Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Monday, November 16, 2009

3 Packaging Tips

While digital distribution is The Next Big Thing in electronic games, and PDF versions of paper games are a rapidly-growing market segment, let's not forget that most of the revenue for games (electronic or paper) comes from products sold in retail stores. So here's some things to remember when designing packaging for your product.

1) Make it stand out. Before you design your package (whether it's a box cover, a book cover, a blister card or something else) take a trip to a retail store that will be selling your product. (This is a good idea even when you aren't designing a package, too... you can see what marketing is working and what isn't.) Look around... there's dozens or hundreds of products all screaming for your attention. Well, some may be screaming, and some may be whispering, and some may be hiding. Look at a few products that caught your eye, and try to analyze why they did. Was it the color that stood out? The contrast? The title? The graphic treatment? You'll learn some things about what works and what doesn't, in the environment where you will be competing. Take pictures... take notes... ask questions... and think about how you can put some more snap into your package. Packages that look good two feet away may not help you from ten feet away, and you need to understand the likely distance a customer will first see your product is more likely ten feet or twenty feet rather than two feet.

2) Make it readable. Elaborate title fonts may be cool, but if the customer can't read it they may be less likely to pick it up or associate it with your other marketing efforts. Interesting text is fine for title, but not if it's hard to read. Make sure it's readable from ten feet away. And make sure the spine of your product is readable, too, because your product is likely to be sitting that way in most cases. And while you're at it, make sure that any text you put on the package is readable, and isn't rendered illegible by the artwork or graphic design. The first job of the package is to sell the product; looking good is secondary.

3) Make it work. Your package is one of your most important marketing tools, so it should work as hard as possible at selling the product. Make sure you get your key selling points in there, along with any awards or great reviews, and don't forget to make sure you have a web site prominently displayed for any curious customer to look at for more info (and more chances to sell them things).

These are just a few points to ponder; I could write a book on how to do a good job making the book cover sell... Wait, the recursion is making my brain hurt. Time to think about my next blog post.

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