Product packaging’s sole purpose originally was to protect the product inside. Over the years, packaging has also doubled as a marketing tool — packaging design now plays a vital role in consumers buying decisions. First impressions count, therefore, packaging should represent a company’s logo and ideologies.

Contract Packing company WePack recently surveyed the U.K. public to find out their perception of whether a brand can be represented via packaging. The results showed that over 30% of the U.K. public think packaging can showcase personality and over 40% believe it can, but only if done well.

Design as a Whole

Certain packaging features — such as shape and color — can be spotted easily at a glance and can provide a perception of a product and a brand. You can figure out several things from these features, such as the brand’s target audience, whether or not they’re luxury, and what their message is. Brand packaging is also important as consumers can easily recognize what products belong to that brand. There is a range of ways to make your product packaging stand out and appeal to a new audience, without being over the top.

Appropriate Typography

It can be difficult to believe that simply using a certain font can represent many different things about a brand. Fonts can almost act as a logo — a customer can see a certain font and instantly recognize the brand. When choosing the perfect typography for your brand, it’s essential to make sure it stands out and ideally, represents your brand and target audience well. For example, if your product is aimed at a younger audience (e.g., toys or children’s candy) using a more fun, whimsical font will appeal to them and represent your product. Some brands use a simpler font, despite experts suggesting to avoid simple fonts as they don’t stand out enough, some of the most recognized brands use a more ‘simple’ typography and are still easily recognized. Brands such as Netflix, MAC and Apple use very sleek, uncomplicated fonts, which may be due to their wide range of audiences, a simpler font can appeal to multiple audiences.

Color Is Key

Color is possibly the most powerful design aspect — brands can be recognized from a color scheme alone and using the right color will appeal to their target audience. The research found that 93% of buyers focus on visual appearance, and almost 85% claim color is a primary reason when making a purchase. This research shows what an essential took color is when designing packaging.

The use of color goes much deeper than simply choosing a color the brand prefers. There is a psychology behind why brands use certain colors. For example, using brighter colors is great for appealing to a younger audience as it makes the product appear less serious and more fun. Shades of brown and grey add masculinity and therefore, work great for men’s products such as aftershave. Black, on the other hand, is a very sophisticated color, often used in more luxury, high-end products.

How Materials Play a Part

Of course, materials aren’t as visual as the other elements, but they still play an important role in representing a brand, the brand’s ideologies, and how luxurious the brand is. Some beauty brands use glass bottles for their products (e.g., foundation) while others use plastic. The glass bottle will, of course, feel more luxurious and will more than likely cost more due to this.

As well as materials providing a sense of luxury, it can also show whether a brand is environmentally friendly. As the world has become more aware of the importance to look after our planet, the use of materials has also become a huge selling point for consumers, and using the right materials can share a brand’s principles. Cosmetic company Lush pride themselves on their products and product packaging adhering to their values. They’re known for being cruelty-free and environmentally friendly. All of their packaging uses recycled materials where possible, and 90% of their packaging material is recycled. Also, some of their products are ‘naked’ meaning there is no packaging at all.

Protecting the Product

None of the above matters if the product inside the packaging is damaged. A company can make its packaging design beautiful, reach the right audience and get a lot of sales, but not having the proper protection in place and damaging the product will make all of the above a waste of time. Receiving a faulty product will damage a brands reputation, so it’s important to remember the practicalities of packaging as well as the design. 

Think about certain considerations when packaging certain types of products in certain materials. For example, gas flushing may be required for bottles containing solvents such as nail polish remover. This involves repeatedly injecting inert gases (carbon dioxide or nitrogen) into the packaging, which is then flushed out to remove all the oxygen. The procedure helps prolong the liquid’s shelf life and protect it from damage. It also prevents strong scents from escaping and strengthens the bottle’s internal walls.

Importance of a Logo

Having a logo is usually one of the first things a brand will think about and create as it is the main element to represent a brand. Logos tend to appear on products, advertisements, packaging, social media, etc. A lot of money can be spent to create the perfect logo. For example, British Petroleum (BP) spent over $200,000 on its logo; the company used green as the primary color to show its dedication to being greener.

Almost every brand has a logo, and while brands will almost always use their logo on packaging, it can be utilized even further — logos can dictate your brand’s packaging design, using the color and font from your logo can make a product even more recognizable.

Each of the above elements done right can ensure your brand’s packaging is utilized as a great marketing tool, gaining the attention of your target audience, new customers, becoming memorable, representing the brand’s values, and much more.

WePack is an independent family run business based in the heart of the East Midlands. The company has a progressive and straightforward approach to solving everyday challenges faced in the contract packing industry.