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With the wide variety of product choices available to modern consumers, retail has become a highly competitive space. Store shelves today are packed with items from many different brands, and businesses are in a constant race to influence consumer decision-making and distinguish their own branding from industry competitors.
A strong presence in retail can increase your profits and help your brand grow, but finding reliable distribution for your products may be costly, and sales revenues may vary heavily depending on several factors. While many elements of retail might seem out of your control, you can increase your chances of success by customizing labels and packaging that will make your products stand out on store shelves.
While the optimal product and packaging design for your brand varies depending on your industry and target audience, several key factors generally make products stand out to retail consumers. By understanding these factors and determining how to apply them in your branding, you can build recognition and potentially increase retail sales without the need for expensive marketing tactics.
Don't Be Generic
Product packaging has the potential to leave a strong first impression on consumers. To make your products stand out on store shelves, you must first develop logo and packaging designs that are unique to your brand. A generic label and packaging can make your brand’s message more difficult to remember, and may indicate to consumers that there is nothing special about your products.
Ideally, your label and packaging should be eye-catching, and consistent with the rest of your brand identity. It’s important to keep your brand values and target audience in mind throughout the design process, and avoid generic visual elements like clip art images and overused fonts. This can help ensure that your products will be easier for retail shoppers to recognize and associate with your brand.
Don't Overdo It
When it comes to product design, it’s critical to find a balance between distinctive and simple. While it can be beneficial to have a unique aesthetic for your products, overly complex or cluttered designs are often harder for people to remember and less effective at conveying your brand’s message to consumers.
Utilizing a clean, sleek, and consistent visual aesthetic for your product labels and packaging can make it easier for consumers to become familiar with your brand. The visual elements and text you use in your product design should all relate directly to your brand's mission and values. This can help ensure that retail consumers can clearly interpret your brand message and identify the benefits of your products as they shop.
Incorporate Your Logo
Your company logo is a hugely important part of your brand identity. A distinct logo sets your business apart and helps communicate your message to consumers. Properly incorporating your unique logo design into your labels and packaging can help familiarize people with your brand and make your products stand out better in stores.
To maintain visual consistency, it’s often helpful to set standards for logo usage in your brand guidelines. These standards should include all the visual elements of your original logo design and any variations that you may use in your branding. Also, define best practices for placing your logo on product packaging and labels, such as where the logo should be located and how much clear space should be left around it. This can help ensure that your logo is not overshadowed by other visual elements and is always prominently visible to consumers as they shop.
Make Use of Imagery
In retail, customers often make purchasing decisions in seconds, and it’s important for your branding to leave a quick impression. In many cases, a unique logo and product description will not be enough to attract the attention of shoppers.
Incorporating imagery into your designs can be a relatively simple way to make your products more eye-catching and evoke a stronger response from consumers. By featuring relevant images on your packaging and/or label design, you can make your products look more appealing on the shelf, and send customers a clear message about your brand.
Let Your Brand Shine Through
Packaging and logo design are not the only ways to build brand awareness. The other elements of your brand identity, such as your brand values and voice, are also very important for connecting with your audience. A brand’s perceived values can have a major impact on consumer decision-making, as many modern customers prefer to buy from brands that align with their own values.
By clearly defining your values, and utilizing a consistent tone of voice in all your branding, you can help set your company apart from the competition and attract the attention of discerning consumers.
Match the Packaging to the Product
When designing labels and packaging, it’s always important to consider the type of products that you’ll be selling. To give consumers an accurate first impression of your brand, you should correlate your style of packaging with the appearance and function of your products.
For example, if you’re selling spicy food items like chile peppers or cinnamon candy, utilizing custom packaging pouches with bright red or yellow colors can help convey the uniqueness of your products and reinforce awareness of your brand. This can help you attract new customers and make your branding resonate with your target audience.
Explain Your Product
Sometimes, potential retail customers will pass on a product simply because they’re not sure what it is. Additionally, if consumers buy a product that they find confusing or difficult to use, they are less likely to buy from that same brand again. To maximize your chance for conversions, it’s critical for your packaging to accurately explain what your product does and how it is used.
This explanation should include the intended function(s) of the product, and any unique or important features that set the product apart from competitors. By making explanatory information easily visible on your labels or packaging, you can capture the attention of more customers who may be interested in your products.
Think About Shelf Placement
Shelf placement can be a major variable in retail. The location of your products on store shelves helps determine the amount of attention they get from shoppers. Generally, studies have found that products placed on middle shelves are purchased more frequently than those on top or bottom shelves. While the location of your products is often up to the retailer, you can improve your chances for success by considering shelf placement when designing your labels and packaging.
For example, if you sell products that are more likely to be placed on top or bottom shelves, you should utilize bright packaging that features your logo prominently and can still catch customers’ eyes from an awkward vantage point. The right packaging can help you prevent your products from being overlooked and support awareness of your brand.
Consider a Custom Display
If it’s feasible for your business, utilizing a custom in-store display method for your products can help draw consumers’ attention and further set your brand apart from the competition. There are several options to consider when deciding on a custom display method for your products.
One popular method is to place a freestanding branded display at the end of an aisle. Commonly known as ‘endcap placement’, this strategy can help draw significantly more attention to your products and brand identity. However, endcap locations are very desirable in retail, and stores often charge companies extra to occupy this premium real estate.
If your marketing budget is limited, you can achieve a similar effect by marking off a special section of shelves with custom decals of your logo. By identifying an eye-catching way to display your products in stores, you can help make them stand out to shoppers and highlight the uniqueness of your brand.
Look For More Recognition Opportunities
Repetition is often highly beneficial for building brand awareness and recognition. 71% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands they already know, and exposing them to your branding and logo repeatedly can help establish trust by increasing their familiarity with your values and company message.
While keeping your products on store shelves can generate some awareness, you can help increase your recognition even further by offering retailers branded promotional items like custom stickers and magnets. Promotional strategies like these can help expose your logo and branding to a wider range of customers, making them more likely to recognize your products on store shelves later.
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StickerYou blog posts are written and published by members of the StickerYou team at our headquarters, located in the beautiful city of Toronto, Canada.