How to make Packaging Mock-ups that Sell

Companies are more likely to buy or license your product if it looks market-ready and believable.

Business people often lack imagination and so you need to be very good at show-and-tell as well as arts-and-crafts.

One of the ways to compensate for poor imagination of your audience (investor, buyer, test-user, etc) is by making really excellent mock-ups (prototypes) of your product.

In many cases, these will be home made (by you or a friend), and in some cases they may need to be professionally made.  If you get far enough with the process, you will eventually get a prototype from a manufacturer – also known as a pre-production sample.

Fake it Before you Make it

Mostly, we try to sell our inventions and product ideas before we go to the trouble of dealing with manufacturers, so it is much more likely for us to either make the prototypes ourselves or find a professional model maker to do it for us.

One of the aspects which takes a product mock-up to the next level is the packaging. A good package design can really do a lot to elevate your prototype and make it look much more professional, which really means more believable. When the person you’re pitching believes your product is ready for market, they’re much more likely to want to partner with you.

If you want to buy real product packaging, you will find that the minimum order quantities are typically in the thousands. This is not something worth wasting your money on! You’ll just end up with thousands of unused packages in your closet or garage. Trust me, i’ve been there and it just makes you feel silly.

To make a realistic looking product mock-up is to “hack” an existing product package. I mean buy a product and modify the package to use in your mock-up.

DIY Packaging for your Prototype

There are many different kinds of product packaging, and it’s up to you to choose the most appropriate kind for your product based on size, cost, level of protection etc.

Once you’ve selected the type of package you plan to use, it’s time to hit the shops!

Find the right product

Try to find a product with the type of package you’re looking to use. Disregard the actual product inside because it has no real relevance.

Don’t compromise, if the package isn’t quite right, don’t bother with it just keep searching. These things take time and your goal is truly convincing mock-up.

Replace the Branding with your own

The next step is to replace the product graphics and branding with your own.

The easiest way to do this is to use a free online graphics editor like Pixlr, Canva or others. You can also do the old-fashioned cut-and-paste method which can often work really well.

Insert your prototype and voila! You have a professional looking product mock-up ready to present to a potential licensee

In some cases, this kind of mock-up can be used in a crowd-funding video or to post on an e-commerce store to further validate the sales potential.

These skills may seem simple, but they can be extremely useful when pitching and selling your ideas as well as when getting user feedback. Remember, practice makes perfect! So if you have some prototypes of an idea, go ahead and make the packaging for it.

Let us know how it turns out!

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