Make or Break: 4 Ways Product Packaging Impacts Success

Start-up companies commonly make the mistake of focusing only on product development without thinking about how an item should be packaged. It is only after they try to get their products on a retailer’s shelf or to a customer that they realize the importance of packaging. If you want your product to “make it,” consider the following four factors when developing your product packaging.


View product packaging as an opportunity to establish your brand and sell your product. Think about your target market and their expectations. Choose materials that convey the right message about the product’s quality and performance. For example, high-end products need premium packaging material, whereas, products that target the mass market can use lower-cost, more commonly used materials.

View the outside of the product package is premium advertising space. This is your chance to tell the customer the value and benefits of your product. Ensure the images and words printed on it align with the product’s market position. Your product’s package is the customer’s first physical interaction with your brand, and you want to make a positive impression. You want it to set the stage and create an optimal frame of mind for when the customer finally interacts with your product.


Some products sit in warehouses or on shelves for a period of time before shipping. Select packaging supplies that are durable and appropriate for warehouse and retail outlet conditions.

Unique factors to consider are if the product is perishable, or has specific health or safety requirements. Also, determine if the product’s performance will be affected by prolonged exposure to heat, cold, light, or time. Then choose packaging that mitigates any adverse effects caused by those conditions.


You want your product to arrive looking fresh off the production line. Choose protective packaging that prevents damaged caused by conveyor lines and rough road conditions. Fragile packaging can be crushed if stacked so choose rigid packaging when possible.

Using standard packaging sizes reduces production costs and allows for more efficient transport loading and storage. Consider packaging supplies that are as light and compact as possible to save on shipping expenses.

Retail buyers’ requirements

How a product will be displayed and fit at the retailer’s should be a primary consideration in the design. Shelf or rack space requirements should be researched and tested out, if possible. Buyers aren’t interested in packaging that is an oddly shaped, overly large or requires exceptional handling. Choosing standard packaging shapes and sizes are also a benefit here as it makes your product more likely to fit on a retailer’s shelf.

Short-cut for Next Time: Plan Ahead

When planning product development, build a budget that includes professional packaging design services. While this may seem like a luxury, consider that it is often more expensive to replace damaged goods than it is to invest in protective packaging. Additionally, if your packaging doesn’t meet the retail buyer’s requirements, then it will never get on the shelf. Even if your budget is tight, it is still worth it to contact an agency to see if they will work with you.


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