Package Designs to Sell Your Retail Products like Hot Cakes

We judge products by their cover if not books. Get insights into what a good package design is and how to craft package designs that amplify purchase intent.

Shireen Noushad
July 19, 2023
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A good packaging leaves an impression. It has to be remembered, or initiate brand recall, as we like to call it. It takes intensive consumer research, product knowledge, and feedback analysis to craft the perfect package - that makes people buy as well as maintain the intergrity of the product. As we go along this article, we shall look at a few examples of memorable package designs, the challenges in designing packages without insights and how to overcome it.

What is Package Design?  

Packaging designing is so many things. It has to be creative, colourful (depending on the brand colours), and most importantly of all  - functional. In short, package design is the art and science of creating visually captivating and functional product packaging that exudes sophistication and allure. And also makes people want to pick them off a line-up in a shelf or the grid on your phone.  

It involves combining aesthetic elements such as color palettes, typography, and graphics with a strategic focus on brand identity and target market appeal. Through meticulous attention to detail, packaging designers craft an aura that elevates the overall perception of the product.  

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, package design also serves practical purposes, safeguarding the product during transportation and providing vital information to consumers. In an increasingly competitive market, impeccable package design is a pivotal tool for captivating consumers and fostering brand loyalty.


Why is Package Design Important?  

Effective Packaging Reinforces Brand Identity Ensuring consistent branding across various assets, including website, business cards, and product packaging, is crucial for CPG design. The repeated exposure to elements like the logo, company colors, and slogan helps consumers recognize and remember the brand faster. Unique packaging design with bespoke fonts, hand-illustrated graphics, and reusable materials differentiates products from competitors, capturing attention both on shelves and online.

Have a look: The Power of In-Home Product Testing: Unleashing the Voice of the Consumer

Prioritizing Product Protection  

While following packaging trends is essential, protecting products remains a top priority. Quality packaging guarantees safe shipping and transportation, preventing damage to products. Striking a balance between form and function is crucial, with transparent sections or product-relevant images enhancing consumer confidence in the purchase.

Enhancing Social Media Presence  

In the era of social media influencers, eye-catching packaging plays a pivotal role. Unboxing videos and product hauls provide opportunities to showcase the packaging design to potential customers. Memorable packaging encourages social sharing, fostering an increased follower count and, ultimately, driving sales.

Reflecting Product Quality and Company Image  

Package design reflects the product's overall quality and the company's success. Creative and thoughtful packaging instills a sense of trust and perceived value among consumers. Transparent labeling of ingredients, brand stories, and interactive elements encourage consumers to engage and connect with the brand, establishing a positive perception of high-quality products.

Establishing Emotional Connections with Consumers  

Color psychology plays a significant role in package design, eliciting emotional responses from the target market. Thoughtfully chosen colors, fonts, and central images create an emotional connection, allowing consumers to relate to the brand. This emotional link often leads to loyal customers who become brand ambassadors, ultimately boosting sales and driving impulse purchases.

Marketing and Promotion  

Packaging serves as a dynamic marketing tool for CPG/FMCG brands. Seasonal variations, limited editions, and promotional offers can be effectively communicated through packaging, stimulating consumer interest and purchase intent. Well-executed packaging aligns with marketing campaigns, driving sales and brand visibility


Package Designs to be Remembered  

Kikomans Soy sauce bottle

The Kikkoman soy sauce bottle has become a stylish icon in restaurants worldwide, maintaining its sleek, modern teardrop design unchanged for over six decades. The mastermind behind this unique form is Kenji Ekuan, a Japanese industrial designer deeply impacted by the devastation of Hiroshima, where he lost his father and sister. Inspired by classic Japanese design's elegance, Ekuan and his team crafted more than 100 prototypes before settling on the now-beloved bottle: a refined, transparent dispenser with a neck reminiscent of an inverted teapot spout. With over 300 million bottles sold, this design remains an essential part of the Kikkoman brand's identity.

Tiffany and Co.  

Tiffany & Co.'s renowned blue boxes, adorned with white ribbons, have been an enduring symbol of luxury and elegance since their introduction in 1878. These minimalist packages are widely considered the most recognizable and desired retail containers in history, as acclaimed by Adweek. The choice of this specific shade of blue, attributed to founder Charles Lewis Tiffany, remains somewhat mysterious. However, it appears to be more than a mere coincidence, as this hue was highly coveted among affluent women during the 19th century due to the popularity of turquoise jewelry. The alluring connection between the packaging and the cherished gemstone added to the allure and timeless charm of Tiffany & Co.'s brand image.


In a striking display of unconventional thinking, the original inventor of Toblerone, the Swiss chocolatier Theodore Tobler, decided to produce his bars, filled with honey and nougat, in a triangular mold during the year 1906. It is believed that Tobler and his production manager, Emil Baumann, drew their inspiration from the Matterhorn, a famous Swiss mountain known for its nearly symmetrical, pyramid-like peak.

Nevertheless, an alternative theory exists regarding Tobler's source of inspiration. According to this account, while visiting the Folies Bergères in Paris, Tobler attended a cabaret show that culminated with the dancers forming a human pyramid. According to Tobler's sons, this acrobatic spectacle served as the true inspiration behind the distinctive shape of Toblerone.


McDonald introduced a cyclist-friendly approach in certain countries, facilitating fast food consumption mid-ride. In places like Copenhagen, where biking through the drive-through remains illegal, McDonald's encourages the practice with designated "bike-thru" window days and innovative packaging called the "McBike."  

These recyclable containers securely hold the fast food meal on the handlebars, ensuring the contents, like burgers, fries, and drinks, remain intact. While McDonald's promoting its products as part of a "healthier lifestyle" might seem unusual, the bike-friendly packaging aligns with the concept of integrating mealtime errands with cycling. Initially launched in Copenhagen and Medellin, Colombia, the McBike project will expand to Amsterdam, Tokyo, and other bike-commuter-rich cities globally. Meanwhile, for others, discreetly transporting mid-ride McDonald's in old messenger bags continues to be the norm.


Designing a Package  

Packaging design is all about getting creative with different shapes and styles to match your product's needs. Forget just plain old cardboard boxes - we're talking tubes, pouches, bottles, cans, poly mailers, and burlap bags for that extra oomph! Packaging design encompasses a diverse range of shapes and styles, each tailored to suit specific product requirements. I

Since, it’s not all about the looks – A good packaging needs to be both cool and practical, ensuring that the form aligns with the function. Prioritizing product safety is the first step, safeguarding items during delivery with adequate cushioning like styrofoam or packing peanuts. It could also be those airbags that come in Amazon boxes these days.  

Furthermore, shipping affordability calls for sleek, lightweight packaging to minimize transportation costs. Design stackable packages, in order to optimize storage space in warehouses, shipping containers, and retail shelves. This not only ships more product but optimizes space thereby reducing associated expenses. Packaging also serves as a powerful branding tool, delivering authentic representations of a brand's logo, colors, fonts, copy, and imagery to effectively communicate its identity and values to customers.

Brands now prioritize sustainability, seeking environmentally friendly and recyclable materials like corrugated cardboard, glass bottles, aluminum cans, jute or burlap bags, and compostable mailers to minimize their carbon footprint and support eco-conscious practices. It's like saving the planet one package at a time!


Challenges in Package Designing  

Creating a good package design may look all fancy, but it comes with its fair set of challenges. Let’s have a look at the most excruciating challenges.  

Balancing Creativity and Brand Guidelines

Striking a balance between innovative and creative design while adhering to the brand's established guidelines can be challenging. It's crucial to maintain brand consistency while still making the packaging stand out and be memorable.

Differentiation in a Crowded Market

With countless products on store shelves, making a package design that stands out from the competition is tough. Designers must find ways to be unique without deviating too far from consumer expectations or category norms.

Have a look: Using Data-Driven Decision Making to Decode Consumer Behavior: Here’s How to Do It  

Practicality and Functionality

Designers must ensure that the packaging is not only visually appealing but also practical and functional. Balancing aesthetics with factors like ease of use, product protection, and storage convenience can be tricky.

Cost Constraints

Budget limitations can restrict the use of certain materials or printing techniques, potentially impacting the final design's quality and creativity.

Packaging Regulations and Compliance

Packaging must adhere to various regulations and requirements set by authorities, such as labeling laws, recycling symbols, or safety guidelines. Staying compliant while maintaining an attractive design can be challenging.


Sustainability and Environmental Concerns

Consumers are increasingly demanding eco-friendly packaging, which poses challenges in finding sustainable materials and manufacturing processes without compromising the design's quality or cost.

Multi-Channel Considerations

Packaging may be displayed in various settings, including physical stores, online platforms, and mobile devices. Designers need to ensure that the packaging design remains effective and eye-catching across different channels.

Cultural Sensitivity

Packaging may be distributed globally, requiring careful consideration of cultural sensitivities and preferences to avoid misinterpretations or offending potential customers.

Have a look: How to tackle Cultural Response Bias

Limited Attention Span

Consumers often have limited time to evaluate packaging on store shelves. Designers must create designs that quickly capture attention and communicate the product's key benefits.

Packaging Versatility

Some products require packaging that can accommodate various product sizes or variations, making it challenging to create a design that works seamlessly across all variants.

Bypassing these challenges and coming up with a stellar packaging requires a combination of creativity, market research, user testing, collaboration with stakeholders, and a deep understanding of the product and its target audience. Designers must stay agile and open to feedback, iterating on their designs until they strike the right balance between aesthetics, functionality, and brand representation.

Agile Shopper Research to the Rescue  

An integrated consumer research platform can be crucial in solving the challenges faced during the package design process.  

Balancing Creativity and Brand Guidelines

Brands can conduct in-depth consumer surveys and focus groups to understand how consumers perceive the brand and its visual identity. In-depth consumer insights enable designers to strike the right balance between creativity and adherence to brand guidelines. This way designers can stay true to the brand’s essence while also establishing resonance with consumers.  

Differentiation in a Crowded Market

Consumer research allows designers to study competitor package designs as well. This way, designers can identify consumer motives for purchase and incorporate it into their designs. They can also identify unmet needs, enabling designers to create packaging that stands out and appeals to the target audience.


Practicality and Functionality

Through usability testing and consumer feedback, consume feedback analysis can evaluate the practicality and functionality of packaging designs. This ensures that the final design not only looks great but also meets consumers' expectations for ease of use and product protection.

Cost Constraints

Accurate and real consumer insights can help designers pinpoint the design elements that resonate most with consumers. With this understanding of what aspects of packaging are essential to consumers, designers can optimize resource allocation and save the brand unnecessary costs. Decode’s A/B testing combined with eye-tacking and facial coding can also pick up on consumer reaction to price points.  

Sustainability and Environmental Concerns

Decode can gather consumer preferences and attitudes towards sustainable packaging, enabling designers to develop eco-friendly solutions that align with consumer values.

Multi-Channel Considerations

Decode can analyze the way consumers react and engage with packaging across various channels - be it a website purchase or e-commerce Attention and engagement metrics provide insights into design adaptations for different platforms and ensuring consistent brand representation.

Cultural Sensitivity

Through international consumer research, Decode can identify cultural sensitivities and preferences, helping designers create packaging that resonates with diverse audiences while avoiding potential pitfalls.

Limited Attention Span

Decode's consumer studies can reveal what elements of packaging quickly capture consumers' attention and is translated into a metric called - 'Time to discovery'. This enables designers to focus on key features that make an instant impact.

Packaging Versatility

Decode can identify consumer preferences regarding packaging formats and variations, helping designers create flexible designs that work effectively for different product sizes or variants.

Moreover, with Decode’s facial coding, eye-tracking, and voice AI technologies to breakdown consumer preferences - package designers can make data-driven decisions, gain deeper insights into consumer behavior and preferences, and create packaging that not only looks impressive but also connects with consumers on a meaningful level. It empowers designers to overcome challenges and develop packaging solutions that align with consumer expectations, regulatory requirements, and brand goals.


Package Design Testing  

It all comes down to this. Testing Package design is a highly recommended method to identify and understand what clicks with consumers, and what doesn’t. In short, designers are able to comprehend the effectiveness of product packaging designs in attracting consumers and influencing purchasing decisions. Within Decode, Brands are empowered with our patented It involves utilizing techniques like facial coding, eye-tracking, and voice AI to gain valuable insights into consumers' emotional responses, visual engagement, and feedback during the design evaluation process.

Facial Coding

Facial coding analyzes facial expressions to detect emotions, allowing designers to understand consumers' subconscious reactions to packaging elements. By decoding emotional cues, designers can optimize designs to elicit positive responses and forge stronger connections with the target audience.


Eye-tracking technology helps designers identify which areas of the packaging draw the most attention. This information aids in optimizing visual hierarchy, ensuring that vital information is easily accessible and enhancing the overall design's impact.

Voice AI

Voice AI, like sentiment analysis, empowers designers to process and interpret consumers' feedback from focus group discussions efficiently. By extracting valuable insights from spoken language, designers can refine packaging designs to align with consumers' preferences and expectations effectively.


Supercharge your research with actionable insights faster on Decode's integrated consumer research platform with Insights AI.
Entropik Identified the winning pack by gauging noticeability on the shelf against competitors
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Build the Right Products, the Right Way: Elevate your UX with Qatalyst's integrated user research platform with Insights AI.


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Author Bio

Shireen Noushad
Shireen adores writing and currently, she’s all about making B2B content fun, engaging, and 100% non-boring. She's intrigued by the scope of AI(not scared, yet), and how it helps advance operations on all fronts across industries. On a typical day, she scours the internet for anything and everything AI-related, and goes on a loop of writing and re-writing cause it’s just not perfect.

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