The Evolution of Packaging Stickers: From Function to Fashion
Marketing and advertising are an ever-changing landscape of customer and industry attention grabbers. Designed to sell and create unforgettable memories of products and services, advertising uses numerous forms to achieve its goals. One more important and noticeable advertising method is to design packaging as more than just a cardboard box or paper bag.
By creating images that work both for a business’ artistic designs and as a means to introduce products and services to the general public, companies can tackle multiple needs with their graphics department. Packaging stickers, which help inform customers and decorate product boxes and bags, have developed a vital creative space for art and advertising to coincide.
What is Product Packaging?
Product packaging and, more importantly, the art and design of the packaging have helped to both organize and categorize the products we see on shelves, in advertisements, and on the internet. Product packaging also helps to generate interest in a product and ultimately helps the process of selling the item(s) too.
Product packaging is also responsible for helping to explain more about the product in a consumer’s hand. Vital information about its contents, its intended usage, and the company producing it can all be printed on a label that becomes part of the product’s packaging.
Importance of Product Packaging
With the packaging, consumers could decide what to buy and how to identify the brands or products they are looking for or want to continue supporting. After all, successful advertising is getting the general public to recognize a brand’s label or its primary company colors.
Product packaging can quickly convey to consumers not only what a product is or from which company it came but also the emotional or personal connection a consumer can develop with a company, product, or service. For instance, if someone mentions the golden arches, emotions, and customer reactions can be garnered without uttering another word.
Types of Product Packaging
Packaging can come in all shapes and sizes, with a bevy of different designs and colors adorning the other mediums. Some mass-produced packaging is more about clearly labeling what’s in the box, can, envelope, bottle, etc.
Other packaging can be much more individual and hand-crafted. Small businesses will often spend more time creating and designing their packaging, as it’s essential to label the product to introduce the company and catch consumers’ attention.
In particular, we’ll be discussing packaging for small to medium-sized businesses that want to increase sales but retain a customized feel for their packaging. These companies need mass-produced packaging materials and designs yet are still seen as specific and unique to their business and customer base.
One of the first and still most essential methods for packaging goods is the box. Often made of cardboard, although some will occasionally use different materials, boxes can be shaped and sized to work for a large variety of items. And make no mistake, cardboard boxes can be plain squares or rectangles, constructed of brown corrugated paper, or appear as intricate, well-structured containers that show off or display a product when opened.
Boxes also provide excellent surfaces for applying designs, logos, and labels. When organized or stacked correctly, they can be stacked and organized as individual designs or as part of a larger whole picture or design.
Boxes can also be incredibly stable and strong containers for managing fragile materials or items that need additional support. Additionally, most corrugated boxes don’t add much weight to the products they’re housing, which can be very important when considering shipping costs.
A padded mailer can be an excellent option if a company is packaging or shipping smaller, more fragile, or sensitive items. A padded mailer is similar if you’ve seen a manila envelope. The padding is often a foam or air bubble material affixed to the inside of the mailer.
Once sealed inside, these padded product containers do an exceptional job of protecting and managing small to medium-sized products. Much like boxes, the mailers also offer a decent amount of flat space for attaching a label or packaging sticker.
Bags and Envelopes
Moving down in size, bags and envelopes have become more popular among up-and-coming businesses, both for their price points and functions. Bags and envelopes can hold various items, with ample room for adding packaging stickers or other company labels.
Bags and envelopes can be made from recycled paper products, although many opt for more weather-resistant materials to avoid product damage during shipping. Like boxes, they can also be reused in many cases. Lightweight and sturdy products fare well in envelopes and bags.
Custom Product Packaging
Some products will require a specialized package to ensure their safety, properly display the item, or create a design that is ubiquitous to the company. With a specialized or custom design, many companies want to add significance to their products through packaging. Opening a customized box can also benefit the customer’s shopping experience and help build loyalty to a brand.
Before You Design Your Packaging
When considering how your product will appear to the customer, it’s crucial to conduct some market research and strategize what the packaging means for the customer and the company. Market research can be extensive, in which product design is scrutinized, and samples are offered to consumers to gauge their reactions.
Some companies conduct market research to understand their customers better, and others to understand their products more intensely. It’s a critical step for many growing companies, especially if they're considering investing heavily in company growth and the next steps.
For smaller or less market-centric companies, the research can involve polling existing customers, brainstorming with the rest of the company employees and executives, or examining current trends and tailoring the designs around what feels right.
No matter the company's size, it’s essential to consider critical factors of why and how customers respond to advertising and marketing. It’s also important to understand why and how these designs will represent and impact the company, both short and long-term.
What is the product?
Start by closely considering what is being marketed and sold. The type of product in the container can significantly influence the packaging a business will use. For instance, fragile or breakable products need protection, whereas light and durable may be able to focus more on design and less on which safe materials should be used.
Logistics aside, it’s also essential to match the type of packaging used with the product. If you’re selling an inexpensive item, elaborate packaging may waste resources. Equally, a plain bag may miss the mark if you’re looking to increase the glamor or excitement surrounding a product.
What is the target audience?
The expectations and opinions of the consumers you’re marketing to are of equal importance. If your products are looking to appeal to high-end clients, they may want a spectacle. The unboxing or unwrapping should feel as fancy as the product contained inside.
If your clientele is more interested in recycling or reducing paper waste, a recycled paper product may be more in tune with their sensibilities. These savvy marketing maneuvers often hugely impact the popularity or recognition of a company and its products.
How are they buying the product?
With the increase in online shopping and the necessity of shipping, it’s necessary to consider what your product needs to arrive at the customer’s home in one piece. Many companies have lost sales and customers simply because their packaging was too flimsy or caused their products to have more flaws or damage, which can undercut a bottom line.
It’s also important to consider whether a product will appear on a shelf. For products that will experience shelf life in a store or marketplace, it can be more essential to offer packaging which will stack, fit on a shelf, or show off the graphic designs on the packaging.
Current Trends in Packaging Design
With more consumers and companies thinking about their companies' sustainability and overall impact on the world, many are finding that durable, reusable, and functional are all important packaging features. Environmentally-friendly designs and packaging also resonate with modern consumers, with recycled or upcycled paper and plastic products finding more significant support. Overall, many consumers want to feel as if they’re helping instead of hurting the Earth.
Form and Function
Creating attractive designs which engage and educate the general public is an enormous win for most companies. At EnvironPrint, we strive to offer our customers products that work well for their intended purposes while also helping to reduce waste and reuse materials whenever possible.
Contact us to learn more about how our innovative printing techniques can also help transform your business.