The Psychology Behind Successful Packaging Design
While it'd be great to think that all products sold because of their quality and that consumers made their decision, based on the actual product. This just isn't true. If we leave behind the quality of the product, the next big thing in the decision of consumers is the packaging. Sometimes the flashier and prettier packaging makes the decision instead. This means that for retailers and product manufacturers they have to create terrific products with eye-catching packaging! Only then can you be sure your product will sell better than ever! But how do you make attractive packaging? Let's take a look at 'The Psychology Behind Successful Packaging'.
What's Needed For Successful Packaging?
When it comes to product packaging, messaging is just as important as imagry and design. Messaging on the product is essential for two things! Firstly, you need to let the consumer know what the product is, there's no point in them buying your product if they can't idenitfy what it is you're actually selling. Second, it helps your consumer to identify you as a brand, how can you make a name for yourself as having great products if noone actually knows who makes the product?
While you can get creative with the typography and messaging you display on your packaging, it should always be clear and readable for the consumer. Your packaging should answer two questions without even being picked up:
- What is it?
- Who makes it?
Things like ingredients, nutritional value and possible contact details of the manufacturer do not need to follow these rules. They can be small and hidden on the backside of your packaging.
Not only does the messaging communicate the product with the consumer but the shape and general design of the packaging does as well. Products that are supplied in slimmer more efficiernt looking packaging designs usually imply that the product being sold is also slimmer and generally healthier for you. Products that are sold in more rounded packaging are usually consider to be feminine in nature, while bolder, sharper packaging indicates a more masculine consumer.
A great example of this is "OFF!" - Mainly sold in america, OFF is known for it's line of bug repelent and generally doesn't aim it's products at any particualr gender or person. But when they produced a portable repellent that clipped to the users pants for on the go protection, they decided to produce two different packages and market them seperatley to men and women. Using a bolder square shape for the "mens" product and a more curvy and rounder shape for the "womens" product.
One of the most studied elements of marketing and packaging is colour. Everything has colour, whether it's a bright yellow or a neutral grey, psychologists have actually looked at the effects colour has on the human brain and how it makes you feel or think. The colour of packaging (or anything for that matter) evokes an automatic emotional responce from the consumers brain. Here's a look at each colour and the emotional responce it evokes from the brain:
- Red -Energetic, Passionate, Visceral
- Purple -Sophisticated, Mysterious
- Blue -Dependable, Trustworthy
- Light Greens -Serenity, Calmness
- Darker Greens -Wealth, Affluence
- White -Clean, Soft
- Yellow -Happiness, Positivity, Creativity
- Orange -Fun, Energy, Excitement
- Brown -Strength, Earth, Durability
- Black -Presitge, Class, Sophistication
Colours are also known to have "hot" & "cold" feelings. Colours like, red, yellow, orange and black are considered to be hot colours and usually associated with excitement and energy. While blue, purple and white are considered to be cold colours and usualy mean calmness and security.
While we are going crazy and trying to make our packaging stand out using bold colours, designs and typography, it still has to be practical! The packaging still has to fulfill it's purpose of carrying the goods within. People need to be able to transport the item and packaging easily, store it and in cases throw it away without it becoming a huge inconvenience. It should be attractive but functional.
Companies are now also having to take environemtal factors into account when packaging their product. Not only does the packaging now have to be attractive and practical, but it's environemtnal impact must be as low as possible. A survey in 2015 performed by GfK found that "two thirds of American consumers agreed that brands must be environmentally responible." So while your packaging might be the best the world has seen, if it's bulky and overly wasteful it could end up costing you more in the long run.