Small business bars of soap lined up in diagonal rows, showcasing up close shots of pastel pink and green retail packaging design boxes.

Navigating retail packaging for a small business can be tricky. How do you know your packaging looks professional? Will retailers and wholesalers respond to your designs? Does your packaging show that your product can sell successfully? 

Your packaging can make the difference between securing retailers or being passed over for other options. 

Retailers and wholesalers need to see that your packaging is high quality, well-thought-out, and most importantly, sellable. 

Read on to find out how to create wholesale and retail packaging for small businesses. 

Incorporate Your Business Brand Story into Your Retail Packaging

Your brand story is one of the most important components of your marketing. A brand story is essentially the story, emotions, and feelings that customers associate with your business and products. 

For example, think about the company Toms shoes. Most of us immediately envision the brand story—their one for one promise, where they donate shoes to children in need for each pair purchased. The company’s brand story is in every part of its marketing—the website, the social media profiles, and even the packaging. 

While packaging copy needs to be minimal, incorporating part of your brand story is a great way to stand out, both to customers and retailers. If you can sway retailers and wholesalers to your story, they will believe in your business and rest assured that your product can sell. 

Spend some time creating your brand story by leaning on your origin, your “why” behind your business, and your mission. Then, think about a way to capture that brand story in a short, concise way for your packaging. Toms has an entire web page dedicated to their story, but their packaging just contains the tagline that reflects it: “one for one”.   

Implement a Professional Logo

Small business working on a logo design for their retail packaging with assets laying out for creation.

A key piece of your packaging is your logo. A good logo reflects your brand identity, communicates something important about your brand, and resonates with your target customer. 

As you design your logo, consider your brand story. Is there an image that relates to the story and would strike a chord with your audience? What style of logo relates best to your story? Minimalistic? Abstract? Elegant? 

Your logo should be communicative, eye-catching, and align with your customers’ values. 

Include Persuasive Copy

When retailers and wholesalers look at your package, they want to see that it’s sellable. The packaging copy is often a key component in how well it sells. 

Great packaging copy is clear and concise. You only have a few seconds to capture the interest of your potential customers. Don’t cloud the message or write copy that’s too wordy—there is power in simplicity. 

Make sure your copy highlights the benefits your product gives your customers. 

For example, if you sell mascara, don’t just focus on the features (lash-lengthening, waterproof, etc.). Also highlight the way that someone will feel when they wear it, the confidence they’ll have from letting their eyes pop, the romantic atmosphere created. The benefits are what will persuade your customer to buy. 

Focus on Emotional Appeal

Juicera PerfectO energy drink package design Pop art bottle in bright yellow with open mouth with tongue sticking out on the label.

Everything about your packaging should come together to create an emotion—the colors, the tagline, the copy, and even the shape and feel of the package. 

Spend time getting to know your target customer and what drives them emotionally. 

For example, if your target audience cares about sustainability, make sure that the package conveys your commitment to it. Choose a sustainable material, include a promise of commitment to sustainability, and consider using an earthy, neutral color palette to evoke feelings of nature. 

If you create products specifically for curly hair, make sure you showcase imagery of happy models that look free, thriving with their natural curls. 

Leaning on the emotions will lead to more sales, and make your product look more appealing to retailers and wholesalers. 

Answer Questions with Your Small Business Retail Packaging

Your packaging should also answer any questions retailers and customers might have about your product. This is especially true if you have a unique or innovative product. 

One of our clients, Qweeni Cap, designed a shower cap with a flap for pulling sections of hair out to wash. Because the product was unlike others on the market, we wanted to showcase its uniqueness and answer questions customers might have when they picked it up. 

Qweeni Cap hair product packaging design with silhouette image of a woman wearing the cap, taglines, and logo on box.

We included sketched images on the back of the package that showed different ways to use the product. The customer could visualize how the product would work and see what made it special. 

Consider including visuals, infographics, and explanations onto your packaging that can answer questions. Remember that you want to make a purchase an easy yes by addressing any questions and concerns before they come up. 

Follow Rules and Regulations

Retailers and wholesalers have businesses of their own to protect. They need your products to come to them already complying with the necessary guidelines. 

Some industries, like supplements, have specific packaging requirements, including supplement facts, net weight disclosure, and ingredient lists. Food and beverage products also have federal guidelines to adhere to. 

Do your research and make sure you’re following compliance. Make sure to apply for any certifications you might need for your packaging. (For example, you can’t label your product as organic without fulfilling specific criteria and getting approval through the USDA.)

You’ll also need to include barcodes for many major retailers to make inventory and analytics easier. It’s a good idea to be prepared by already implementing them into your packaging.  

Create Credible Retail and Wholesale Packaging for Small Business

Remember that retailers and wholesalers have plenty of products to choose from. If you want them to sell yours, you need to make sure that your packaging highlights your professionalism. 

This comes into play both in the material you use and the design of your label. Every aspect should work together to establish a cohesive and credible brand image. 

A good packaging designer or experienced packaging design agency will work to ensure that every portion of your packaging comes together to speak to your customers and resonate with potential retailers and vendors. At Crème de Mint, we have a long history of creating quality, elevated packaging for our clients. We’d love to help you establish your brand identity, create eye-catching packaging, and resonate with customers, retailers, and wholesalers.

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