Five things I’ve learned as a packaging copywriter

EVOW_packaging_copywriterPackaging copywriting is a specialty that combines the kind of sales copywriting experience you get writing direct marketing along with branding experience and point-of-purchase awareness. Plus a dash of regulatory knowledge. Plus a balance of long-form writing and brevity. Here are five insights I’ve gleaned from being a packaging copywriter for more than a decade.

  1. Present yourself with presence. Point of purchase means exactly that. You’re reaching potential customers at the point where they’re making buying decisions. If your messaging resonates, you’re more likely to close a sale. Sometimes that means giving your brand messaging a little more copywriting weight in order to convince someone to buy. Does that warrant paragraph after paragraph of packaging copy? Certainly not. But it does mean you should plan your messaging to determine the main thought and 3–5 support points it must present in order to make the sale. That requires planning. And ideally, a good creative brief.
  2. Every panel stands alone. Your typical box has six panels: front, right, left, back, top and bottom. While it’s right to assume that the front will be facing out towards customers on the shelf, it’s also right to assume they won’t always see it at that orientation. Boxes get moved. They get picked up. Shuffled around. You have to write every panel like it stands on its own as well as working with the other panels.
  3. Treat a panel like a billboard. Even if your product is nestled within a larger box, it’s wise not to overfill your panels with text. Like any billboard, you’ve got to assume you only have a few seconds to catch someone’s attention and tell them something about your product. Big headlines, short paragraphs, bullet points. Those are the go-to’s.
  4. Leave it to the lawyers. While you need an experienced packaging copywriter that understands the legal requirements for the country or countries your product is being sold in, it pays to have a solid legal resource onboard. That’s because there’s always something new and every lawyer has a different interpretation about what’s allowed. Always suggest that their lawyers weigh in on matters of regulatory compliance.
  5. Start with good creative brief. A good creative brief helps you plan your messaging. Don’t have a creative brief? Contact me and I’ll send you the one I use.
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