The Role of Packaging in Building Brand Identity and Recognition
If you think that the right packaging has little to no bearing on attracting customers to your brand, think again. When used judiciously, the package design can go a long way toward making your products recognizable. Further, that packaging will over time help firmly establish the brand in the minds of consumers.
Perhaps you've not given much thought to the packaging. Now is a good time to talk with an expert at a package company, and learn more about how the right design, choice of materials, and even the colors can make your brand stand out from the rest.
What Do You Hope to Convey With the Brand Packaging?
While never underestimating the power of only offering quality products, packaging is often the first contact that consumers will have with whatever you're offering. To that end, it's important to use the packaging to convey a little information about what's inside. It's not enough to simply state that the package contains soup or chocolate or flour; it should give some hints about why this brand is the one the consumer should buy.
Consider these examples of what designs from reputable package companies might convey to consumers:
- High Quality Ingredients: the package design can include enough data to make it clear the ingredients are selected with care. This is not a junk product that was thrown together and rushed to the marketplace. The consumer can depend on quality that's high and consistent from one package to the next.
- Versatile: the package contents can be put to good use in more than one setting. This helps to increase value to consumers, since it may end up eliminating the need to buy two or more products that are only capable of performing a single function.
- Safe For Use: No one wants products that have not been tested. The packaging can provide confirmation that the contents have undergone rigorous testing, and are safe for use when the accompanying instructions are followed.
- Excellent Price Point: It never hurts to let consumers know that the product is affordable as well as high in quality. Little hints like noting the package contains a couple more ounces than the competition, and that the price point is the same, is likely to attract positive attention.
- Personality: The product may appeal to a certain market sector. If so, the right packaging will build on that connection. From product slogans to images to phrases, consumers feel familiar with the product, motivating them to get to know it better.
Even in an age when people actively look for ways to stretch their money a little further, brand loyalty remains high. If you have a great product, and it's one that people can spot on the shelves with relative ease, then there's a good chance that it will remain on top for many years to come.
Coming Up With the Packaging For Your Brand Products
Whether you offer a single product or a line of products, there are certain qualities that the packaging must offer. They help to build more confidence in the brand overall, and with each product in particular. This is true whether your business happens to supply paper and ribbon to a gift wrapping store, or sell canned products to display on supermarket shelves.
As you work with an expert to create the ideal packaging for a product, do keep the following in mind:
- Physical Protection for the contents is essential: Damage or spoilage will do nothing to enhance the brand's reputation, or motivate consumers to give the product a second chance. Opt for container materials that are up to the task of protecting the contents at all times.
- Key Product Information at a glance: There may be regulatory requirements to meet, in that some information may be mandated to appear on the packaging. Perhaps there is other information that you believe consumers need to read as well. The best package designs ensure nothing crucial is left out, and interested consumers can easily read every bit of it.
- Package Size Matters: While you may be thinking in terms of packaging that fits easily on store shelves, there's another element to think about. That's how easy it will be for consumers to store their purchases once they get them home. Products that are easy to place in cupboards or other storage areas just make life easier. If your product happens to fit easily in comparison to competitors, that's one more reason for consumers to be attracted to the brand.
- Secure Packaging: It's not just about keeping products from going stale easily. There's also the matter of making the packaging relatively tamper-proof. In the past, much harm has been done because product packaging was not secure enough to prevent nefarious individuals from getting into a product, adding something to it, and ultimately triggering adverse effects when consumers made use of them. If your packaging is obviously secure, consumers have one more reason to choose your brand over others.
- Accessible Packaging: Anyone who's ever had to struggle with a package that requires an engineering degree to open will appreciate the fact that your brand chose a design that's secure, but also easy for consumers to open once they arrive at home. Whether you're talking about boxing or other packaging used for foodstuffs or decorative packaging used for gifts, this is something to think about. Put it to your own private test. If you find that opening the sealed package can be accomplished with a short series of steps, consumers are likely to have an easy time of it too.
Based on what you want to package and who the targeted customer base happens to be, other features and aspects may also be important. Use the information gained by conducting consumer demographics, and allow it to influence the package design and function. If they like the product and the packaging too, there may never be a need to look at another brand.
Colors, Images, Patterns, and Fonts: What They Mean to Your Brand Packaging
Your brand has one chance to make a first impression. That impression begins with the design and the labeling on the products, Simply put, designs that don't provide consumers with any reason to look at the product for more than a second or two will get you nowhere. What you need is something interesting enough to catch the eye, and elements that motivate consumers to take a closer look. Here are a few that should be considered carefully:
- Color Choices: A huge part of visual appeal is the color or combination of colors used for the packaging. The color scheme should be harmonious and inspire positive feelings in those who see the package. While there is no one-size-fits-all color scheme, it's not difficult to come up with something related to your product type.
Take a look at what the competition currently uses. Is there a primary or secondary color that all of them tend to use with the packaging? If so, you may want to incorporate it in some manner. Refrain from making it the main color; instead, opt for colors that are used less and also happen to let that common color visually shine.
- Patterns: Patterns that immediately inspire an association with what the consumer is looking to buy will also help. Even with the right colors, the pattern will fall flat if the consumer doesn't find it to be easy on the eyes. Feel free to incorporate patterns, but make sure they aren't so busy that consumers can't stand to look at them for long.
- Images: Smiling faces, piping hot soups, fresh fruits and vegetables, and spotless floors are some examples of images that tend to be immediately associated with particular brands. They speak of high quality and consistent performance. You may want to include some sort of image as part of the package design, allowing your products to also make this type of connection.
- Graphics: Of course you want to use a logo on the product! Logos stick in the minds of consumers, and provide them with a point of reference when they return to buy more. Pair the graphics with the use of the right type of fonts. Resist the urge to use fonts that are pretty but hard to read. Instead, go with something that a consumer can easily read. As to size, the depends on the package size, and how prominent you want those particular words to be.
- Product Differentiation: On the one hand, you want consumers to know that the product does everything the competition has to offer. At the same time, you want the labeling to point out what makes your brand different. Highlight something that your brand does that the rest do not. It can be something as simple as remaining fresh longer, being made with a minimum of additives, or some other value that is likely to capture positive attention.
- Affirmation of Brand Values: What matters to the brand? Maybe it's offering superior taste or being a more environmentally friendly product in comparison to the competition. Making it known that your brand is about more than making a sale impresses consumers. That's especially true when what matters to you also happens to matter to them.
Wrapping It Up
The fact is that you can have the best product in the world, and it can still flop. Part of the reason is that the packaging does nothing to help establish the brand, or motivate consumers to give it a try. Whether you're producing supplies for gift wrapping stores or offering a great new laundry detergent, pay close attention to how you package the product. Careful planning with both the package elements and the product itself increases the odds for success.