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When you have a product to manufacture and sell, you may mistakenly believe that the hard work is done once the product design is finalized. However, there is a lot more that goes into manufacturing, packaging, and marketing a product than just product design. One of the biggest considerations you’ll need to make is carton design.

Carton design is a vital factor of product marketing, product quality, and the end-user experience. The product carton is the first line of defense between the product and the elements. This is why carton design is such an important consideration that should be finalized, in collaboration with designers and engineers, before the first production piece is manufactured.

To fully understand the complexities of carton design, we must consider it from two different perspectives – the marketing perspective and the engineering perspective.

Marketing Perspective

A marketer’s job is to sell products, along with improving the consumer’s view of the brand and boosting its reputation. Since the product carton is often the first thing a consumer sees when viewing a product on a retail shelf, nailing the carton design is crucial for optimal sales and brand recognition. Marketers consider every facet of the carton design, such as how it will look sitting on the retail shelf if the carton size will affect product placement in retail stores, and how the end-user will interact with the carton during and after purchase. 

Some brands do the marketing side of carton design so well that they can be identified just by the product’s carton. For example, almost everyone recognizes the iconic Tiffany Blue® box as a symbol of luxury and wealth. Without even looking inside the carton, the end-user knows they’re about to receive something valuable and beautiful. We should all hope to master carton design so well!

Engineering Perspective

The engineering perspective on carton design is quite different from marketing, but just as important. It may be the carton’s colors and design that lure a consumer to a product on a retail shelf, but a well-engineered carton can mean the difference between a satisfied customer or an angry phone call and a bad online review. Properly-engineered cartons keep the product safe during shipment and sale by preventing crushing, abrasions, and hard impacts on the product inside. If the carton fails to do any of these jobs, the product quality is diminished and consumer satisfaction suffers.

Some of the top considerations about carton design from an engineering standpoint include:

  • How will the carton be loaded into the packaging machine?
  • How will the carton design affect upstream processes?
  • What are the structural specifications and limits of the carton?
  • Can the carton be easily packed, stacked, and palletized for shipment?
  • What environmental conditions will the carton be exposed to during shipment and sale?

Bringing Carton Design Marketing and Engineering Together

So how do these two sometimes opposing viewpoints come together as a brilliant carton design? When the marketing team presents their proposal for the carton design, the engineering team will then attempt to “reverse engineer” the carton from the finished design back to the beginning. During this process, the engineers will test different carton shapes, materials, and styles to find the combination that works perfectly for the product being sold while also easily flowing down the packaging line.

Let Econocorp Help You Close the Disconnect Between Marketing and Engineering

If you have an amazing product to sell but can’t get marketing and engineering on the same page for carton design, Econocorp can help. Our expert design team has years of experience designing and testing carton designs that are durable, attractive, and drive sales. Best of all, our designs will work flawlessly with our line of cartoners, tray formers, and case packers. Contact us at 781-986-7500 or email to get started with your carton design project today!