People will judge a book by its cover, so your product packaging matters. Before your customers get to reap the benefits of your product, they want to make sure what they’re buying is worth it. You must make your product stand out so your customers believe in what you’re selling. There are four key steps to creating a package prototype you need to follow.

What Is a Package Prototype?

A packaging prototype is a sample of what your product and package will look like when you’re officially ready to sell it. You can have two different samples: one for your customers and another for your vendors. You’ll use a vendor if you plan to sell your products through a third-party source.

These prototypes help put the supply chain in motion and give your brand more credibility. With packaging prototypes, you can proactively promote your product and make informed decisions on how you wish to move forward. You will see what works and what doesn’t.

Step 1: Define the Requirements

This first step sets the tone for the entire process. Here, you need to bring all goals into the conversation. Discuss and document what qualities you think your package needs to be successful. You can define these elements through sales objectives, market research, or even focus groups.

In your examples, make sure you include shelf-life objectives, production line goals, pallet stability, and product compatibility with your product. Write down all requirements to keep track of what you’ve covered and what you still need to go over.

Step 2: Create a Design Brief

In this stage, you will develop numerical targets and tolerances based on design requirements. You will also decide on test methods and qualities in this stage.

If you want to meet pallet stability requirements, you must work on the vertical load specification for the individual packaging. You’ll also need to work out the tolerance and procedure plans to test the product.

Step 3: Develop the Design

Now, you can begin to develop an actual design for your packaging. Use the dimensions you ironed out in step two to get the ball rolling. You want to create a package that meets your dimensions and doesn’t exceed them.

There is always room for improvement. Design a package that you can use consistently. Once your first set of samples goes out, you can see where you need to make enhancements.

Step 4: Test the Design

Do a practice test before the actual one. These tests help ensure that your product is user-friendly and meets the specifications you outlined. After you complete a successful run-through, test your product with a focus group.

Provide everyone with a prototype and then bring everyone together to answer some basic questions. What did they like? What didn’t they like? What would they like to see in the future?

At Virtual Packaging, we understand that seeing is believing for your customers. We can help you complete these four steps to creating a package prototype and so much more. Visit our website for more information.