Why Copy MUST Come Before Your Pet Product Design

why copy should come before product design

So, you’re creating a new product?? That’s exciting! You have your content ready to go don’t you? NO? What?! Your content is one of the most important aspects of your product, and if you’ve left it until the last minute then you could be making a costly mistake.

Manufacturing a pet product is not cheap. It doesn’t matter whether the product is physical, or digital, like a website. Your content needs to take center-stage, and if you’re paying something to build this item for you, they need to know what’s up!

Why should you have your content ready first?

For starters, the product you create will just be better. Let’s assume that you’re hiring somebody to create a website for you. Let’s pretend that there are two people approaching this designer.

Pet company #1 says “Hey! Build me a website with some dogs on it or something. It’s for a dog product. Thanks.”

The designer sighs heavily, and then wastes their precious time trying to pull more details out of Pet company #1 before delivering a design which that company hates because they don’t know what they’re doing.

Pet company #2 says “Hi there, we’re looking to build a a website for our new dog subscription box. We’ve also got the web copy and some images ready for you, and a mock-up of what we think we’d like. Let us know if you need anything else.”

The designer knows what’s going on, rejoice! They have all the available web copy upfront, and they create a design that makes the best use of that copy and accomplishes the goals of the company. There are minor revisions and everybody is happy.

It should also be noted that “dummy text”, lorem ipsum can change the way the final product is viewed. How can you objectively judge your product if it doesn’t have exactly what you want to say on it?

While the words may have looked fine in notepad, they may look totally different on the box or website. You need to be able to see the whole thing before it goes live, and that means not skimping on the content creation step.

What kind of content should I have available?

At a minimum, you should likely have the homepage content ready. You don’t need to have blog posts or any of that prepared, but any text that is integral to your product design should be included.

If you’re creating a physical product and you’re getting a label or packaging designed, then know exactly what should be on that product before approaching the designer!

Look at other products, make sure you’ve got everything together, and perhaps even approach them with some examples of what you want. All of this will help to make sure that you’re getting the design you want without any miscommunications.

If you’re particularly attached to certain images that you want on your packaging or website, then make sure those are available to the designer as well so that they can find a way to make them work.

Nobody likes to be at the final stage of a project and have the client say “Oh, can you add this thing that will break the entire design you spent hours of your time on? Thanks.”

Tips for pre-product content creation

Have an idea about what you want to say

How much copy needs to be on this thing? Do you want packaging that’s expressive? Do you want certain things to be mentioned on the homepage? How do you want this copy to be displayed?

All of this is important, and it can seriously impact your branding. Whether that impact is positive or negative is up to you, and if you don’t have your copy together, you could be looking at expensive revisions and an annoyed designer.

Have department appropriate editors in place

Nobody is an expert at everything. You should have someone in charge of making sure that all of your copy is free from grammatical errors, but don’t forget about the technical details as well!

If you’re selling a product that’s health or technology related, have somebody from those respective teams go over the copy. Make sure that there are no accidental misuses of words or phrases that make your design look like it was made by an amateur.

Hire a professional to fine tune your copy

If your company is small, then you probably don’t have any on-staff copywriters at your disposal. So, once you know what it is that you want to say, you might want to hire a freelance copywriter to help you out.

While people think that anybody can write copy, it’s not really true. Your copy is more than just words. Your copy is your marketing. When somebody picks your product up off the shelf at the store, that copy should jump out at them and make them want to buy.

In many cases, copy connects the product and your company to that customer on an emotional level, and it’s worth it to hire a professional.

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