If you’ve ever wanted to buy a product but thought twice about its quality because of its awful packaging, then you’ve probably also wondered how companies can get this vital marketing tool so wrong. Regardless of how great your product is, if there is one or all of these three things wrong with your packaging, it could seriously affect sales. Let’s break down these three packaging disasters;

Packaging that is impossible to open
This is a common frustration. You are at the airport and would like to purchase a new pair of headphones for the 15-hour flight that lies ahead. You find the perfect pair, but without being allowed sharp objects such as scissors on the flight, you spend 15 hours trying to pry the packaging open without seriously injuring yourself.

Consumers will automatically associate your brand with negative emotions and may consciously or even subconsciously stay away.

Packaging that goes straight into a landfill
There is absolutely no excuse for companies not to make a concerted effort to make their packaging as eco-friendly as possible. While this may be a more expensive option, if a company is seen to be environmentally conscious, it will appeal to a much wider market that may be willing to pay that little bit extra to save the planet. The recyclability or reusability of the product should also be clearly stated on the packaging.

Packaging that is too clever for its own message
It shouldn’t be difficult to recognise when your brand’s packaging is unappealing. Match your branding to your target market as well as your product. Don’t use bright colours that once represented copious levels of tartrazine to present a sugar and MSG-free food product. Gaudy colours on product packaging is not the only way to make your merchandise stand out between the rows of similar products.

Make your brand instantly recognisable in its simplicity. Some of the most iconic brands are instantly recognisable just by their colours. If you can ‘simply’ describe the product packaging, without having it in front of you, to someone who has never seen it before, then your product stands a chance of being memorable.

Too many companies base their assumptions of consumer habits on the fact that we, as consumers, are smart enough to make rational choices based on clear thinking processes. However, when designing packaging it will help to remember that our emotional subconscious and instinctive psychology guide our decision making. So we are not often drawn to a product based on its quality, but rather whether its packaging is aesthetically appealing.