Here’s why you need to focus on your product’s design.
Many times, businesses take product design for granted. They think that once you have a product, it’s enough to start a business and keep going. While it’s true that you can start a business with just a product, that doesn’t mean you should deprioritize that product’s appearance and feel.
Here are a few reasons why product design matters:
- It helps you make a good impression. Your product’s design is always going to be the first thing people see, and there are many things you can tell them from your design alone. You can include pictures or graphics that define your product’s scent, texture or ingredients. You can color your packaging in a way that resembles flavors, types or styles. You can even make your product look trustworthy, which is something we’ll discuss later on.
- It enhances the user experience. The user experience can be influenced by many things, and design makes a big impact. From the design of your product itself (how it’s organized, folded, prepared, etc.) to how it’s packaged to how your online or offline advertising presents it, design takes care of the visual side of your product. Again, this is especially important because visual cues are the first thing people notice. Plus points if your design involves the other senses!
- It builds trust. Not just any design, but a good design can take you places. Take websites for an example: would you more likely stay on a cluttered, confusing site than one where whatever you need is organized and easy to find? Are you more likely to think, “This is a reputable company,” if the company’s site looks cheaply done and confuses you? This is the same case for many other products. Having a design, first and foremost, gives people the idea that you put effort into your packaging. But having a good design additionally makes them feel like you’re a company of merit.
- It makes your brand memorable. Between a product with plain plastic packaging and one that’s colorful, information-laden, and eye-catching, which one do you think your market will remember? Think of retail products. Now that plastics have been banned in many cities, paper bags have become the common packaging. But some companies go the extra mile and make sure to put their brand on the bags, or better yet, add in some color and graphics. These little differences turn their products into marketing materials themselves.
- It attracts your target audience. We’re placing the emphasis on “target” here. Think of clothing brands. You can usually tell the target age demographic of a brand before even seeing a single one of its products. All you need to do is look at its store, website, or packaging. Certain colors attract certain people, after all. All the more, certain drawing styles, images, memes, or symbols attract specific targets as well. Use this to your advantage—know what your audience likes not just so you can model your product after it, but your packaging and designs as well.
- It makes content pop. Content is king these days, but what good is content that (a) can’t be found, or (b) can barely be seen? Successful print companies have perfected the art of making their content pop by not overloading on design, but rather enhancing the content through design. The best way to work this is by starting with your content, and following up with design. Complement the information you offer with pictures. Supplement your images or videos with a caption. Find the balance between good content and good design, and you should have a pleasant-looking platform in no time.
- It gives you an edge. With the pace and weight of competition these days, it’s tough to make your product stand out. Still, innovative design can take you far. As an example for this, let’s look at food. Food can look the same among brands, but if a particular kitchen has a very nice way of preparing their food and making it look especially delicious, who’s to say that their food won’t gather more onlookers (and, following that, more customers)? And remember, if you can’t get creative with the product, there’s always a way to be creative with packaging!
Product design is about more than just creating a product and leaving it out to sell on its own. There’s a reason why companies have entire teams dedicated to product design. First impressions matter, and there’s no doubt about it—before customers even notice your product, your design will catch their eye. Following up with the product’s quality is, of course, the next step, but you won’t even get that far without a good design to set the stage.
So take a good look at your brand’s products. What can be improved about them? Are they appealing enough? Is there a way to make them even more eye-catching and attention-grabbing? Creativity goes a long way when it comes to running a business, and product design is at the top of that list. Next time you overlook product design, remember: it’s all about getting your customers to notice you, first.