It’s not easy being “green.” There are more regulations to adhere to. There are more hoops to jump through in your marketing. And standing out on the shelf can be more difficult. That’s why having eye-catching, attractive, environmentally-friendly, packaging matters.
Manufacturers of green products have a unique competitive selling point – using their product means treating the environment a little bit better. Although this is a trendy and important competitive advantage, it’s not always easy to convey on the product labels in a quick, attention-grabbing manner.
Here are a few ways you can design your labels to stand out on the shelves while still staying true to your eco-friendly roots.
It’s easy to forget how your customers see your product labels on the shelf while trying to cram on all of the information you need to convey. This is especially true when you’re talking about the eco-friendly nature of your products, or adding on United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requirements, such as the nutrition facts label. Taking a step back to view your container through your customer’s lens will help in designing your labels.
Consider the following:
During the creative process, start at the front with your eye-catching design, incorporate information and your company’s story on the side panels, and then end on the back with the required details.
It’s common for environmentally friendly packaging to include muted colors, such as browns, tans, golds, and greens. Although these send an instant signal about the packaging and product, they tend to blend into the shelf instead of standing out.
To send a signal that your product is eco-friendly, while still getting noticed from several feet away (where your customers will be scanning the shelf looking for your product), add secondary colors. For example, if you’re using tans and browns in your logo, adding small areas or images with red can make your product pop. This can be done without losing the inherent psychological values of your product being environmentally friendly.
One way to infuse a more diverse color palette without stealing from the message of your “green” product is to use more pictures or icons on your labels.
Consumers often look to environmentally friendly packaging to find specific icons that answer specific attributes of the product. For example, gluten-free products are able to include an icon that shows they’re gluten free. The same is true for cruelty-free products or non-GMO products. If your product qualifies, add the icon so a consumer can quickly scan and see how your product is “green.”
The type of eco-friendly container you use matters too, especially in environmentally friendly packaging. As a rule, consumers want to know one of three things about your container’s eco-friendly attributes:
If your containers have any of these elements, include it on your label. Don’t assume a consumer knows. Many containers might seem recyclable but are not. Tell your consumer how she can continue to be friendly towards Mother Earth by indicating what she should do with it when she’s done using your product.
Green products are, in some ways, harder to sell because you have more information to convey. You also want to stay true to your brand’s message, which can often times make it harder to stand out on the shelf.