How to Create a Branded product Packaging

How to Create a Branded product Packaging

Today’s consumers place a high value on the look and design of your product’s packaging: 72% said it often influences their purchasing decisions

And if you’re in the B2B space, consider that 60-80% of satisfied customers don’t go back to the same company for repeat purchases. Why? According to Forbes writer Larry Myler, it’s often due to a lack of connection. To be blunt, there was nothing special about your product that kept them loyal. 

In both of these scenarios, branded packaging can help tell your story and provide a differentiator to help your customers remember you. In this blog, I’ll help walk you through the benefits of branded packaging and give you some examples of how you can make it work for your business.

Pick Your Packaging: A Little Or A Lot 

Branded packaging can be as simple as printing a logo on a box, or as complex as customizing the entire unboxing experience. 

What’s right for your business? There are multiple factors at work. If you’re considering branded packaging, think about the following:

  • Cost. Yes, I said it. Cost is a factor - but it might not be as expensive as you think. Remember that the more pieces you order, the less expensive each piece will be. And your current vendor may even be able to help you create your packaging design.

    As you evaluate the costs of printed packaging, remember to think about the overall total value your vendor is providing. Do they help you design, print, order, and ship your packaging? Paying more for a vendor who can do it all might outweigh a cheaper option that requires you to do it yourself.
  • Product Protection. Packaging should look good, but not at the expense of keeping your product safe. If you have a specific packaging that fits your product, it’s best to keep it as-is and create the design from there, rather than try something completely new and end up with ruined product (and wasted money and unhappy customers).
  • Customer Base. As I mentioned above, the packaging of a B2B product will likely be different than a B2C product. B2B products, especially commodities, may benefit simply from having your logo printed on the outside to keep your brand top-of-mind and stand out from plain boxes.

    Many B2C products, on the other hand, benefit from having a unique look and feel on the shelf or doorstep. (Just consider the popularity of unboxing videos). Creating an experience for your product - especially if it’s higher-end - is key. 
    Custom box featuring branded design.

What Do Consumers Say About Product Packaging Design?

At this point, you’re probably wondering, “OK, but does packaging design really make a difference?” Here are a few stats to consider: 

  • 71% of consumers say they’re more likely to buy a product in paper or cardboard packaging, not plastic or other materials (and paper and cardboard are easy to print on and customize). 
  • 25% of premium shoppers would be more likely to purchase again from a brand that used gift-like packaging.
  • 52% of online customers would continue purchasing from the same company if they receive their orders in premium packaging.  

The bottom line is, packaging does make a difference for your product and sales. In the next section, I’ll go over a few key points to keep in mind as you think about what your packaging should look like.

Check out some custom box design ideas here >>

What Should My Product Packaging Look Like?

Tell a story with your product packaging. Just think of that light blue Tiffany box, the shape of a Coca-Cola bottle, or even how a McDonald's Happy Meal box is made. The packaging of these products is part of the experience and leaves an impression on the consumer.

No matter what your product is, keep the following concepts in mind: 

  • Less is more. Well-designed packaging is purposeful and leaves some white space around the elements. If you want to include more complex images or text, for example, make that the focal point and reduce the rest of the clutter around it.
  • Keep it focused. Many companies make the mistake of trying to do too much with their design, and it ends up not making sense for their brand. Think about your existing logo, colors, and company story and make sure the design makes sense with those. And speaking of branding…
  • Stick to a color palette. If you already have a brand identity, packaging design is a great place to stay consistent. Don’t have brand elements like standardized colors or fonts? Work with a designer to help you choose some and stick to them. 
  • Think about ways to surprise and delight customers. The outside of the package is just one place to add customization. Printing on the underside of the flap, adding matching inserts, and wrapping the product in customized paper are all ways to enhance the unboxing experience for your customer and make your product stand out.
    Designer explores different branded packaging.

Should I Get Help Designing My Product Packaging?

Unless you’re a professional designer yourself or have one in-house, I would strongly advise against the DIY route for your product packaging.

For one, you’ll probably quickly find that the idea you have in mind doesn’t translate to your product packaging itself. You’ll also need to provide certain files to the printer or vendor, which can be a nightmare if you aren’t well-versed in graphic design. Finally, you’ll probably spend much more time and effort trying to get it right rather than having a pro do it for you. 

That’s not to say you can’t have ideas in mind for what everything should look like. When you find a designer you want to work with, you can discuss your vision together and they’ll bring it to life. 

Once your design is in hand, you can go to your packaging vendor and work on translating it to your pieces. 

Custom Packaging Design From M-Line

If you’re reading carefully, you probably noticed that getting a packaging design created can be a two-step process: Finding a designer and creating the look, and then going to the packaging vendor to get it all created. If it sounds like a lot of hassle, that’s because it can be. 

At M-Line, we can take your packaging from design to prototype to reality. We’ve been in business for more than 30 years, so we can answer all of your questions and help you make the most of your packaging.

Learn more about our custom packaging design services and check out a few of the design ideas we've created over the years. 

Learn More About Custom Packaging Design

This blog was originally published on Oct. 29, 2020. It was updated on May 9, 2022.