How to Choose the Right Product Packaging and Labeling to Promote Your Sustainable Brand

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Promoting a sustainable brand requires the right product packaging and labels. Remember, the physical appearance of your product as it’s displayed creates the first impression on your customer.

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Last Updated on April 14, 2023 by Packoi Team

How can you design the right packaging and product labels so your customers will recognize your brand’s sustainability efforts?

It’s not just about choosing eco-friendly packaging materials. It’s about how you put everything together so your product packaging represents your brand well.

In this article, you’ll learn about the product packaging and labeling solution that’ll help promote your brand and strengthen its eco-friendly reputation.

The 4 Roles of Product Packaging and Labeling

product packaging

Your product packaging is a powerful marketing tool that can grow your business. This also includes the labels and various designs seen on the surface.

Whether your products are sold online or displayed on a boutique shelf, it’s the first physical interaction that people will have with your brand.

This is why some offline and online retailers are careful with their product’s packaging design.

When customers see the packaging and labeling, they don’t just think of the product within. They also see a representation of a brand.

That means if you want to improve your brand image, you need a well-thought-out design. This is only possible if you meet various factors during the design process, which will be revealed later in this article.

Once these factors are met, it’ll help your packaging and labels meet 4 distinct roles.

Markets the Product

Your packaging and labels have to market the product to the intended audience. It has to provide them with the right details to let them know that it’s the right product for them to use.

Sure, the primary goal of packaging is to protect the product. You need a secure container to ensure that the customer can enjoy the product they bought from you.

But here’s the thing.

Being visually eye-catching won’t make customers buy a product. Even if your retail packaging design succeeded in getting people to pick it up from a product stand, that doesn’t mean it’ll get carried to the cashier and taken home.

Make use of the product’s surface and fill it with information that can help the customer decide to favor your brand.

creative product packaging design

Provides Information

When potential customers go to your packaging and take a closer look, they’re looking for information to confirm if the product is right for them. That’s another role to consider.

Among the things they’ll look at includes ingredients that they may be allergic to. They’re also looking for information that’ll justify the product’s price.

The information you’ll put on the packaging will also confirm if they’re getting the right package from the shelf (or online page if they’re shopping online). It allows them to compare the product with those in a similar category.

But apart from that, the information you’ll provide has to be mandated by the law. This is especially true if you sell food, cosmetics, or medically-related products. If you don’t comply, it could reflect badly on your brand identity. It could lead to the removal of your product from stores and online pages.

Make sure the information you’ll provide isn’t just correct but it should also comply with industry rules and regulations.

Educates Consumers

The product packaging design is also meant to educate the consumers buying the product. This is important if you want customers to have the best experience while using the product.

You have to give them instructions on how to use it. You should also provide them with suggestions to heighten the experience. This will help strengthen customer loyalty to your brand.

Property handling is also something that you can teach your customers. It’s not just about how to use the product but even how to properly dispose of the packaging.

These are important considerations, especially when you’re trying to build a reputation for being a sustainable brand. The information on the packaging can help you win over new customers who have pledged to support eco-friendly businesses.

product packaging

Identifies with Your Brand

Brand recognition is another role your label and packaging design plays. As a marketing tool, it’s natural to make it look like an extension of your brand.

Although the main design of the packaging and label will reflect the product, you shouldn’t forget to show hints of your brand identity.

It could be the brand logo. Or the colors of your brand. It can also be the font that you usually use on other marketing materials.

The goal of your packaging should be to inform your customers that the product is owned by your brand. If you can manage to get that connection even from afar, that would be a huge success on your part.

Small business need creative packaging ideas to stand out.

Now that the roles of packaging and labeling are clear, how can you use them to promote your sustainable brand?

How Custom Packaging and Labeling Promotes Sustainability

packaging products

The first hint of your new and improved sustainable brand should be evident in your product’s packaging. The simple reason is that it’s the first thing that people will see.

Sure, your campaign to launch the new and sustainable brand would revolve around your product offer. But sometimes, your sustainable efforts won’t be obvious by just looking at the product alone. You need to put the details on the packaging and labels.

Even a small text that says “New and Improved to be 100% Recyclable” or “All Ingredients are 100% Eco-Friendly” will immediately alert customers of your sustainable efforts.

This is why if you want to change your brand’s image, choose the right packaging to support this new direction.

To create this custom packaging solution, you must focus on three important aspects: materials, message, and design.

The Materials

What is the ideal packaging for your product if you want it to be deemed sustainable? Eco-friendly materials.

Most people will immediately think about recycled materials. But if you’re serious about sustainability, you should know that eco-friendly materials go beyond that.

For instance, there’s a material created that looks and functions like plastic – but it’s not harmful to the environment. Paper-based materials are also incredibly versatile and can be shaped in any form.

When you’re considering the materials of your packaging, don’t just think about the inner and other layers. You should also consider the adhesive you’ll use to stick the labels in the main packaging. Or the ink that’ll be used to print on it.

These have to be eco-friendly as well.

The Message

Another equally important thing is the message that you’ll put on the packaging. This refers to all the content and information that you’ll print on your sustainable packaging and labels.

While using eco-friendly materials is great, some people won’t recognize the difference unless it’s printed on the packaging.

Even a simple recyclable logo makes all the difference in sending a message of sustainability to your customers.

And if you want the perfect packaging, don’t forget to scrutinize the ink that’ll be used. Custom printing should only use eco-friendly ink, like vegetable-based ink.

That way, there won’t be able toxic materials on your packaging.

product packaging

The Design

If you want your packaging and labels to look visually appealing, you have to pay attention to the design. This isn’t just about the illustrations or graphics you’ll put in it.

This also includes the color selections. The package design also includes typography. All the information you’ll print on it is also very important.

How will you position and size the text so the content and your message have the most impact?

Your goal is to highlight the important parts of your messaging.

For instance, you’re using non-toxic materials. You can put a seal-like design that says “100% toxic free” or something similar to that.

While you’re designing your packaging and labels, don’t forget about brand recognition. Incorporate important brand elements so people will know that the product came from your brand.

Let’s get deeper into these three elements so your packaging and labeling can efficiently promote your sustainability efforts.

The Materials: Tips to Choose Sustainable Packaging Materials

How do you choose product packaging and labeling materials to help promote your brand’s sustainability efforts?

You need to do your research. There’s this thing called “greenwashing,” wherein companies exaggerate their eco-friendly efforts to trick people into buying their products.

You don’t want your brand to be associated with this term.

This is why doing your research when it comes to sustainable materials is a must. When you claim your eco-friendly efforts, you want them to be genuine and authentic.

Here are some tips that’ll lead you to the right materials for your new label and packaging.

Know What Your Product Needs

Before searching for the right materials for your packaging, focus on what your product needs. You need to consider the best packaging for your product so you can narrow your options. Determining the materials that’ll help you create more secure packaging and labeling is easier.

Even if you have sustainable materials, if it compromises the integrity of your product, your effort will be wasted.

product packaging

Here’s an example.

You can’t use paper-based packaging if the product is more secure in a plastic container. For instance, if you sell liquid hand soap, the best packaging for that is a plastic bottle. It’s lightweight and easy to form into any shape.

If you want to be more sustainable, you won’t settle for the traditional single-use plastic container. The next best thing that you can do is to use bioplastics. Or you can make your plastic packaging durable so it can be reused and refilled several times.

Research Sustainable Alternatives

With all the negative publicity around plastic, have you ever wondered why we still use them now? It’s because there are some packaging needs that only plastic can meet.

Let’s take water bottles as an example. If you eliminate the use of plastic bottles, you’re left with glass bottles as an option. But that’s not feasible because it’s too heavy. Not to mention it requires more energy to produce. That means more carbon emissions.

While that means we’re stuck with plastic bottles, that doesn’t mean we can’t be sustainable about it. As mentioned earlier, there are alternatives that you can use, like bioplastics or PET plastic types.

Take a look at what your product needs and focus on finding sustainable alternatives for it. With all the developments being made to advocate eco-friendly practices, you have a lot of options to choose from. Paperboard boxes, biodegradable bubble wrap, plant-based packing peanuts, tissue paper, and other sustainable materials exist.

Using these will help strengthen your reputation as a sustainable brand.

Get Responsibly-Sourced Materials

Being environmentally conscious isn’t just about using the right packaging materials. You should also conduct proper due diligence to ensure that the materials are responsibly sourced.

That means the raw materials used to make your product box should be taken from responsibly managed forests. Even if you’re using paper-based packaging, if it’s from illegally logged wood, then your efforts don’t mean anything.

So before you choose the right packaging materials, check where it’s coming from. Better yet, get your materials from duly certified companies.

The Message: How to Inform Your Market about Sustainability

product packaging design

Good packaging and labeling allow you to provide adequate information about your product. It’s not just about what it’s made of or what the industry regulations tell you to put there.

Your product packaging is a great way to send a message to your customers. So if you’re building a sustainable brand, use your packaging to tell your market about your efforts. At the very least, explain to them how they can take part.

Here are tips that’ll help you maximize your packaging and labels to promote sustainability.

Know Your Customers

The best way to communicate with your customers is to speak their language. That means if you want to effectively communicate your brand’s sustainable efforts, use a language that they can understand.

Check their lifestyles, personal preferences, and economic circumstances. These will affect their consumer behavior.

Whether you’re targeting an affluent customer or the suburban ones, know enough about their demographics so you know how to communicate with them.

This will help you choose the right font and layout that more customers can understand.

Choose a Sustainable Focus

There are many eco-friendly issues that you can focus on in your packaging. Recyclability, reusability, and waste reduction are only a few.

Think of packaging solutions that your desired customers can understand and apply in their lives.

That means you can’t give them plantable packaging if most of your target audience cannot access personal gardens. They won’t be able to appreciate that.

It’ll only end up in the bin.

You’re probably better off using recyclable materials for your product packaging because that’s what most people understand.

Align It with Your Brand Message

When you’re coming up with a message that you’ll put in your packaging, make sure it aligns with your brand message.

Even if you’ve decided to reinvent your brand to have a more sustainable reputation, you’d probably want to retain the original image of your brand.

Make sure it’s evident in your product boxes and labels. That way, your new message will still resonate with customers loyal to your brand over the years.

product design

Highlight Important Logos and Certifications

One of the best ways to make products stand out is to show important logos and certifications. It’s easier to get your customers to trust your product enough to give it a try.

But these logos and certifications are also a great way to show the world that you’re an eco-friendly brand.

Whatever eco-friendly option you choose for your packaging, show proof that you’re not just greenwashing. Ask your packaging supplier if they have a certification and ask if you can use it on the packaging.

If your packaging supplier has an FSC certification for their paper-based products, you might be able to use that logo to prove you’re sustainable.

Give Customers a Guide

Part of the information you should put on the packaging and labels is teaching consumers how to use the product. How is the product supposed to be used? How long will its integrity be intact if it involves a delicate product?

The guide that you’ll provide will help with the customer experience.

But that’s not all.

Since you want to promote your sustainable brand, ensure you include a guide on properly disposing of your packaging.

Remember, even with the best eco-friendly packaging. It’ll be useless if your customers can apply it.

Provide a Link for More Information

Admittedly, your product’s packaging will only have limited space on it. That space would most likely be used to provide information about the product.

But don’t forget to leave a small space to promote your sustainable brand. Even if it’s just a logo or certification – make sure it’s visible.

You can explain whatever you can’t put on the packaging in detail on your website. That’s the great thing about today’s digital age. Just place a link or QR code so people who are curious about sustainability can know more about your message of sustainability.

product packaging

The Design: Tips to Create a Sustainable Packaging Design

The product packaging design is the key to making your product stand out. Sustainable packaging is beneficial to your brand. But apart from that, you can use the design to promote your sustainability message.

Sometimes, the design is more effective because not all people would stop to read the word you put on your packaging and labels. You have to make it visually appealing so it piques the curiosity of your target market.

Here are tips that can help you achieve this.

Incorporate Your Message and Product Needs

The design of your custom packaging should always reflect your message. But that ability is limited. So you need to think about the main message that you want to convey.

Sure, your packaging design should be aligned with the product it holds. But since you have a sustainable brand to promote, you should think about the design of your packaging differently. It should also reflect your message of sustainability.

At the very least, put a hint in the design that you’re advocating for a more eco-friendly world. A simple text, logo, or seal of approval goes a long way in conveying this message through your package design.

Add Your Brand Elements

No matter what shape your packaging solutions is, they are still an extension of your brand. That means you should still include your brand elements in the design.

It doesn’t have to be the focal point of the packaging design. But put at least the logo, your brand name, and other elements associated with your product.

The purpose of this is for brand recognition. Good packaging is something that customers can recognize even from afar. Even if you’re trying to shift your brand’s image, make sure your customers can still recognize the old one to make a connection.

Research Trending Designs

If you look around you, several trends encourage sustainability. You can rely on some of these trends to come up with a custom packaging design for your product.

Whether you want cutesy or more elegant packages, there’s a way to make them sustainable. Over time, there have been several breakthroughs in terms of sustainable alternatives to traditional packaging.

Make use of these trends, and don’t be afraid to take risks. Innovation is an admirable trait in a brand. It can impress your market.

product packaging

Unleash Your Creativity

Have fun and be creative as you think about the packaging design that can promote your sustainable brand. There’s no right or wrong way to do it.

Combine the trends that you’ve researched and your knowledge of your product, brand, and sustainable materials.

As long as you’re true to what your brand represents, you shouldn’t worry about making a mistake. While impressing your customers is an important goal, staying authentic to your brand’s image will lead to the perfect package design.

Get an Expert to Help

It can be overwhelming to develop a design for your packaging, especially if you’re trying to promote a new image for your brand.

But don’t let that intimidate you. Get the help of a design team. These professionals have the training and experience to come up with a great design.

Explain to them your vision. Then trust their expertise.

The question is, where can you find these experts to help design your packaging and labels?

You can start with your packaging supplier. They usually have designers to help clients come up with the perfect packaging design.

Let’s Put Together the Best Packaging and Label for Your Product and Brand

Creating the right packaging and labeling design to promote your sustainable brand doesn’t have to be intimidating. With the right help, you can create the best design to increase sales, grow your business, and promote your sustainable brand.

Are you ready to get started?

Packoi Printing can do more than just produce eco-friendly packaging for you. We also offer design services to help you come up with the perfect packaging for your product.

Give us a call so we can discuss your ideas. We’ll send you a fair quotation so you can decide your next steps.

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Hey there, I’m Shelly!

I really enjoy the packaging and printing industry because my work makes my clients’ products more beautiful and enjoyable. If you have any questions about packaging and printing, feel free to contact me!

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