How-to beat the competition with packaging design
Dramatising product benefits and features in your packaging design is a sure-fire way to beat the competition.

This works best for high performance brands like cleaning, automotive or hygiene products. It is is about enhancing what your product does best, so it catches the eye of shoppers in a meaningful way – distinguishing it from the competition and ultimately flying off the shelves.

Several of our packaging design projects have benefited from this approach, here’s how:

Be bright and bold with colour
High performance brands can benefit by skillfully using the semiotics of colour. This isn’t the place for wallflowers, it’s about bold brash bright colours that sing your product features and benefits.  Avoid pastels and look to examples like the bright red Finish Powerball for inspiration.

Don’t be a softie
Stay away from rustic or soft appearing materials. Shiny or glossy materials as well as hard surfaces will all help dramatise the power of your product.

In your face fonts
Choose the right typography to create a statement and communicate your authority or performance in a category. Go for more angular fonts, than rounded ones and look at the myriad of effects that can be applied to strengthen your point.  Bold, italics, block capitals, 3D and drop shadows should be on your consideration list.

Demonstrate with illustration
Whether your product kills bacteria, makes things shiny or powers your engine to go faster, demonstrate the key beneficial action with an illustration. This approach will make for a simple yet effective way of delivering your message in a nutshell.

Bite-size your information
Forget paragraphs of text and opt for bullet points to communicate bold product claims – reasons your version is heads and shoulders above the competition. Use of numbers and percentages in this format will help you to substantiate claims and deliver a more powerful proposition.

Case study: How we helped car care brand Prestone look more effective than the competition, driving double-digit growth
Prestone is a range of coolant and antifreeze products. We translated its brand proposition ‘Pioneers in the Extreme’ into a new packaging design, dramatising its high performance to differentiate from lower specification competitors.

Each aspect of the pack has been considered to amplify the high performance features and benefits – a dynamic pour of liquid, the temperature extremes, bold and italicised text plus a contrasting background suggesting how and where the product works. Bold brand colours of yellow and black combined with a dominant logo provide brand and shelf stand out.

Research confirmed the new packs had greater shelf stand out, benefiting from high performance cues. Sales and brand recognition both grew by double-digit figures.

A more in-depth behind the scenes look at this project can be found in our work section.

If you need help with your packaging design, please get in touch.


Adam Tregaskis, Head of Retail, The Behaviours Agency