By Vince Martellacci, Founder
This article originally appeared on our parent blog, MercuryContentMarketer.com
Branding and brand identity is everything. It tells people what to think and how to feel about your brand. In this post, we’ll be talking about how to express your brand through your product’s packaging. Packaging is often one of the first elements of a company consumers see that says something about a brand. Your packaging isn’t necessarily just for a product. It can include social media posts, your website, and your content upgrades. Anything you put out as a company can benefit from giving some thought to branding.
So, when thinking about your packaging, you have to think about your brand. It helps to ask yourself questions like, “what are my values?” and “what makes my brand unique?” These attributes can be expressed visually on your package. If your values are sustainability, you can make your packaging sustainable. If your company is associated with a strong sense of aesthetics, you can express that connection with packaging that is multi-colored and highly visual.
“Your packaging should build your brand, making it easy for a consumer to spot the products that belong to your company. Apple products, for example, tend to have a sleek modern look that is easy to spot, which extends to their packaging. Their products come in easy-to-open boxes that are also clean and modern and they always bear the distinctive Apple logo.”
Apple is a great example of a brand that expresses itself through its packaging. As MacBooks and iPhones are known to be sleek and monochrome, so is the packaging. Apple’s packaging conveys a sense of modernity and ease-of-use--traits associated with their products as well.
Pax, a cannabis accessory company that sells cannabis vaporizers (and has raised $46,700,000 in funding), takes a similar approach. The packaging for their Pax Era vaporizer is sleek and white with a burst of colored smoke: dark blue and purple hues in the middle, surrounding an image of the actual product. The box is easy to open and sleek, fitting just the Pax Era and its charger.
The way the Pax packaging opens is somewhat unique to tech products, as well. A second case that opens top-to-bottom is nestled in an initial packaging that slips seamlessly over it. When you open the flap on the second case, another burst of smokey color catches your eye. The Pax packaging tells purchasers that they are savvy tech consumers for purchasing something so sleek and new. Not only is the product sleek and new, but so is the packaging, and that is where the correlation comes from.
Color is one huge aspect of branding in your packaging. Bizfluent points out, “Bright colors may appeal to younger consumers, while more sedate ones may appeal to a higher-end demographic.” Pax hedges its bets, with hues that move from light to dark as your eyes move down. Cannabis appeals to broad ranges of demographics, so by making the predominant color white and having the rest of the colors fade gradually from light to dark, Pax doesn’t exclude anyone who may be interested in its product.
At Made By STIL, a new company that boasts sustainability in practices and products, their top product comes in a reusable, hemp bag. Hemp is, “often called the most sustainable fabric on the planet. It is naturally anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and has anti-odor properties.” And what is their top product? A reusable, collapsible stainless steel straw. With a product that’s all about sustainability, it makes great sense to use sustainable packaging.
The owner, Ffi Thomas, adds, “It made perfect sense for our brand.” She notes that her straw is, “a durable and high quality material which is built to last,” and that it’s almost an imperative that the packaging match the product. Imagine a reusable straw in a plastic package. The dissonance is overwhelming.
Consumers are savvier than we like to think. If your product is sustainable, values-driven millennials would certainly notice if the packaging is not. And, as I noted earlier, your values are a huge part of your brand. Made By STIL is aware of this and stands by its values in every possible aspect of its business.
The packaging is an incredibly logical place to do this. It tells people of Made By STIL that it is a company with strong values that stands by them, and it tells a bit about what those values are (Eco-friendliness and sustainable practices). This values-driven brand strategy is strong, and creates brand awareness for any product.
“ To truly convey a message, a story or a brand identity through your product, you should think of it as a person. That's right, just like in marketing, you're creating a persona—but this time, it's for your product. This is where brand personality comes in. By thinking of your product as a person, it'll be easier to design packaging that reflects the brand personality and resonates with your target audience. Potential buyers will notice that authenticity and gravitate toward the product before they even realize what it is. They'll know that it's been designed for them.”
So, create a persona for your packaging. Is your product or brand fun and whimsical? Consider bright colors and fun fonts. Is your product something that is more often associated with the serious, like a MacBook? Brand yourself with a stark, sleek design and modern fonts.
Just take some time to think about who you are as a company and how to convey that through your packaging. It’s an intuitive process. You know your customers. Now all you have to do is apply that knowledge to your design process!