Unique packaging is one of the most important aspects of any product’s design. Some might think of packaging as a minor detail that they can sort out at a later time, but the truth is your product’s packaging is the first impression it’ll make on any potential customer. In today’s saturated markets, this ‘first impression factor’ can make or break a brand. Consumers are always more likely to make a purchase with a unique product packaging idea that catches their eye and stands out from the crowd, hence the undisputable importance of packaging and presentation.
The following are eight unique packaging ideas to design stand-out products:
1. Try Wood
Modern manufacturing techniques have given rise to a variety of new unique packaging ideas and materials. The use of plastic and cardboard in packaging is commonplace today, but would rarely have been seen on a store shelf 70 years ago. At that time, customers were greeted by an assortment of hearty wooden crates and barrels. Incorporating wood into your packaging today can invoke a variety of feelings for your brand, from a rough-hewn durability to a refined elegance. While higher quality packaging will bring higher costs, it will present your brand in a premium light.
2. Let the Product Speak for Itself
Your product is unique, exciting, and intriguing. Surely, any savvy consumer couldn’t go without it, but how would they know that from no more than a picture and description? The most effective way to show off your unique packaging ideas is to package the product so the consumer can actually see it. Try packaging with openings or windows that will allow the customer to get a peek at it. If your product doesn’t have to be sealed, leaving gaps in the packaging can both give potential customers a sneak peak while also reducing your packaging costs.
3. Go Green
Today’s consumers are as environmentally conscious as they are economical. The option of replacing existing packaging with biodegradable or recycled material should always be taken. This makes your company more sustainable, which can be a big hit with your customers. Some unique packaging ideas can be specifically branded in a way that advertises the environmentally friendly materials that have been used as well. A variety of materials can be used in eco-packaging, from simple paper to more advanced biodegradable fibre products.
4. Do Something Unexpected
Many companies stand out by taking a familiar packaging paradigm, like a glass bottle or cardboard box and mixing it up a bit. Taking a familiar packaging shape and switching out the material for something else can give your product a distinct and refreshing look. This is a common practice in the beverage industry. Coca-Cola offers some of its classic products in bottles made from aluminum, instead of glass. To this point, some drinks in the beverage industry can also be found in paper bottles, constructed with thick, cardboard-like paper.
5. Give Your Packaging a Second Use
During the Great Depression, it was commonplace for people to get as much use as they could out of everything they bought. As an example, mothers would often use the cloth from flour sacks to make clothes for their children. When the manufacturers caught wind of this, they started producing sacks with flower-printed cloth. Consumers today also greatly enjoy making the most of anything they can. Try incorporating this philosophy into your packaging design. With useful packaging, you’re selling two products for the price of one.
6. Own It
A lot of brands you’ve never heard of suffer from the same problem – a severe lack of identity. A product’s packaging needs to reflect what the product is and what it’s all about. Make sure your packaging can communicate to the consumer what it is that your company is here to do. Unique packaging ideas should be distinct and easily identifiable. This helps develop a strong association between your packaging and your brand. Consumers who have a strong mental image of your product’s unique packaging will be more likely to seek out and notice that product in stores.
7. Don’t Forget Why We’re Here
A common complaint about packaging is the amount of air one receives in a bag of chips. It’s easy to look at this and think you’re somehow being cheated out of more chips. This train of thought neglects to take into account the actual function of the packaging however. The bags are filled with air to cushion the chips and stop them from breaking. In package design, it’s important to remember that the function of your packaging should be informed by its form, not the other way around. Always take time to consider what it is that your packaging is trying to achieve.
Incorporating a wide variety of graphic designs into your packaging can help broaden your appeal. If it’s technically feasible to offer several unique packaging designs for the same product, you really should. If you have multiple units printing the same packaging, you can choose to have one print a different design. If you only have a single dedicated machine, you may consider printing different designs in batches. While this option might require a bit of technical work on your part, it can give your brand a distinctive flair that will bring joy to your customers.