A lot of what we do is about solving problems!!

Much of what we do as packaging designers and branding consultants is solving problems for our clients. We use our experience and expertise to overcome many of the challenges and hurdles that food brands face. Listed here are a few of those challenges that can crop up regularly.

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1: Deadlines

Ha, this is probably the most common challenge that we face. Design being just one part of the process in getting a product to market, regularly we are helping our clients overcome tight situations and getting artwork to printers at the last minute. Our approach is always juggling and prioritizing, and with a little bit of planning (and sometimes longer hours!) fast turnaround isn’t normally an issue for us. Our record is a 7 day turnaround from concepts, to creative refinement to finished artwork for 2 products. So if we need to step it up – we can!!

A lot of what we do is about solving problems

2: Lack of Authenticity

Consumers have plenty of choices these days, so it’s crucial to stand out on those crowded shelves. But it’s not just about looking good superficially. Your packaging needs to authentically reflect your brand and tell your customers what your products stand for.

That’s a lot of responsibility for a box, bag or pouch! But, if done right, you can create a great return on your investment and generate consistently good sales.

Your packaging should communicate the important messages that are key to your brand on the front of the pack. But, often these are buried under less important aspects or not included at all.

Success is not only reserved for large or global brands. Small businesses can capitalise on great packaging too. For smaller brands, if your packaging design is authentic and savvy, it can work hard for you against more prominent brands with bigger budgets.

A lot of what we do is about solving problems

3: Not Targeting The Right Customers

Good branding starts with sound research and planning so that your packaging design is targeted to the right market. If you know who your market is, you can create packaging that is visually and practically appealing to the people who are going to buy it.

We see a lot of products that have missed this key step in the marketing process. How can you hope to entice your ideal customers to buy your product if you aren’t really sure who they are! Taking the time to understand who your product is truly for will allow you to create packaging that connects with their needs.

Visual appeal is vital, but understanding your consumers adds another layer of complexity. If you are marketing kids’ food, it needs to appeal to children. But, the kids are not the ones buying the groceries each week! That packaging will also need to appeal to the parents who might be making the final decision.

Creating these layers of consumer connection can be hard to achieve without the right designer on your team!

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4: Don’t hide the Important Information

Today’s consumers are knowledgeable and willing to put in some time to find a product that matches their values or health and lifestyle needs. So, it is important that your packaging gives them the information they need to choose you.

The messages will differ depending on who your target market is, but your buyers might be wanting to know about nutritional or ingredient information, it might be sustainability credentials, or it might just be something great about your brand.

Whatever it might be, you need it front and centre and communicated in a clear and easy to understand way on your packaging.

A lot of what we do is about solving problems

5: Lack Of Consistency

If you have more than one product on the market, you need to ensure that your packaging is consistent across all of them.

That means being consistent with elements such as logos, taglines, background colours or fonts to give you better brand recognition across your range. For example, if you make pasta but also make sauces, consistency helps customers link your brand and buy both products from you.

Consistency is a key factor in creating brand recognition and repeat purchasers. But, consistency always needs to be balanced with individuality. This allows the individual elements of your range to stand out and highlight each product’s strengths.

Consistency always gives your brand strength.

A lot of what we do is about solving problems

6: Dated Packaging Becomes Irrelevant

Times do tend to change, and the packaging that your product had a few years ago might not be the right fit anymore.

Yes, there’s something to be said for retro – but only if it is deliberate and not just plain out of date. If your product has moved on, but your packaging hasn’t, you could be doing your brand a disservice.

Having said that, simplicity never goes out of style. So, don’t throw away a good basic design just to follow a passing fad. Sometimes a little evolution is all that is needed.

Problem Solving Your Packaging

All in all, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to packaging design – shape, materials, colours, fonts, images, your brand, your competitors, your ideal audience etc – and often limited space in which to work. The design needs to be spot on visually, but it also needs to convey the right message.

It can be difficult to identify flaws in your existing design unless you know what you are looking for. And if you tick all the boxes and package your product correctly, you can create or strengthen sales, acquire new customers or change the perception of a brand or product.

Done incorrectly, it can make customers write your brand off before they even put it in their trolley.