Your packaging has to do more than just look perfect. It also has to convince people to buy your product. That’s where the copy comes into play. It’s also where many brands get tripped up.
How do you say what you want to say in an engaging way? Crafting the perfect copy can be intimidating.
Here are 7 tips for writing sizzling packaging copy that helps you stand out in all the best ways.
Showcase Your USP
Your packaging copy is the best place to display your unique selling point. Find a way to highlight what makes your product special.
When buyers walk into the store, your product is going to be sitting next to other products just like yours. The only way to stand out is to show why you’re different than the rest.
Rise Bar does this with their protein bar packaging. Their USP is right under the brand name—“The Simplest Protein Bar” followed by “Real Food” at the bottom. Right away you can see why they’re offering and what sets them apart.
Short and Sweet
There is a place for long-form copy. But that place is not on your packaging. Packaging copy can be tricky because you have limited space, and even more limited time to work with.
Think of your packaging copy as a mini-billboard that advertises your product. Shoppers are cruising by and your copy needs to pop, stand out, and draw them in right away.
When consumers are making split-second decisions, you need to convince them very quickly to buy your product. Short sentences and phrases are the way to go.
Maldon Sea Salt packs quite a punch with their copy—“All good food starts with a pinch.” In just seven words, they’re promising that their product is going to make your food taste better. It’s short, but it gets right to the point.
Focus on Clarity
If there’s one thing your packaging copy should never be, it’s confusing. Since you’re operating on a limited amount of space, it’s even more important than ever to be clear and focused with your message.
Consumers should be able to know what your product is right away. They aren’t going to pick up your package to see what it is. If they aren’t sure it’s what they’re looking for, you’ve already lost them.
On the side label for Juicera, for example, I created the copy “Made true for you,” with an image of a juice press. It was clear and concise but left the impression we wanted—juice made from real fresh fruits and vegetables.
Tell a Story
The key element of successful packaging copy is engagement. There’s no better way to engage customers than to show off some of your personality through your brand’s story. Share a condensed version of your origin story or include your company’s cause or mission.
TOMS does a great job of incorporating their company’s mission into their packaging. Every shoebox holds a bold message: “One for One”, or “See. Change.” Then they elaborate on their cause with a short, clear summary.
Whatever your style is, find a way to reveal that to consumers in your packaging copy. Buyers want to see something that stands out, and they want to feel like the products they’re buying from come from real people with real personalities and real values.
Give the Benefits
All good copywriters know one very important truth—successful copy focuses on the reader, not the product.
You still need to be clear with your copy about what your product is, but the ultimate focus should be on what your product can do for the customer.
If you’re selling coconut water, you could choose to focus on the calorie count and sugar intake… Or you could focus on how the buyer is going to feel. Maybe they will feel like they’re on the beach, drinking straight from a coconut, relaxing and enjoying the moment. The first scenario is product-focused, but the stronger message comes when you focus on the emotional appeal or create a vision of the consumer experience.
How is your product going to make your customer’s lives easier or better? Will they feel healthier? Will their kids love it? Will it relax them? Paint that picture with your words!
Drive an Action
Many brands miss the opportunity to include a call to action in their packaging copy. This is a great place to drive people to your website, social media platforms, or blog. Use wording such as “See our full product line at…”or “More usage ideas at…”. Even better, offer incentives to help drive traffic… “Exclusive discounts at…”.
Send buyers wherever you are engaging with your audience the most. You want customers that become loyal to you and your brand. The best way to do that is to get them engaged in your company and start building a relationship.
Get Creative (With a Purpose)
A common rule of thumb for copy is to avoid creativity in favor of clarity. And while I firmly believe that clear copy is best, I also think that packaging copy is the one place where creativity can be a goal.
Getting creative with packaging copy is a great way to show your personality and flair. The beauty brand Anatomicals nails creative copy in their packaging. From “Puffy the Eye Bag Slayer” on their under-eye patches to their “Stop Cracking Up” lip balm, they have funny and creative quips for all of their products.
It works because it’s funny and purposeful. They didn’t sacrifice clear copy for creativity. They intertwined it together perfectly. Once you see one of their products, you aren’t likely to forget them.
If you can incorporate creative copy without being confusing, overly cheesy, or obnoxious, then you can stand out from the crowd and be memorable, which is always a marketing win.
Put it All Together
While the design and visual aesthetics of your packaging draw a consumer’s eye first, your copy is equally as important in making a sale. You have to put the same thought and consideration into your copy that you put into your design.
Don’t be like most brands—engage your customer with clear, well-formatted copy that tells your story and invites a future following.
Working on new packaging ideas? Check out our post, How to “Wow” Consumers with Your Packaging for more tips!