There are 3 questions every package design must answer to make the saleRegardless of how stunning gorgeous and new your product pack is… or on what platform it’s sold on, regardless of what the product is, or how your price-point compares with your competition… your packaging design must clearly answer these three questions for your target audience before they’ll put it into their shopping cart.

(Special thanks to TODD BROWN for the inspiration for this blog)

When these three questions are left unanswered, your “sales-message” will fall flat and severely impact your sales.

The 3 questions every package design must answer to make the sale

The “3 Questions Every Package Design Must Answer To Make The Sale” are based on the premise that there are certain things your target customers need to believe, consciously or unconsciously, for them to buy into your product and the solution it offers them.    

Question #1: What does your target customer need to believe about themselves?

Depending on your product, the benefits it delivers and problems it solves, there are a number of beliefs your target audience may need to believe about themselves.

Here are a few examples of beliefs “about themselves” your target audience will need to have before they choose your product and put it in their shopping cart:

  • Will they be able to benefit from what your product promise offers?
  • Will other users at home enjoy the benefits offered by your product?
  • Do they have the time or inclination to stop and investigate your product further?
  • Is what they’re buying represent value for their money?(Would you resent paying $5:00 for a coffee? Chances are you just don’t believe in the value promise)
  • Are making a smart choice/buying decision?
  • Will the product be consumed and not go to waste?
  • Are there any perceived risks in buying this product?
  • What will others think of their purchase decision? (If I shared this on social media, how would that be perceived?)


Question #2: What does your target audience need to believe about your brand?

This question more often than not will depend on what’s being offered and where it’s being sold. A product being sold on a Woolies or Coles shelf will tend to leverage credibility from the retailer’s brand. On the other hand product being sold from a “random” website requires a whole lot more information about the brand and risk removal mechanisms for a target customer to believe and have the confidence in the brands promise, for them to purchase your product.

Here are some examples of beliefs “about your brand” your target audience will need to have before they will buy:

  • Is your brand credible and trustworthy?
  • Does your brand/product deliver on the promises you make?
  • Does your brand or the product have a proven success track-record?
  • What tells your target audience that the brand is credible?
  • Do they believe that what’s inside the pack is the same if not better than what’s represented by the pack itself?
  • Ultimately what is it that your target audience needs to believe about your brand in order for them to have enough confidence in the promises your product packaging (Brand) is making?


Question #3: What does your target audience need to believe about your product on display?

Believing what the product pack represents is the primary question which must get answered by the presentation of your product on the shelf in relation to the sales environment it sits in.

No matter the product or your brand, prospects will need to believe the following:

  • Is price seen as a barrier? (IOW: A 3 pack of gum for $22:00, no matter who it’s endorsed by will not be seen as value for money)
  • Is there a “perceived value” in buying this product and is it worth the risk?
  • Does the pack bombard and overload the potential buyer with too many call-outs and too much information?
  • Does your target audience believe your product will deliver on the benefits it promises?
  • Will your product benefit your target customer as it has for others in their situation?

So how does your pack answer the 3 questions every package design must answer to make the sale?

The pack design must answer your target audience questions by establishing a sense of belief through credibility and proof. To make the sale and get your customer to place your product in their shopping cart, your pack needs to deliver on the 3 keys, surprise and delight, personalisation and shareability. For more on this see The 3 Wow’s that influence buying choices.