6 Ways Packaging Is an Extension of a Brand

By Phil Bagdasarian

The ability to provide outstanding packaging is one that few companies can go without, but for small businesses and startups, it is an especially vital component to ensuring future success. Packaging has a significant influence on a company’s sales and reputation, which is why brand owners need to implement strategies that communicate a brand’s message in an effective way.

The reality is that consumers don’t have time to assess each product they encounter. Instead, they use a package’s visual cues to make a spontaneous purchasing decision. To be truly distinct, packaging should incorporate a brand’s unique message in a powerful way that leaves a lasting impression, encouraging potential customers to jump on board. Failure to create a package that catches the eye and conveys a brand’s story may result in dire consequences that affect a product’s future sales and consumer loyalty.  

The following 6 packaging strategies will help strengthen a brand’s message for results that count.

1. Get to Know Your Target

A brand’s entity is highly dependent on its target audience. To attract consumers’ attention, packaging must meet their needs and desires. Before the design process, brand owners need to carefully consider who the product is being sold to. A strategy that overreaches, as a way to achieve universal appeal, will often appeal to no-one.

A detailed market analysis can help businesses assess their target demographic and help implement design methods that will connect with the audience. During this evaluation, it is important to ask questions that zone in on consumer traits and information such as income, age, interests, etc. Compiling this type of data will prove invaluable to the design process, helping to narrow down choices in color, font, layout, text and ambiance. 

2. Simplicity

As a result of today’s high-stress living, an increasing number of consumers are seeking ways to reduce the turmoil and add peace to their lives. In this agitated market environment, packaging that conveys a sense of calm and simplicity is what attracts the most attention, both online and on the shelf.

Modern shoppers are desperate for an escape. As such, they will be drawn to packaging that embodies adventure, mindfulness or indulgence. And while not every brand can approach simplicity in the same manner, it is valuable for each one to communicate its message through the use of clear, useful and unique design elements. 

3. Standing Out from the Crowd

Research has demonstrated that it only takes consumers 7 seconds to make a purchasing decision, which means that a brand has a limited amount of time to make a captivating first impression. Today’s consumers are driven by packaging that triggers an emotional response. Through the use of colors, shapes, materials and a tactile experience, packaging can express a brand’s essence and attitude.

The “loudest” box on the shelf is no longer the most popular one. To stand out from the crowd, it is crucial for packaging to have a solid focal point that sends the right message. 

4. Experience

The shopping experience has greatly evolved. Consumers now demand that their purchases deliver a tactile and emotional adventure. Brand owners should use this trend as an opportunity to design packaging that delights the senses. To create the ultimate purchasing experience, packaging concepts should be intuitive, user-friendly, and devoid of frustration and confusion. The entire unwrapping process should be smooth, and designed in a manner that allows a brand’s unique qualities to shine.

Through creative elements such as soft touch finishes, crisp edges, natural materials, crinkle paper and delightful embossing, the unboxing event should deliver a sense of euphoria driven by excitement, mystery and the imminent reward.  

5. Values

To thrive in the current market, a brand’s values must be properly projected. To cement consumer trust and loyalty, a brand must convey authenticity. This is especially vital in our modern atmosphere of distrust. To achieve this, businesses need to communicate complete transparency when it comes to their brand and products.

To start, it’s recommended to avoid the use of stock imagery, and instead, employ photography that represents products with complete accuracy. Today’s shoppers need to know that what they see is what they get. Interestingly, this is vastly more important to consumers than price. From listing a product’s ingredients, to its source materials and sustainability features, all product details should be communicated through a concise, high-impact message that exudes a superior level of honesty and clarity. 

6. Storytelling

More than a protective feature, packaging has become a vessel that communicates a story and generates a connection through a perfectly controlled interaction. To develop a brilliant brand identity, design elements should be used to create the right narrative. Clear and recognizable packaging will allow consumers to quickly absorb its evocative tale. Likewise, humanizing a brand by showcasing a business’ team members is an effective way to form a relationship with clients as well as show appreciation.

No matter the brand story, each element, from color to content, should work together to create a pleasurable moment that consumers will relish for a long time.

Featured photo credit: Depositphotos
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Phil Bagdasarian
Phil Bagdasarian is a contributing writer at Grit Daily. He is the co-founder of Packwire, an online printing and packaging service that enables businesses to create their own box design, including branded mailers, folding cartons, shipping boxes and gift boxes.
  1. Hi, Great topic. This is a valuable post. The packaging says it all. If the product and quality is relative the packaging will project this image to the customers. Look at Coca-Cola this is a product that is world renouned and this A-brand packaging is unbeatable. Packaging is a reflection of the trustworthy name that a business needs to build their image with.

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