Design mistakes: how it does NOT have to be a packaging

Today’s society is based on highly competitive markets and increasingly demanding buyers. That’s why brands are obliged to double their efforts to design a packaging that meets the expectations of their customers, in addition to attracting attention and accentuating the buying desire. Unfortunately, there are companies that continue making mistakes and losing a lot of users and potential consumers. Here are 5 mistakes that you should avoid when designing a packaging.



  • Extra-large size


As we discussed in a previous post, a suitable size is ideal to connect with the consumer. One of the current trends is the search for the perfect measures in an ecommerce packaging, so avoid excessively large package. We find many complains, especially of online commerce services like Amazon, in reference to the large size of the packaging. Users of this company have claimed more than once that their products come in boxes much more bulky than necessary, creating a series of unwanted waste.




  • Opening difficulties 


How many times have we thought that “easy opening” ends up being the opposite? This problem is very common in the packaging world, especially in domestic and food products. This concern to have a system that allows a simple opening exists since the invention of hermetic packaging, two centuries ago. But this method seems not to be as effective as expected, since there is even an online request to modernize it, and thus stop complicating the day-to-day life of consumers.




  • Plastic overuse


Plastic is a global problem that has to be solved as soon as possible. The pollution produced by the massification of this material is making society demand, especially to multinationals, plastic-free products. We can also find several accounts and profiles that demand a reduction of this type of packaging, such as PointlessPackaging, which through shocking images shares the reality of American supermarkets. Luckily, a large number of companies are investing time and money in cardboard-made packaging for their products.




  • Consumer Deception


According to the second edition of the study of Marcas con Valores, 80% of Spaniards buy based on values ​​that they appreciate in brands, meaning coherence, transparency, trust and honesty should be the basis of every company. These concepts are what condition the purchase decision in the end. A packaging that deceives the consumer always ends up creating a rejection towards the brand, and the user stops buying their products. It is O.K. to slightly edit the photo, but you cannot completely change the product on Photoshop.

We can also see many examples of “deception” when the packaging announces that there is an X% more product but the packaging is the same length as the other editions, or when the bag comes with half potatoes / half air … Many consumers can perceive these actions as a scam, dishonesty and even disappointment in advertising. We can find many online complaints about different cases of brands that have used packaging to sell something that was just not real at all. 




  • Confusion and social criticism


A packaging should not deal with issues that may cause controversy. It’s necessary to review all the designs and be very careful with what type of message is sent to the consumer. A clear example for this case is Cuétara, the Spanish brand of cereals and sweets. At the end of 2019, this company launched a campaign promoting cereals in collaboration with a famous online “meme” account @cabronazi. In the cereal box was the official mascot of Cuétara disguised as a Pink Hitler, enjoying the snack with a big smile on his face. This communication failure caused a lot of criticism and confusion in social networks, since the campaign was aimed at children and adolescents. Finally, the brand withdrew the campaign, but the design remained in the memory of thousands of unhappy users for this unfavorable action.




Now that you’ve seen some of the most hated designs by consumers, you can produce some packaging with special attention to these mistakes. Remember: Be original and honest with your product!



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