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How to Know Whose Opinion to Trust on a Package Design Project

How to Know Whose Opinion to Trust on a Package Design Project
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It never fails. Show someone your new package design and you’ll get an opinion – whether you wanted it or not. Professional packaging designers consider feedback to be a vital part of the process. But they know when and how to apply such guidance. So how do you know whose opinion to trust on package design project? The key is framing all of your input properly.

Review credentials
If you’re gathering feedback from professionals, take into consideration their experience with all aspects of branding and packaging. Don’t hire a design firm or packager just because they know how to use the right software to create attractive presentations. Instead, choose because they’re competent in guiding clients to effective design solutions that accomplish measurable goals. And whoever is doing your design work, weigh what they say against their experience in a particular aspect of the project.

Know why
If you’re seeking validation for your wonderful work, you’re setting an expectation of others that will most likely fail. Self-fulfilling validation is the equivalent of asking your mom how she liked your performance -- “That was nice dear” is not a productive response. You should seek honest feedback that truly informs you of whether or not you’re on track. Package design is not about you, but about how it communicates with a specific audience.

Listen closely to consumers.
Get as much feedback as possible from the people who will be buying the product. We’re not talking about every Tom, Dick, and Sally, but people you truly desire to own and perpetuate the existence of your product. For the most part they’ll know what moves them.

Gather feedback from several difference sources
When your mom says “Oh, I wish you would have done …” and the product wasn’t meant for her, then you know you’re heading in the right direction. Who won’t buy is as is important to know as who will. You’ll be hard pressed to design a package that appeals to all, so gauge where the lines will be drawn.

Too often package-design clients bob and weave on every comment they get. It’s vital that you welcome all constructive feedback, but you need to evaluate each opinion according to predetermined guidelines. Jumping at every comment will only have you chasing your tail.

Remember, it’s impossible to please everybody 100-percent. That’s why design-by-committee takes forever.  Let a professional’s opinion guide you based on their experience, and balance that with your ultimate goals. You’ll come out better in the long run.

photo by eyeliam, via Flickr


Laura Donnelly is the Strategy Director for XO Create! which provides expertise in packaging experiences by transforming consumer brands through compelling branding and packaging innovations.

To contact Laura call 678.319.4242 
www.xocreate.com

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