The Power Of Packaging For Brands

With so many expenses that impact the bottom line, product packaging is often the last thing on anyone’s list in terms of marketing initiatives and priorities. But the reality is that packaging can be an extremely powerful way to sell customers on your company’s story and raise brand awareness.

Product package

Think about a typical visit to your local supermarket. How often do you notice new products and why? In the 1990s, grocery stores had a mere 7,000 different products on their shelves; but that number has mushroomed to 40,000 to 50,000 items today. So how does a brand stand out from the competition?

Enter Brand Packaging and Design

What do you need to consider when choosing a packaging strategy for your brand? We’ve targeted the top 4 keys to success: increasing brand awareness, creating a memorable design, telling a good story, and pushing out timely announcements.

1.Brand Awareness

How popular is your brand already? If your brand is already successful and has a strong brand presence, it might be a bad thing to mess with a successful formula. If you are just growing your brand, there is more room to experiment with different ways to increase brand awareness. One way to increase brand recognition is to use a variety of packaging to spread the brand logo across the market, either printed on the packaging itself, or on packaging tape. Remember that consistency is the key to increasing your brand awareness.

2. Design

The way to identify a good design is by its clarity and simplicity. The design should be clear about what the product is, and the packaging should readily tell the consumer what is inside. Don’t try to be so witty or random that you confuse the reader while trying to have shelf impact. Invest in creating iconic visual assets, stand out on the shelf and maybe your product will be purchased specifically for the value added by the beautiful or well-designed packaging. The design also needs to be functional because you definitely don’t want your customers to have package rage as they struggle unsuccessfully to open what they’ve purchased from you.

3. Storytelling

The key to any good brand story is honesty and authenticity. You want customers to feel an emotional engagement to your brand. This doesn’t mean you need to pull heartstrings so that the customer weeps at the very sight of your brand – most customers would balk at over-the-top manipulative tactics. For customers to engage emotionally with your brand, you need to tell them a story about it, a narrative that presents a compelling reason for them to care. If you use the right tone and narrative arc,, they’ll be swept into your brand’s story. And this engagement can pay off: according to information from the Disney Institute, when choosing between brands, an emotionally engaged consumer is three times more likely to recommend and repurchase your brand.  

4. Announcements

Finally, how do you best convey any information you want to get on the customer’s radar? You may need to make an announcement about anything from upcoming sales or promotions, save the dates for a planned event, or limited availability items. You can use labels to alert the customer to any timely announcements or information. These can be applied directly to your existing packaging and then discontinued from use once the event or availability has expired. Or you might just change your packaging entirely to promote your limited edition product.

How to Leverage Data About Your Customers

Packaging colors also have a huge influence on customers’ buying decisions. The more you know about them, the better you can determine what color will trigger them to an emotional response. Light blue, for example, may be seen as more playful, while a deeper shade of blue conveys reliability and security. There are myriad studies that analyze the psychology of colors. Do some research to learn more about what colors mean to consumers so you can best customize your packaging.

How else can you use retail data to maximize your packaging strategies? Measuring how buyers behave —and what they purchase — at the store level is still the best way to determine success and also allows you to react in real-time to actual performance: You can make packaging tweaks and see which strategy yields the best results.

You can also use your retail data to target certain markets with custom packaging. For example, millennials may be moved by trendy colors and bold graphics, while older customers may be reassured by an authoritative color scheme like black, grey, and white.

Though it may seem like less of a priority than other initiatives, packaging can be a uniquely powerful way to connect with your customers, raise brand awareness and solidify a solid reputation. Make sure to make the most of it.

Author: StickerYou Founder & President, Andrew Witkin


As the founder of a global e-commerce leader in custom-printed, die-cut products, Andrew Witkin is widely recognized as a leading authority on e-commerce, customization, startups, marketing and the tech economy. Witkin has also served as VP North American Licensing for Nelvana/Corus Entertainment and Director of Marketing for MegaBrands/Mattel.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.

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