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At CRP, we work with many retailers and restaurant owners to develop the packaging that makes their brands shine. Here are some top packaging tips we’ve gathered to help entrepreneurs and established businesses alike, as they plan their next packaging project:

1. Establish Your Brand Identity
Often times, packaging is a consumer’s first point-of-contact with a product or brand. Thus, it is essential to have a clear understanding of your brand identity when developing your packaging system as it can communicate your brand message strongly and clearly through name, logo, and design.

2. Know Your Margins
This means understanding your retail price point, product costs and any other overhead expenses – including packaging. Packaging is so often an after-thought expense, but if you build it into your cost structure from the beginning, it will help when the time comes to research the packaging solution that is right for you. In our experience, you can expect to earmark 7-10% of your margin. 

3. Anticipate Your Launch Quantity
For custom packaging, many factories require a minimum order of 5,000 units in order to accept a new job. The cost of setting up the equipment and blocking off production time on the factory floor needs to be justified in order for a job to be profitable enough for any factory to accept it. If your initial quantities are low, a post-printed stock option or a custom label may be the best solution until you can justify a larger order.

4. Understand Your Audience
What target customer are you trying to reach? This will drive many decisions when it comes to material selection, graphic design, and structural design. If your customer is environmentally conscious, for example, you’ll want to avoid any materials that are not recyclable or may be perceived as over packaging.

5. Set Clear Goals
What do you want your packaging to achieve? Do you want it to be eye catching? Does it need to be operationally efficient and easy to assemble? Is structural integrity important to protect your product? Determine your needs and prioritize them.

6. Do Market Research
Especially for product packaging, to make sure your concept achieves your goals. This can be as informal as shopping your designs around to trusted advisers.

7. Set Realistic Timeline Expectations
Depending on the complexity of your desired packaging solution, timelines can be anywhere from 4-6 weeks for domestic production or 12-14 weeks for overseas production. Note: this doesn’t factor in the time it takes to develop and test your design concepts, so make sure you have plenty of padding before engaging your designer.

Ready to design or refresh your own packaging? Give us a shout, and we’d love to discuss your vision.