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Designing for Success: A Strategic Look at the CPG Packaging Process




Packaging design plays a crucial role in the success of consumer packaged goods (CPG) products. A well-designed, branded custom package can attract the attention of shoppers, communicate the brand’s message, and create a memorable experience.

On the other hand, a poorly designed package can be overlooked, confusing, and even harmful to the product’s sales. So, really, it’s crucial for CPG companies to have a strategic approach to their packaging design process.

Researching the Market and Consumer Insights

Before starting the design process, take the time to research the market, get your consumer insights, and any legal updates. This research helps many companies understand what the market trends are, how consumers behave, and other preferences. Also, it helps identify opportunities and challenges in the market.

One of the valuable resources for CPG companies is Nielsen’s Consumer Panel. It’s a panel of consumers that provides feedback on products and packaging designs. The feedback includes information on the product’s price, packaging, and overall appeal. This kind of data can help you understand what features your customers prefer and what they don’t like about any current packaging designs.

Another resource for consumer insights is social media. CPG companies can monitor social media platforms to gather feedback from consumers. By analyzing comments and posts, companies can gain insights into what consumers are saying about their products and packaging. This data can help companies identify areas for improvement and create designs that resonate with their target audience.

Creating a Strategic Design Brief

A design brief is a document that outlines the design goals and objectives for a packaging design project. It’s essential to create a design brief that aligns with the company’s overall brand strategy and messaging and get that to a professional packaging partner to execute correctly.

The design brief should include information on the target audience, packaging size and shape, brand messaging, and any regulatory requirements. Additionally, it should outline the project’s timeline, budget, and any other important details.

By creating a comprehensive design brief, CPG companies can ensure that their packaging design project stays on track and meets the company’s goals and objectives.

Concept Development and Prototyping

Once the design brief is complete, it’s time to begin the concept development process. This process involves brainstorming ideas and creating rough sketches of potential packaging designs. If you’re after the complete package, consider branded void fill like custom tissue paper, sealing with logo stickers, and marked branded custom tape.

Prototyping is also an essential part of the concept development process. By creating physical prototypes of packaging designs, companies can test the designs and gather feedback from focus groups or consumer panels.

Implementing the Final Design and Launching the Product

After the concept development and prototyping phases are complete, it’s time to implement the final design and launch the product. It’s essential to ensure that the packaging design meets all regulatory requirements and aligns with the brand’s messaging.

One resource for regulatory requirements is the FDA’s labeling and packaging regulations. These regulations outline the requirements for food and beverage packaging in the United States. By following these regulations, companies can ensure that their packaging designs are safe and legal.

Additionally, it’s essential to test the packaging design in different retail environments. By testing the packaging in various stores and locations, companies can ensure that the packaging design stands out and attracts consumers.


In conclusion, designing successful CPG packaging requires a strategic approach. By researching the market and gathering consumer insights, creating a comprehensive design brief, developing and prototyping packaging concepts, and implementing the final design, companies can create packaging that resonates with their target audience and meets their business goals. With the help of resources like Nielsen’s Consumer Panel, social media, and the FDA’s labeling and packaging regulations, CPG companies can design packaging that stands out in a crowded market and helps drive sales.

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