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Bm - Annie Button - 4th march 2022

Packaging may serve a functional purpose, but it is an immensely valuable tool in a company's marketing and branding efforts. In fact, when it comes to brand identity, it is one of the most important elements. Consider the likes of Tiffany, Apple, or even Coca-Cola – the way they package their products is iconic and part of the appeal of buying from these companies.

But how do you create a packaging design that fits your brand and reflects how you want your target customers to perceive you?


Choose a theme for your design

The theme of your design can be a great foundation for the colors you use, the fonts and styles of text, and the tone of the language. A minimalist theme will appeal to a more mature audience and keep your design in a monochrome color scheme. A younger audience may prefer a more colorful and vibrant design, with bold images and text. Keeping your design within the realms of your brand values ​​means thinking about how your products will be perceived.


If you are a luxury brand, elegance and simplicity should be the center of attention. Look to classic brands like Farrow & Ball for inspiration, which are synonymous with luxury and quality, and their packaging reflects this with rich colors and traditional fonts. Compare this to GoodHome by B&Q, which uses sans-serif fonts, neutral colors and provides a cheaper, more accessible style of packaging to appeal to customers looking for something basic and affordable.


A fun, contemporary brand can look to the latest trends for inspiration and have multiple graphics for each product. For example, barista favorite Minor Figures has a unique, simple yet cool packaging design that features different graphic characters in pastel colors for a product that stands out on the shelves amongst more traditional milk cartons and bottles.


Be creative and innovate

Customers have seen practically all types of packaging there is, but there are still companies that go further to make their packaging something special and unique for the market. Without a doubt, creativity is key and can even make or break industrial success, as Andrew Barraclough, Vice President of Design at GlaxoSmithKline explains: "Creativity is the lifeblood of brands... With so many messages being bombarded against consumers, work powerful creative is the only way to cut, personalize and delight."


Move from visual brand language to experience brand language

And while the visual appeal of your product is inherently important, so is its functionality, and that needs to be factored into your design as it shows that you are a brand that cares about your customers. Think about how a consumer will use your product and if there are ways to improve the packaging to better suit their needs. Consider Apple products, which are wrapped in plastic, but the kind that can be removed without a knife. It's a small change, but one that greatly improves the usability of your products.

In fact, combining that creative and inventive streak into a long-term packaging campaign is crucial and can be so successful that it has influenced other industries to do the same. For example, if you are a brand that sells food products, resealable packaging is helpful, making it easy for the customer to maintain freshness in the product without needing to use it all up right away.


know your options

Before you can dive into the different design options, it's worth researching the packaging styles and designs you can choose from. From cheap to eco-friendly and luxury materials, packaging comes in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and this will affect the overall design.


Ultimately, the type of packaging you choose will depend on the target audience you hope to reach, as these are the customers you need to appeal to. For example, if your product is not suitable for children, focusing your packaging on child safety can make your brand more attractive to parents with young children.


Show you care

Consumers invest in making better decisions, especially when it comes to exercising their purchasing power; and, as a business, that is something to take advantage of. Customers want to buy from brands that are responsible and care about the environment and their audience, so it's essential that your packaging reflects those values.

If you're an organic brand focused on doing what's right for the planet, make sure your packaging is recyclable, use compost-friendly inks, and show off your green credentials. If a portion of your profits go to charity or causes your brand supports, this information should be visible so that customers who align with what you stand for can also support your efforts by purchasing your products.


Think about the experience you want to evoke

Buying a product is not just about using the item itself, but also about the experience the customer has throughout the entire buying process. Think about the key emotions you want your customer to feel when they buy your products. Do you want them to feel happy, empowered, connected, or comforted? These emotions will guide the design of your packaging.

For example, if you want to empower your customers, you can include a postcard with a quote to inspire them, or maybe you want them to feel valued, in which case you could carefully wrap each item in tissue paper and include a thank you note. Visualize opening your product for the first time and how you'd like to feel, then consider ways you can evoke those emotions for your own customers through thoughtful details and hidden extras.

Building a brand that is recognizable, powerfully creative, and in line with your ethics and values ​​can be difficult, but it is also the gateway to long-term success. Packaging plays an essential role in achieving this and encouraging their dream customers to buy from your brand rather than a competitor.