?
The best package design agency to promote your product may cost you -- but make sure you understand exactly who and what you are paying for. Is it a flat fee per project, or are you billed by the hour? Do you have a cap on meetings, drafts, or packaging prototypes? As the following questions to understand everything that your dollar is paying for and what might cost you extra.
- Are we charged per project or per hour?
- What team members are we paying for?
- Is the number of meetings, calls, drafts, and prototypes capped?
- Does your fee include the cost of the packaging itself?
- Can you help us find manufacturers or wholesalers for the packaging materials if needed?
How To Choose The Best Packaging Design Agency For Your Business Needs
Package designs aim to reach marketing objectives and should be treated with the same organization and strict timelines that any business initiative would be. It is in your brand’s best interests to find a top package company with a strict process, a detailed timeline, and dedicated project manager in place. An outlined course of action will keep your project on track and ensure you meet your deadlines.
Pro Tip: Confirm how many meetings, calls, drafts and prototypes you can expect as a client, and name a point of contact for both the client and agency side. Ironing these details out will ensure each company has the same expectations and ultimately create a positive working environment.
Although a low upfront cost can be tempting, think through possible returns on investment and long-term goals before you sign with any design agency. Many times, a higher initial price will result is vastly better revenue long-term. Learn exactly what your money is paying for and what their guaranteed and projected results will be.
Plus, the packaging itself comes with its own cost. Certain materials -- wholesale or not -- can be quite costly. Heavier materials may look beautiful, but be expensive to ship from e-commerce stores. Package design, in particular, comes with more variable costs associated, so take care to get the whole picture -- not just what an agency will provide short-term.
Goals & Results
Top package design agencies have access to the top programs that enable them to set concrete, achievable goals and track whether or not the end product is producing results.
Take the time to find the agency that is well-equipped to actually set these goals. Find out what programs that use, metrics that measure in, and even what a successful result would be for your specific project. Then, make certain you understand the terms they speak in and agree with the objectives. The right agency for your brand will work with you to find packaging that fits your budget and a design that achieves your marketing goals.
It’s important to find a great design firm that has experience in your industry or type of product. Do your own research to find out about the previous projects an agency has worked on. Then, ask the agencies about them, and encourage them to discuss successes, failures, and what they learned from difficult projects.
In addition, the team that is working on your project is just as important as the overall agency you choose to partner with. The top packaging agencies attract to talent, but be sure to inquire about their personal experience and the role they will have on your project. This will make you confident in handing the keys to your product over to an outsourced team.
The best packaging companies have top experts on hand to determine the exact audience and design with them in mind. As you search for the perfect professional partner to market your brand, determine if they have the expertise to identify your consumers and target them through design.
Achieving this balance requires a mixture of creativity and business acumen. Ask agencies how the conduct market research, what platforms or processes they utilize to reach business goals through packaging, and how they think through ergonomics-- the way in which consumers open and interact with packaging.
Top Value Propositions & Differentiating Factors Of The Best Package Design Companies
As an element of branding, package design is central to the way consumers perceive a product. We’re always told not to judge a book by its cover but when we’re in the store buying products, that is usually precisely what we do. Product packaging has the power to make or break a purchase for a consumer. Bold and interesting packaging designs make consumers take notice, while boring or unappealing ones will cause a product to go ignored.
It’s vital then, that when launching a new brand, product, or product line, sufficient attention is paid to package design. The right package designer will help define the visual identity of the product and make your brand more visible in the marketplace. If you don’t have a dedicated graphic design team with packaging experience in-house, you’ll need to partner with an agency. To distinguish the best package design companies from the competition, be on the lookout for the following key differentiators.
Top Packaging Design Companies Invest In Relationships
The success of any business in the client services sector hinges, ultimately, on the ability to build and maintain relationships. Maintaining good relationships with clients is a chief concern among top agencies. Some lesser competitors may be content to churn and burn through clients, taking them for everything they can and then moving on to the next one if and when they fail to deliver. Not so at top agencies. The best package design companies value their relationships with clients, which means they always strive to exceed expectations. You can count on them to be open, honest, and communicative.
The Los Angeles design agency La Visual sums it up well on their website: “We believe in taking care of our clients, our people and our community. It’s all love. The love of branding and design. Of our work. Of Los Angeles.”
Leading Package Design Companies Are Bold
There’s an old saying that “fortune favors the bold”, and it could not be more applicable to the field of design. Particularly when it comes to package design, being bold and taking risks can reap major rewards. In your search for a package design firm, look for an agency that’s committed to pushing boundaries to go beyond what’s expected. In their portfolio, you should expect to see custom designs that make a distinct impression. Look for packaging that’s disruptive and imaginative. Even if you’re planning to be more traditional in the packaging approach for your own brand, you should aim to partner with an agency that employs packaging designers who are capable of doing innovative work.
The Best Package Design Companies Take A Holistic Approach
Packaging does not exist in a vacuum. It’s only one element of brand identity, and it must exist harmoniously within the broader context of that identity. Most design companies offer package design as part of a larger suite of services, and they’ll usually be able to handle all the components of brand identity, including naming, logo, and brand standards. Even if your company already has some or all of these elements in place, you should search for a package design company that’s able to take a holistic view of your branding. They should be able to work comfortably with existing assets in order to create packaging that jives with your brand’s identity.
Effective Package Design Companies Are Guided By Process
Never underestimate the power of a clear and consistent design process to produce quality results. A process is what ensures that everyone on the team understands their responsibilities and delivers to specification. It’s what ensures both client and agency representatives know what to expect from each other at every project touchpoint. A top packaging design agency will know that the best way to guarantee an exceptional end product is to stick to an established process that keeps all parties accountable.
Top design firm Pulp and Wire emphasizes the benefit of being process-driven on their website, saying: “From start-ups to established enterprises, our holistic branding & marketing process finds the focus that builds enduring brands.”
Expert Package Design Companies Do Their Research
Design is an art form, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for science in it. On the contrary, the proper foundational research is essential to effective design. The best designers rely on research to inform their approach to any given project. Package design research will entail surveying the client to get an idea of the company’s sensibilities, goals, design preferences, and overall mission or guiding philosophy. The research will also take the form of consumer surveys and focus groups, competitive product packaging analysis, and market analysis.
Service Offerings Of Top Packaging Design Companies
Most package design companies are able to handle a number of different design needs, from brand identity to user experience design. At top agencies you can expect to find many of the following services on offer:
- Naming - Naming is one of the most fundamental elements of branding. Naming strategies may be done for brand new businesses or those looking to pivot in a new direction.
- Logo Design - Custom logo design, including a brand brief, logo concepts, and multiple iterations leading to the selection of the final design.
- Brand Identity - A full set of assets and standards, including logo, typography, color palettes, core messaging, and packaging if applicable.
- Corporate Identity - Logo and brand assets for corporate clients, including business cards, letterhead, and assorted print materials.
- Package Design - Custom package design for a single product or line of products. Including research, cost analysis, packaging material selection, mockups, and production.
- Web Design - Many package design teams exist within broader design companies that can also handle web design and development needs. Bringing web under the same roof as branding can be a good way to streamline projects and reduce the need to onboard separate teams.
- Print Design - Print may be less dominant now than it once was, but it will never fade away completely. Many brands still have need of print design services and most graphic design agencies are able to accommodate print needs of all shapes and sizes.
How The Best Package Design Firms Market Themselves
Many package design companies seek to define themselves as industry leaders by submitting their work in design competitions. Winning a prestigious design award puts a spotlight on their brand and helps cement their reputation as a leading agency. Awards also signal to prospective clients that an agency is trusted and respected in the field.
Because design firms are so visual by nature, they are likely to use social media marketing to promote their work and aesthetic. Content marketing is also key and many design companies publish materials that promote the firm’s leadership as industry tastemakers. Testimonials, client references, and case studies are also central to the marketing of a packaging design company. Top agencies are proud to feature examples of their work prominently on their websites.
Package design is a critical element of branding. When designed effectively, packaging will help a product get noticed even in the most crowded of marketplaces. If your company is looking for a package design agency to take on your next product launch, these are the differentiating factors to be on the lookout for:
- Investment in relationships - Does the agency emphasize their desire to forge a lasting, mutually beneficial relationship with their clients? Do they present themselves as open and honest communicators?
- Bold vision - Is the design firm comfortable making bold choices and taking risks if the project calls for it? Does their past work indicate an innovative approach to packaging design? Has the firm won any design awards recognizing their work (eg; dieline awards)?
- Holistic approach - Is the firm able to handle multiple aspects of your company’s branding needs? If you already have branding elements in place, can the firm work confidently and effectively within existing parameters?
- Process-oriented - Is there a clear process in place that dictates the progress of the agency’s projects? How is this process communicated, and how are teams kept attuned and aligned to project goals and timelines?
- Research-driven - Is the design process built on a foundation of research? What kinds of research will the agency undertake before beginning design and how will they use their findings to inform their work?
Top Qualities Of The Best Package Design Companies
The best packaging design companies are able to take your brand’s vision for your products and represent that vision through packaging. Packaging is a hugely important element of your brand’s overall design. It must be aligned with brand values and company mission, and be easily identifiable on the shelf. The agency you ultimately choose to work with should make the effort to understand what makes your brand unique, and what you hope to communicate via the packaging of your products. They should clearly explain how these values and objectives will impact the final design.
Before you begin working with an agency, you should be told what to expect in terms of a timeline for completion of work, and be given an understanding of the agency’s process and approach to your project. The best packaging design agencies will incorporate time for feedback on at every stage of the design process so that the end product is one that you’re completely comfortable with and no time is wasted pursuing an approach that doesn’t align to your vision. Agencies should maintain responsibility for timelines and guarantee delivery dates barring delays from the client side.
The world is your oyster when it comes to package design. Whether you’re looking for something classic or totally groundbreaking, your agency should bring their best minds to the table to create a solution that works for your brand. The end result should feel fresh and have a unique appeal that will make it distinct from the competition. Be sure to assess the agency’s portfolio to get a better sense of what they’ve been able to do for other clients. Ask them to detail ways they’ve solved problems for their clients and look for examples where they were able to bring an innovative approach to their work.
Your product is unique, and your packaging should be too. Look for an agency that will develop a customized approach to your project. Top packaging design companies will spend time getting to know your brand and developing solutions that are specific to you. Though at the end of the day there will be some similarities between the packaging of your product and your competitor’s (nearly all drinks get packaged in bottles or cartons, for example) there are still a lot of ways to develop unique elements. Talented designers will be able to offer a creative take on existing baselines in order to craft something that is completely unique to your product and brand.
Nothing could be more important in selecting the right packaging design company than taking a long hard look at their portfolio. The portfolio is the best indicator of the quality of work the agency is capable of. The best package design companies will be happy to share examples of past work with you before you agree to a contract. Look for examples that reflect the skills that are necessary for your project and don’t be afraid to ask questions about why a specific approach was taken or what the outcome of the redesign was.