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10 Ways Poor Packaging Design can Hurt Your Brand

10 Ways Poor Packaging Design can Hurt Your Brand

Surprisingly, a lot of brands and manufacturers pay little attention to product packaging. But packaging design is more than just choosing the appropriately-sized packet and printing label stickers.

Some may pay attention to the small details, such as the design. Still, many fail to realise that packaging's every aspect can significantly affect their bottom line.

That's because it can say a lot about how you run your business. The same thing goes with how you would like to establish customer relationships.

Yet, many wonder why they have a handful of customer issues.

What some business owners do not realise is that insufficient packaging can also hurt their brand. This includes misleading customers and damaged goods.

In this post, we will walk you through some of the reasons why poor packaging design can affect your business in the long run:

1 – First impressions count

Juicebaby Packaging Design

First impressions do count, and that applies to product packaging.

If you want your product to stand out from the rest of the pack, your packaging design should align with your branding. 

Capture your brand essence, and try to incorporate it in your packaging. Doing so can help customers associate a product with your business.

If you stick with a lacklustre or generic design, your packaging has no chance of standing out since it does not draw any attention. 

No matter what kind of products you are selling, attracting prospective buyers is essential. If you come up with an uninspired design, this can look inferior to other products. 

While you should consider your business, you should also ensure a cost-effective design. And by that, we mean an aligned packaging design that will make your product stand out when placed on the shelf. 

Having an inspiring design will change the way your prospective customers see your product. 

2 – Cost of a bad reputation

Refunds, product returns, and loss of sales are the bi-product of a lousy business reputation. And this can be due to inadequate packaging design.

This is especially true for luxury products. That's because your customers tend to have higher expectations for luxury packaging. After all, they have paid premium prices. 

As Refine Packaging would put it, flimsy or poor packaging can deter your customers from making repeat purchases.

Do not expect them to recommend you to other people either. High-quality and attractive packaging is expected.

If your business belongs in a competitive industry, such as food, your packaging can be the last nudge a customer needs to pick your product. Hence, it would be best to consider your customer's expectations regarding product quality, packaging design, and branding.

3 – Damage to the product

Creative Packaging Design

People often forget that one of the primary goals of packaging is to protect and secure the product during shipping. 

When you skimp on the packaging's quality, you would be paying a lot in the long run because of product damages. 

So, make sure that your primary and secondary packaging is enough. If you deliver your product in poor condition, it will waste time, money, and resources. That's because they are likely to return the product and ask for a refund.

This also puts you in a position where you could lose the entire production run just because of a single error. Therefore, this is not something that you should take lightly. 

4 – Poor customer leads

Limited time and overloaded with choices do not give people enough time to go through every product detail. And this can hamper their purchasing decision. 

This is where packaging design plays a role in attracting prospective customers. That's because people judge the product based on its packaging. 

This means that you might have the best quality products out there. But if your product packaging is lacking, you might not be attracting customers because of low-quality packaging. 

5 – Market segment mismatch

A mismatch between your target audience and what your packaging says can hurt your product's overall market performance. 

To be successful, you should align your packaging with what your target market expects. Let's say you are packaging products for a much younger demographic. You are more likely to use brighter colours to attract them. 

Meanwhile, if you have high-end, luxury products, then using classing colours like black or navy can help represent your brand better. However, make sure that it is in line with your brand colour. 

6 – Perceived low product quality

Whiskey Brand Packaging

You should also portray your product's integrity, quality, and legitimacy in the packaging's overall quality. 

One of the best ways to explain this is to make a person think that the product is high-quality and buy it from a retail store. 

If it is being sold in a plain paper bag, this can also affect their confidence in buying the product, especially if it is something they have never used before. 

If they have to question this, then they might look for other alternatives. Meanwhile, if you have attractive product packaging, then this could come off as rather appealing. 

It communicates its value to prospective buyers and can sell more often. 

7 – Drop on sales

You need to know your customers' expectations about packaging design. 

In a highly competitive industry, your product packaging can significantly impact whether your customers will buy it. 

8 – Production and shipping costs

Samsung Ecofriendly Packaging

Your product packaging choices can ultimately affect production, as well as shipping costs. So, make sure that you design your packaging with shipping in mind. 

Packaging can affect your bottom line in the form of returns. A well-packed order will arrive at your customers in pristine condition. 

However, if packed poorly, it likely will not survive the delivery process, leading to damaged goods and lots of unsatisfied customers. 

A poorly packaged item might take up unnecessary space or might need shock protection as well, costing you more in the shipping process. 

Related:  Brand Authenticity: How to Build Trust with Customers

That's why you must understand your options. Doing so allows you to have an informed decision and make the best choices for your business. 

Look up cost-effective possibilities without having to sacrifice the quality of your products. If you overspend on the packaging, it will likely eat up your margins, which can unnecessarily drive the price up.

9 – Expensive and time-consuming

If you settle with a too-big box for your products, it can be expensive and waste resources.

For one, you need to add fillers. Second, large packages mean costly shipping fees. And it can turn your customers off.

You must ensure that you are choosing boxes that are almost close enough to your product's size. That way, it leaves a tiny void to pack the item right. 

You might also consider investing in multi-depth products which cater to products of multiple sizes. It can also fold downwards to decrease the volume. 

Corrugated boxes can save you much money. It will also create a better impression with your customers. That's because people are subconsciously judging how your product is packed. 

If many voids need to be filled, or there is too much-wasted space on it, they might say that you do not care. That's why how you present your product to your customers is essential. 

10 – Returns are inevitable

One of the inevitable parts of online selling returns. So, do not package your products in ways that do not facilitate easy returns. 

For instance, shipping envelopes that had to be torn open and cannot be re-used are considered waste. They can also provide unnecessary steps that your customers have to go through. 

Instead, choose envelopes or shipping bags that are designed for easy opening. It should also include a sealable flap for any goods that need to be returned and the same packaging design. 

If you can provide your customers with a seamless experience, you will earn their loyalty and boost your sales. This allows you to make up for any losses that you might incur here and there. 

5 Best Packaging Design Tips for Your Customer Orders

Are you developing packaging techniques that your e-commerce store will use? 

If you take your time to research and design suitable packaging, you can ensure that every item shipped will be in excellent condition. 

Here are some pretty handy tips on how you can adequately pack your order. Hopefully, you will find it helpful as you start your packaging operations: 

1 – Pick a suitable container

Custom Packaging Design Ideas

When choosing the proper packaging for your e-commerce products, an essential thing that you need to do is pick the correct container. 

Ideally, both your internal and external packaging should fit tightly as possible to keep the product secure. 

A tight fit will ensure that the product will not be moving around the packing and risk getting damaged. Also, the smaller the box or parcel you will use, the cheaper it is to be shipped out. 

Moreover, a great fitting container will usually eliminate filling the void using a bubble or foam. The right packaging size decreases the gap used to fill the package and reduces your total material costs.

2 – Keep sustainability in mind

We also recommend that you use sustainable materials for your packaging design.

Let's say that you want to place a protective layer between various products inside the package. You can stick with growth paper, which usually contains two layers of paper with flowers and plant seeds in between.

Once they are done unpacking, your customers can then use the wrapping paper to grow plants. 

3 – Make a lasting impression

Transparent Packaging Design Trends

Your e-commerce packaging often provides you with ways that you can interact with your customers. 

As an eCommerce business, you usually lack that opportunity to impress your customers with impressive displays or face-to-face product demos. 

Your best bet is only to use photos and videos to drive traffic up until their order arrives. So, once it does, you should impress them during the unboxing process. This is what makes your packaging design important. 

So, make sure that you are strategic about the materials you are using. The same thing goes for your labelling and anything else you might want to include in the design. 

There are endless possibilities for customisation. So take advantage of custom boxes and create stunning logos or attractive texts when your customers open the lid. 

Be creative with your packaging design, along with the effort that you put into it!

Every single detail that is on the packaging can make a significant impact, especially for first-time customers.

Many online customers are more likely to make repeat purchases on a business that has custom packaging designs on its products. 

4 – Place handwritten notes

Although placing handwritten notes might be tricky, every new business out there is fighting to get every customer. 

Making personal connections with your customers through a handwritten Thank You card can make a significant difference. 

Having a creative packaging design shows that real people are behind your brand and that you genuinely care about them. 

5 – Make your packaging return-friendly

Packaging Design Trends 2021 2022

E-commerce businesses deal with returns regularly. That's because it is often inevitable, especially if your customers could not touch or try on the product before they make a purchase. 

This is especially true if you sell clothing or accessories, often associated with standard sizing or fit. 

That's why opting for return-friendly packaging lets you save money in the long run and makes the entire process a lot easier with your customer. 

Chances are, a customer returning your product already has a bad experience with your brand. This makes it easy for them to mail back the packaging and get another alternative or option. 

Over to You

By now, we hope that you realise that product packaging is more than just protecting the items you are selling. 

You can also use it to provide excellent customer service, educate your buyers, improve your sales, and many more. 

It is also an excellent way to let customers know your values. For instance, using sustainable packaging design reiterates your social responsibility in protecting the environment.

Additionally, clean and attractive packaging builds your own brand and reputation. 

If you have a reputation for quality, you can increase your bottom line, and customers will also be more loyal to your brand.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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