The packaging of a product has a significant influence on a shopper’s decision. Not only does it work to get their attention, but it also gives them an overview of what to expect, and whether it satisfies their needs within their budget. Going on a hunch is risky and almost guaranteed to end badly. There is a science in packaging design, and like all sciences, it’s essential to test and experiment to see what works and avoid mistakes ahead of the actual product launch.

Review competitors

Looking at competitors’ packaging can give you an idea of what kinds of designs succeed in the current market. The goal is not to imitate something that is working for the competitor but knowing what problems or situations they address and how they address them. If possible, try to observe how their packaging has evolved over the years, and learn how they streamlined it.

Change one thing at a time

In an experiment, you want to make a single change while keeping everything else constant to ensure that the result you get can is attributable to that one specific difference and nothing else. If you want to see how the font size of the product name will impact its visibility, for example, change only the font size of the product name. To save time, make several variants—in this case, the product name in several different font sizes. This way, you can save time.

Involve everyone

Don’t rely on just yourself to conduct the testing and interpreting the data, as it can also taint the results with bias. Partners in design, marketing, and sales can provide valuable input from different perspectives. They can imagine what the results are like in different scenarios and interpret the data based on their experiences and expertise. They may have insights that someone else in the team may not. Combining all these provides a more meaningful interpretation, which in turn gives you a better idea of how to improve the design. If you are planning to outsource to a packaging design company who performs the testing themselves, make sure you are present all the time.

Write everything down

When it comes to documentation, there is no such thing as overdoing it. Documenting everything is the only way to keep track of results, who did what, and what the effect was, how the experiment went, and what didn’t work, and many other things. Even though you may think that you’re documenting small things that are negligible in the big picture, you’ll never know when you need it. A simple action can be the cause of a chain of reactions that lead to success or failure, and you want to know what caused it—or who did it.

Take photos and videos

Photos and videos can help you further review your experiment outside in the field. Videos especially allow you to observe reactions that you might have missed, the behaviour of shoppers while within the vicinity of your product, and what exactly they do with it when they pick it up.