The reality today is 70 percent of consumer purchase decisions are still made at the shelf. There are increasing pressures to these percentages with both the in-store experience and the sales growth in internet sales. Experts agree it’s about having the ‘right product in the right place’. 
Today, without differentiation, new products are potentially doomed for failure. The odds of not having competition in any new endeavour are next to impossible. Companies are faced with a number of challenges which can hinder their success or present obstacles in the launch of a new product and it can cost hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars to develop a brand from concept to consumer.
Whether we’re discussing purchase decisions or differentiation, we should review our brand strategies. Going through a branding strategy—brand essence—process can help define the verbal and visual aspects of our brand. We can look at both the direct and indirect competition to start understanding their positioning, price points, and what comprises their differentiation.
Packaging design, specifically, can be divided up into to three key areas. The first is the primary display panel (PDF): the featured front panel of the product. Here a company can feature its brand name, logo, and tagline on the first part the consumer sees when deliberating. The first step in selling a product at the shelf is have enough on the front of the label to pique their curiosity and cause them to pick it up. The design aspects will help to intrigue the consumer, further driving their interest. The second panel is the ‘story’ panel. What do you want to say about your product? Maybe you do have a real story and reason for being that will help position your product for success by appealing to the consumer. Or you may want to use this panel to describe your product attributes pictorially or verbally. Finally, the third panel offers the facts, including the nutritional panel and company information. This panel is the least creative and has certain requirements associated with it which define your product.
Your package design is also your lead to all aspects of your marketing. It’s important to complete your brand strategy and essence work first and then move into package design before developing your website and sales materials. Package design leads the elements of your overall brand vision and the look and feel of the brand. It is critically important to make smart decisions in this area as it has the potential to make or break your success.
 It’s not just about the Shelf:Creating the Ideal In-Store Experience 7-21-16; Nielsen