Package design may arguably be one of your biggest marketing challenges you’ll ever face outside of advertising. And it’s already a form of advertising that generally has to compete right alongside your competitors’ products. It’s why design has to be taken on by professionals who can create something unique and bring out something different. Regardless, what more can you place on your packaging beyond design that can help consumers make a buying decision?
Honesty on your product packaging may be just as important as any design you create. It’s because evidence is out there that far too many products don’t look anything like what they usually do on the package. In fact, in 2008, a test was done in Germany to show just how dishonest packaging can be.
It’s why you have to consider your own honesty in the product you’re selling and how you’ll create a connection between product imagery and reality.
Showing the Size of the Product
A frequent message seen on packaging is “Enlarged to show texture”, and we’ve seen enough jokes uttered about that in a lifetime. While it can help show more detail on your product, showing it in real size can also be a benefit so there isn’t any confusion. How many times have we purchased a new food product and found the item to be much smaller than what the packaging let on?
If you have room on your package design, displaying the product in real size will help consumers appreciate you more in bringing honesty. If nothing else, the enlarged picture should be accurate in the details.
Reality in the Details
Do you have certain elements in your food product that might have to be lessened due to your budget? That might be chocolate chips, raisins, or some other small ingredient that decorates the top of your food product. One of the biggest sins of advertising is showing more of those decorative ingredients on the packaging when there’s actually considerably less in reality.
Your best course of action here is to just show it with less, because it’s still going to look good. No one is going to expect to see more anyway as long as the rest of the packaging is attractive. Consumers will also appreciate the honesty and know that what they’re paying for is accurate.
The same applies to non-edible products that go through the same dishonesty in the marketplace. One mistake to avoid is to show a picture with a feature on a product that happens to not be in the package. Make sure the final product is accurate with the images so consumers won’t wonder if you’re trying to shortchange them.
Being Honest with the Words You Use
While using certain adjectives on your packaging might bring a Pavlovian response in consumers for a food product, be sure it’s accurate to the real taste. Something overly spicy should be labeled as such, or if you use certain ingredients some people are allergic to. You don’t want to use words that describe something as sweet if it’s overly bland in taste or slightly sour.
The words you use to describe your product are just important as the visuals, because people will imagine the taste before they buy it. This can apply to non-food items once again, particularly when using adjectives proclaiming something as efficient and sturdy when it may not live up to those expectations.
It’s a lesson that there’s really no such thing as a super product. You’re better off selling something as it really is, and most consumers will accept the reality.