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This is a Quora question I was asked to answer. My answer is as follows.
From a functional perspective, yes. But that I think everyone knows that. If you are talking about protecting the product such that when the user opens the packaging, it is what they expect, of course your packaging is important.
But if you are asking from a design perspective for marketing purposes, in general, packaging plays a huge role.
But the more important question is how good does it have to be. Designing packaging and the packaging itself can be expensive, so if you are just starting out, what should you do?
If you have an exceptional product that captures attention that people talk about and buy over and over again, then the product sells itself and you probably do not need to worry about the packaging as much.
But if your product is not “WOW!” like I listed above, and while still a good product, does not capture attention as well, then your packaging design probably has to be better to capture attention.
But even if you have “WOW!” product, and you can afford it, I would try to have great packaging that captures attention. But if you cannot afford it to start, then focus on making a great product that people will buy over and over again and tell others about.
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