Who Are You Packaging Your Product For Anyway?

This is a guest post from JoAnn Hines, also known as the Packaging Diva. If you’re in the packaging process, check out JoAnn’s website and her fantastic list of Twitter packaging tweeps you should know.


In the last couple of weeks I’ve seen a lot of great new packaging designs. The problem is that although they are aesthetically pleasing they really are not conveying the important message to the consumer (why should I buy?)


That’s the disconnect when a lot of people design their product packaging, they get caught up in some many things they are trying to convey that the core message gets overlooked on the packaging.


That’s basically what happened to Tropicana. They lost sight of the fact that consumers identified with certain core elements in their packaging and when they went away consumers were unhappy.


Notice the entirely different look to the product packaging. Consumers loved the straw and the orange and it was an important brand recognition element. The most common complaint was they couldn’t find their loved and trusted product on the shelf.



Interestingly the designers loved this packaging calling it cool, crisp and clean yet sales slumped 20% after the change was made. So who was this package designed for?


Take this unique rendition of the product barcode for packaging courtesy of LovelyPackage. Looking at it is intriguing and a clever use of the barcode. But besides people who have to deal with the issues of putting bar codes on product packaging, who cares? I need to know more about what’s inside and why I should buy.



I think these barcode examples are much more clever and compelling and don’t take up a whole lot of space either.


Think about every design element on your product packaging who is your core customer and what message are you trying to convey? Don’t be gimmicky or trite either. Your marketing campaign could end up as a failure or leave a bad impression with the consumers.


Is this an eco stretch??? Who is this product marketed to and would its message make you buy it? The theory is because it’s condensed its not shipping excess water therefore eco friendly.



Lastly don’t get caught up in preconceived notions about color. Just because it’s traditional doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing. Sometimes just the opposite works–take this packaging example in a totally unique color. The pots are pink and draw the eye and they sure do stand out among all that green. Look at the branding statement too, pink sells more.



The most important thing to remember is to think about your customer first, creative design and other elements aside. How will you connect with them through your product packaging? Who are you designing your packaging for and what elements will compel them to buy? It doesn’t need to be complicated, convoluted or exotic–just conveying the right message to the right person.



Heather Allard

Heather Allard is a mom of three kids + one big rescue dog. She's a wellness buff, an essential oil educator with dōTERRA, and a self-professed “entrepreneur to the core”.

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  1. JoAnn Hines

    Thanks for all the great comments. Each week I write about a timely issue as it relates to product packaging. There is so much to write about that will impact the decision whether the consumer will buy. Stay tuned for more insights and what you need to know about packaging your product to sell.
    Happy Packaging!

  2. Alice Choo-Shee-Nam

    Great article Heather! I am still trying to improve my cookie packages it’s definately a work-in-progress for frostines edibles.

  3. Ros-Ficklets.com

    Awesome site! PackagingDiva.com is a wealth of information. Thanks for the packaging list, I’ve already bookmarked it. It’s going to come in handy when change is necessary with growth – going back to JoAnn’s March 31st post on packaging evolves and shouldn’t be static.

  4. Heather Allard


    You’re right–the color aspect was interesting and certainly does invoke emotion.

    I think we can “package” our blogs with consistent graphics/logos, interesting colors and design that reflects our blog’s “mission”. Most importantly, I feel, in a blog’s “packaging”, is content that is relevant & fresh, not “all over the place”. Again–keep everything consistent, cohesive and “mission oriented”. Most of you probably notice that I change things up on my blog–a tab here, a sidebar there–but try to keep it clean, easy to navigate and in keeping with my mission–to quickly & easily provide relevant info & resources for mom entrepreneurs who are short on time.

    Some blogs that I think get their “packaging” right:

    I’d love to hear thoughts from other bloggers about how they “package” their blog.
    Heather 🙂

  5. LeNesha

    Thanks for the tips JoAnn! After reading through your various articles and wading through tons of research, I just completed my product packaging design. I’m jumping over to your website now…
    .-= LeNesha´s last blog ..10 Tips for Obtaining a Stellar Graphic Design via 99Designs.com =-.

  6. Terri

    What was most interesting was color, it actually invokes emotion.
    For example I hated the gree Campbells soup label, and the pink pots grabbed my attention immediately and made me feel happy.
    Very interesting,wonder how we can “package” our blogs …
    .-= Terri´s last blog ..BlogHer’09 Good, bag and ugly =-.


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