7 Packaging Design Mistakes that will Ruin Your Brand Image

Packaging mistakes are common, Even big brands like PepsiCo have faced the wrath of their consumers after failing to make their packaging look appealing to their customers. Tropicana, a sister brand of PepsiCo, introduced a fresh look. Instead of an orange skewered with a straw, they went for the picture of a juice (literally) on the carton. Sales suffered instantly, people thought the packaging looked like one from a “discount store brand”. After 7 weeks and 30 million USD in loss, PepsiCo scrapped the idea and went back to its original packaging. 

Packaging is one of the most essential parts of selling your product because consumers only pick up from the shelves items they find visually appealing. In fact, 66% of customers in the US buy new products affected by its packaging. That is a huge number compared to the importance brands give to packaging. Here’s a list of some major packaging mistakes to help you choose the right packaging for your products. 

7 deadly sins of packaging designs that will make your consumers shift

Packaging Does Not Communicate What The Product Is

Packaging communicates what the product is, quite literally. If your packaging does not convey what the product is, it’s not going to sell. Many people don’t exactly read the labels but instead make a purchase based on the packaging of the products. That is why your packaging needs to carry an essence of what the product is. For example, if you sell fruit juice in a bottle that looks like a toilet cleaner, no one will buy it. 

Difficult To Open

If customers need to use tools or teeth for opening the packaging, you’ve already failed. Difficult to open packages are really time wasters, dangerous and might even damage your product. There’s no use of a scissor packaging if your customers need scissors to open it. Moreover, if they cut their hands while opening the package or get some injury, they’ll never buy your product again.

Probably one of the biggest complaints with failed packaging is “I cannot open it.” even the greatest product will sit on the shelves if the packaging is difficult to open.

Never Thinking Out Of The Box

Designing is all about creating, not copying. Often with big brands, designers are under pressure so they tend to stick with what knowledge they have at hand, which often leads to nothing but similar design ideas. Many designers straight away get to work without brainstorming sessions and that is because they do not realise how important packaging is for a product to sell out.

A good designer should dare to break rules. After all, a good packaging design is one that is innovative!

Wrong Labelling

Wrong labelling is one of the most common mistakes in packaging and generally turns out to be funny and the product is made into a laughing stock. For example, the musical instrument in the image below is not really recommended for kids into music.

wrong packaging example

Source: boredpanda.com

Wrong labelling can be funny at times but there are situations where it might pose a threat. For example, wrong labelings on pharmaceutical products can be misleading and turn out to be a big danger to someone’s health.

Wasting Material Or Using Unsafe Packaging Material

Consumers nowadays focus more on whether the packaging is recyclable or what effect it has on our environment. The industry that is far behind in environmental aspects is food designing. Like half a boiled egg, which was literally half a boiled egg, in a non-recyclable plastic tray, wrapped up with foil. Bio eco tea bag is another example wherein the brand made biodegradable green tea bags but each bag had an individual plastic wrapping which clearly opposed their idea of an eco friendly tea bag.

Too Much To Comprehend In The Packaging

Minimalist ideas don’t work for every product, in fact there are brands that have made a living out of great colour designs. However, there are always some bad designs that are really painful to look at. Using different fonts, weird images or bad colour combinations can leave a bad impression on your customers.

Wastage Of Space

Wasting space is a killer for your business. Firstly it takes more space, which means less shipping, secondly, there are products that require fillers to keep them safe and stable inside the box. Many producers leave a lot of space in the packaging causing a regress in delivery.


Analysts believe the only way to grow is to know when you understand your failures and learn from them. No packaging design is good in the first try, but if you put a little effort and creativity, you can surely stand out from the crowd while your product stands out on the market.