How To Make Your Product Stand Out On The Shelves

Richard Stockdale - Rebus Design Richard Stockdale 14th June 2022

When there's lots of competition, here's how to make your product shine on the shelves.

Packaging design is an essential element of your marketing plan. Because shoppers face a visual bombardment whenever they are browsing online or on the shelves and racks of a physical shop, your product needs to stand out. You have a split second to make a lasting impression, and how you stand out needs to be creative, but also cost-effective.

Good packaging design definitely does work, but your packaging needs to carry out a number of functions, namely to:

Capture attention

Communicate to your target market

Inspire a purchase

Have a practical purpose

There are lots of things you can do to ensure your packaging design fulfils its remit, so let’s take a look at these now:

End user

Like any element of your overall marketing plan, you need to stay focused on the needs and expectations of your target market. Print technology is so far advanced now that you can incorporate any kind of design on your packaging, but make sure it stays true to what your end user would want and be attracted to.

Product usage

Is it obvious what the product is? This is no time to dabble in abstract messaging, like an expensive TV ad. Make sure the packaging tells the consumer what the product is and what it does.


You can be really creative here, and there are no limits to what colours you can use to help the product standout, but make sure the colours are consistent with your branding. A big part of building a strong brand is consistency, and giving the consumer an image they will remember and pick out on the shelves. This means the colours you use on your website, adverts, social media etc should also be on the packaging.

Keep it simple

You can be bold and confident without being complex. Don’t confuse the consumer and keep your packaging design simple and minimalist. You can say more by saying less, so make sure your message is consistent and clear on your packaging.

Retro always works

People love a retro theme, so consider going back in time with your materials, design or fonts. Retro trends are always changing but always give an impression that the product is authentic, trusted, reliable and thoughtful.


Whether it’s using labelling, images or text, you can add layers of texture to your packaging so the product feels different when picked up. Again, modern print design techniques mean you can do almost anything in a cost-effective way, and this includes leaving a lasting impression with a consumer when they pick-up and handle your product.


While design and capturing attention is paramount in packaging design, don’t lose sight of practicality. Ultimately, the packaging needs to store, transport and protect the product, and in some cases it is also integral to its usage. So if the packaging is not fit-for-purpose, like with a microwave meal for example, then your product will soon get found out.

Don’t fear change

A key element of your overall marketing plan is to keep on your toes and react to changes and opportunities. This also applies to packaging and how your product looks on the shelves. Of course this still needs to reflect your market and whether your end user expects your product to look different and evolve over time, but don’t be afraid to keep the packaging fresh by changing it. You can maintain your branding while also amending the packaging design to be innovative or seasonal. This might mean that people learn to keep an eye out for your new packaging and always have a focus on what you might do next. Trends come and go, and if your brand has a reputation for changing and keeping up with trends, you have a great opportunity to reflect this in evolving packaging design.

Professional guidance with packaging design

Hopefully this gives you some strong ideas as to how to approach the area of packaging design, and how to maintain a clear vision that is in line with your marketing strategy. If you want further guidance or expert insight into packaging design, then contact Rebus today and we can help you find the best packaging design to ensure your product stands out on the shelves.


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