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Is Bad Packaging Design Hurting Your Sales?

If success were easy, everyone would have it. There may be barriers you are unaware of that hurt your product sales and bad packaging design is one of them.

Bad packaging design can lead to:

Being ignored on the shelf

Most consumers shop on autopilot. Very few people come to a store looking for new products to try. Most scan the shelves only for what is familiar and buy the brand they know. A product only has a few seconds to make an impression. Imagine a consumer racing to the store on a rainy day. They may just need toothpaste; they will most likely go with the first brand they recognize, ignoring any other choices. This is where great packaging steps in. Creative and eye-catching packaging raises the visibility of a new product. According to Brand Packaging Magazine “Consumers frequently make purchasing decisions in the store…a majority (64 percent) of consumers will sometimes buy a product off the shelf without researching it first. Despite the smartphone revolution, most consumers (72 percent) still rarely use a mobile device to research a product while shopping.” Products making their debut need to make a strong impression on the shelf.

Unclear product offerings

A product should always state its intention. If a consumer has to guess if the product is meant for them, it will perish on the shelf. Given the short attention span of the average consumer, product packaging must clearly illustrate what makes it unique and target a specific audience. If you are targeting, a super health conscious consumer with your pistachio gluten-free vegan cookies, then you want to be sure the label feels clean and healthy and highlights stamps such as gluten-free, vegan, non-gmo, and organic. Create a product that does one thing great or targets niche rather than be of the multi-purpose variety.

Cannibalization from the parent brand

An offshoot of a product may be cannibalized by its better known parent instead of thriving on its own on the shelf. People tend to prefer the familiar and do not necessarily lunge for the new and improved version, which could be the case when a mainstream brand attempts to go niche. For example, a brand of toothpaste may introduce a new product that is all natural, and yet consumers may choose the standard product they are more familiar with. So, in essence, a newer product may drive up sales. A perfect example would be New Coke, which made Classic Coke more popular.

Uninteresting packaging

All businesses sell an experience. The bath product brand Calgon once sold the experience of getting away from everything. Coke brings back the feeling of summer. The packaging of these products, with the looping script on the soda can and the feminine, pleasing colors of the bath product, match their messages. If you set up your packaging to express great taste or energizing ingredients, the product must deliver authentically. Some try to compensate for less than stellar products with outrageous claims or pops of bright colors. Consumers are smarter than to fall for dubious claims. Try to make your packaging as truthful and interesting as you can without heading into gray areas.


Use these four barriers as a guide to strengthen your product packaging. Great packaging will shake consumers out of autopilot, make them curious to pick it up, and compel them to buy. One of the best ways to ensure success is to keep in mind the simple process the consumer prefers when shopping: if something catches their eye and promises to meet their pain points, that new product may turn into a standard choice.

Crème de Mint has specialized in beauty, food and supplement packaging design for more than 15 years. Our CPG branding agency knows how to create compelling, craveworthy designs that can help your brand stand out! Book a call today to chat with us about your packaging design.