First off, let’s understand what is a packaging guideline. It is a purely customised document containing elaborate guides to formulate the perfect packaging for all your products. A packaging design guideline contains guides for logo placement, logo colours, typography, brand colours, text on packaging, product photography style, etc.
Packaging guides are prepared after conducting in-depth research of your existing/aspiring brand image, the industry, characteristics of target audiences, etc. It also comes with a set of do’s and don’ts which makes the whole packaging process ultra smooth.
If you are a multi-product manufacturer, packaging guideline is for you.
Getting custom packaging for each and every product can cost you thousands of dirhams and exhaust your marketing budget instantly. On the other hand, a packaging guideline gives you the perfect packaging without burning a hole in your company’s treasury. It serves as an SOP for all your company’s packaging requirements. That said, it is essential to get these guidelines made from professional creative agencies rather than generic packaging vendors. Remember: Packaging is the first impression of your product. And unprofessional or inappropriate packaging is a major turn-off. Making your product stand out through packaging is a direct route for getting customer attention.
Why packaging guidelines?
Packaging guideline is a bible for multi-product manufacturers. It is a master document especially curated for a specific brand for all its packaging needs. It enables a brand to follow a certain packaging pattern, a set of brand colours, a specific set of fonts and background elements, etc. across all their product packaging ensuring consistency and product identifiability.
When all your products come under one packaging pattern, it becomes easy for the customer to recognise your brand and all your offerings. In the long run, it gives a competitive edge, fosters repeated sales and builds brand loyalty. Following these guidelines across all product channels upscales brand identity and aids in creating a standardised packaging process.
Packaging Guideline: Your Brand’s Story Teller
What’s your brand story? What makes your brand unique?
The conscious consumers of today are interested in your brand story; they invest in your story before investing in your product. Therefore, story-telling is important. Packaging is understood as a tool to tell your brand story and attract customers at the first glance.
Every brand has a unique story to tell. Whenever a creative agency begins preparing a packaging guideline, the first step they do is pen down a unique brand story. The creation of the brand story is a result of intensive study and research of the brand’s foundational values, vision, mission, geographies, etc.
Telling your brand story with your packaging.
There are multiple benefits of opting for Packaging Guidelines but the most important aspects are consistency, brand identification and professionalism. Having a Packaging Guideline in your hand ensures you and your packaging vendors are on the right track. It gives you a blueprint and answers the following basic questions to get you started with your packaging:
Product Vibe – Every packaging should suit the product’s vibe, its look and feel and most importantly, its functionality. Eg: a tech product should mostly have a cool and groovy packaging that also keeps the product safe.
Packaging guideline captures the essence of the products and based on it formulates a basic packaging framework. Every packaging guideline comes with design templates which serve as full-fledged blueprint and are used as instant references by your in-house printing department or external Chinese vendors who will do only what they do best – Print. Only Print. Not designing, not strategizing, etc.
Typography – What family of fonts will be used on the packaging? For instance, if a product’s target audience is mature working professionals, a subtle font with a minimal undertone would be apt. On the other hand, if the product is meant for kids, the typography should ideally be huge, bright and colourful. Packaging guidelines contain a detailed guide for font usage across all your products.
Brand Colours – Colours help customers identify your products on the shelves. Packaging Guidelines come with a set of brand colours which could be used across all your products making it easier for the customers to identify your products, thereby increasing chances of repeated sales.
Branding and Target Audience – It is important to understand the target market of your product and carry out an in-depth study of their demographics, physiological patterns and behaviour, etc. before selecting the packaging. Every packaging guideline is prepared after a holistic understanding of the target audience and their preferences.
Competition – Before preparing a packaging guideline, a detailed study is carried out to understand why your competition’s product failed or succeeded owing to packaging. Having said this, it is important to make your product stand out from your competition and also learn from your competitors’ mistakes.
Selling – For deciding the right packaging, it is important to understand how it will be sold. For instance, if you are selling your product purely online, people are not able to get the look and feel of the product. Therefore, the packaging must appeal to other senses and your packaging guideline would ensure this happens.
Content – On the packaging, mentioning the content that actually matters to the audience is key to getting their eyeballs. A clutter-free design and text placement makes the customer want to read what’s written and also makes it easy for him to understand how the product is beneficial for him. In case your product sells in malls and shops — if the customer isn’t able to instantly read why he should buy your product, he is most likely to have his attention shifted to the competitions’ shelf.
Apart from offering the aforementioned specifications, a packaging guideline is an ideal packaging solution if you are a multi-product manufacturer. Custom packaging for multiple products can be expensive. Therefore, unless it serves a significant purpose, it could be a waste of marketing budget.
All in all, packaging guidelines is a document allowing your brand to create the packaging of your dreams and that of your customers’ with the help of your packaging vendor. Apart from being highly cost-efficient and budget-friendly, it offers a bundle of benefits to keep your brand packaging shining and winning, in the long-run as well as short-run.