Innovative Packaging 101: How to Conceptualise and Develop Effective Packaging Designs

Innovative Packaging 101: How to Conceptualise and Develop Effective Packaging Designs

9th Jan 2024

No matter the product, packaging should be a representation of your brand and your product. When it comes to creating eye-catching, unique packaging, the possibilities are almost endless. However, it’s important to remember that functionality and accessibility is paramount. It doesn’t matter if you’ve created the most beautiful packaging on the market if it doesn’t serve its purpose effectively. So, how can you successfully conceptualise and develop packaging designs that are both attractive and functional?

Back to Basics

Before you begin adopting new packaging technologies, it’s important to start by understanding your target market and knowing your ideal customer. What appeals to them? What are their pain points? In addition to this, you’ll need to have a solid brand identity that will allow you to create packaging that ultimately aligns with the product you’re offering. The packaging you choose is the first piece of your product that customers will see and interact with, so it’s worth investing the extra time and money to give the best first impression. Whether it's the shape, colour, typography or handfeel - all of these elements contribute to making a good packaging experience for your particular target audience, therefore none of them should be overlooked. Now you’ve got the basics down, you can start to introduce more innovation and imagination into your packaging designs.

Solve a Problem with Your Packaging

One of the best ways to create a packaging design that is innovative and will set your brand apart from competitors is to develop something that solves a problem for your customer. Although packaging is a necessity for getting your product to the consumer safely and securely, it’s also an opportunity to provide more value to your customers and enhance their overall experience with your brand and product. For example, a food delivery company might want to create packaging that turns into a handy table for eating on the go. McDonalds’ ‘TableBag’ was created for this purpose and was extremely popular at Milan’s Fashion Week in 2022 where eating outside was unavoidable for many of the 400,000 attendees. You could be solving a simple problem, such as a coffee company selling ‘no-spill’ packaging, or something more elaborate like jewellery packaging that prevents necklaces getting tangled in the post. So, think about common problems that your particular audience might face and see how your packaging could remedy them.

Mcdonalds Table Bag


Eco-Friendly Options

In addition to providing solutions for functional problems, you could also use your packaging to appeal to ethical issues that might be a concern for your consumer. Sustainability is a growing concern for both businesses and consumers, so why not provide an eco-friendly solution with your packaging that could set you apart from competitors whilst making a positive impact on the planet? Ditching plastic and opting for recyclable materials is one of the easiest ways to make a move to being more sustainable, as well as ensuring that your packaging is the right size and doesn’t cause excess waste. Our Box Builder can help you with this. We’ve also partnered with One Tree Planted to help aid deforestation, so we can help you make a positive difference with your packaging. For many consumers, the availability of sustainable packaging could be a deal-breaker when making purchasing decisions, so make sure you’re providing eco-friendly options. For more on sustainable and recyclable packaging, check out our blog ‘How You Can Help: Responsible Packaging Choices’.

Interactive & Smart Packaging

Technology is ever-evolving and continues to feed into every aspect of modern life, and packaging design is no exception. ‘Connected packaging’ is becoming commonplace, with many companies leveraging QR codes, barcodes and image recognition in their packaging designs. Anyone with a phone camera can be easily taken to a browser-based app where they can be met with questionnaires, games and additional product information. This could be an exceptionally popular choice for games and toy packaging where the audience will be more receptive to interactive packaging.

Connected packaging is becoming extremely popular as it's a great way to increase brand awareness and value whilst also providing brands with valuable customer data. Whether you want to find out what your customers think about your product, educate them with a quiz, or just improve their experience with a fun game, smart packaging that is interactive can add value to your product whilst boosting engagement and brand loyalty.

qr code packaging

Personalisation and Customisation

With the advancement of digital printing technologies, your packaging can become a canvas. Whatever your brand’s story is, you can use your packaging to tell it in a number of ways that will make for a memorable unboxing experience. Simply displaying your logo or brand colours could also instantly make your packaging recognisable and personal. Including visual designs that relate to your product is also a great way to add a personal touch to your packaging - for example, a company selling automotive parts might opt for illustrations of tyres, engine parts and other car-related imagery to make their packaging stand out. You might also want to create limited-edition, exclusive designs to target specific consumer groups. This could turn your packaging into an effective marketing tool, creating a sense of exclusivity and making your product more shareable online. Visual designs can also change with the seasons and holidays, keeping your packaging fresh and relevant.

packaging designer

Your packaging should catch the eye, but it should also be functional and usable. From conceptualisation to development, you should be combining creativity and strategy to create packaging designs that get the job done in style. The best way that your business can upgrade your packaging is by hiring a packaging manufacturer like ASC Direct. With ASC’s variety of services and packaging products catering to a number of industries and sectors, your brand’s vision can become a reality.