Packaging is the face of your brand. Not only does it identify your product on the shelf, but also tells the consumer a lot about the product inside. Your packaging should clearly communicate everything you want your brand to represent: quality, health, integrity, uniqueness, etc.

Packaging can do a lot more for your brand than simply communicate your unique product offering to consumers. It can be used to develop a billboard at retail, helping consumers find your products more easily. For example: imagine if all of your packages were bright red. How would they stand out on the shelf if they were all grouped together on multiple shelves? This is a billboard and the ultimate in product placement that few brands achieve.

The goal is to “own” the shelf and create a merchandising billboard to capture shoppers attention. Have this goal in mind as you develop your go-to market strategy.

When developing packaging, some brands frequently overlook not only how the consumer will view the product but how retailers will merchandise it. If the store’s shelf is 10″ high and your package is 12″, that makes for a difficult display situation. Your product might be placed on the top shelf in this example, which may or may not be in shoppers’ direct line of sight. It’s important to make it easy for retailers to merchandise your items.

Other considerations are the shelving rules. Retailers have very specific regulations and expectations for the products they sell, including item case pack/item holding power, pricing, commitments by you to support and promote the item, minimum “days of supply” requirements, etc.

For example, what do your sales need to hit to maintain your holding power while meeting retailer’s case pack requirements? If a retailer expects you to have a 1.5 case pack, that means you need to have 18 items on the shelf. If one facing holds six items, then you need three facings. Those three facings need to generate enough sales to drive category growth while competing effectively with competitive items.

The minimum days of supply is the number of days your item can be sold before restocking. This number varies by category by with each retailer.

Merchandising is critical to your brand’s success. Your packaging needs to be designed to help retailers merchandise it creatively when promoted. This includes side stacks, end caps, secondary displays and other impulse opportunities. Top-selling brands that can create a billboard when merchandised are great for retailers looking for creative ways to increase incremental foot traffic and grow sustainable sales.

Dan’s mission is “Empowering Brands and Raising The Bar”.  His weekly newsletter, educational podcast and training courses have become an invaluable resource for brands and retailers seeking a competitive advantage.  To learn more or connect with Dan, visit or email

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