Just about any consumer product marketing veteran will tell you that stand-out product packaging is key to your success. But if you’re a small business just launching a new product or redesigning existing labeling, how can you compete with more established brands?
This is no easy task. U.S. supermarkets alone carried about 42,000 products, on average, in 2014, according to the Food Marketing Institute. But, with a little creativity and ingenuity, your products can still shine in a sea of merchandise.
Here are 7 ways to help you win over consumers with your next new product label:
1. Choose Your Name Wisely
Your next great product might either have the same name as your company or an entirely new brand name. Regardless of which direction you go in, it’s important to make sure your name gets customers talking and then buying your product.
Ali Looney, art director at Boston Beer Company, says that a name should reflect the character of the company and convey a powerful message to the consumer. Boston Beer Co., brewer of Samuel Adams beers as well as Twisted Tea and Angry Orchard hard cider, frequently mentors entrepreneurs on branding and labeling issues.
2. Express your values clearly
Having a clear message that communicates your values is essential. Your label is the first thing customers will see, so it should succinctly state key information about your brand, as well as your company values. As an example, take this bar saves lives. The packaging for these all-natural snack bars is simplistic and consumers can’t help but immediately understand the company’s message: When you buy a bar, the company donates a pack of life-saving food to a child in need.
3. Be Different
Before determining packaging design, know your key market and figure out a way to relate to your customers. Maybe this means playing up that one thing that makes you stand apart and highlighting this on your label. It could also mean creating a design that conveys an emotional message. Certainly this bar saves lives delivers on this while still expressing its values clearly.
4. Show Your True Colors
Looney suggests selecting label colors that both blend in with your product category while setting you apart. U by Kotex is a great example as the most prominent packaging is black with bold colors. The edgy colors appeal to fashion-forward girls ages 18-25 – creating a buzz in the usually staid feminine protection market.
5. What’s Your Type?
Typography can help your label jump out and accurately reflect your brand identity. Check out Barcelona Beer. The innovative type style on the bottle is intended to convey a sense of whimsy and creativity. It may also conjure up images of the city of Barcelona but more importantly, you won’t walk away without noticing this innovative typography.
6. First Things First
There’s a lot you can say on a label, but it’s important not to get carried away. Instead, use your words judiciously and make sure you convey the key message in the most prominent place. If you have room in your packaging design, you can then add in more information.
7. Take a Step Back. Or Two. Or Five.
When you have come up with a few great design options, put them all up on a wall or shelf. Then step back about five feet and see what stands out to you in terms of the color, name and typography. Take a couple steps closer and see which of the messages are most compelling. Take another step closer – as if you are right in front of a product in a store aisle – and determine if you would pick up your product and buy it.
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