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Most companies appreciate the fundamental importance of strong branding to help them gain a competitive advantage, stand out in a crowded market, and engage with their target customers. However, one of the often overlooked elements is that branding doesn’t solely apply to online content, email marketing campaigns or other forms of digital marketing.

Great business branding is replicated across every touchpoint, ensuring that when you connect with a new user for the first time, the customer’s experience in buying, handling and opening your product is consistent and meets all their expectations.

Lets clarify why branding should always be reflected in product packaging and how immersive, attention-grabbing products and point of sale (POS) displays can reinforce your messaging to help drive sales across the board.

The Importance of Packaging for Brand Consistency

Packaging design should be part of the marketing plan for any business that sells products in a consumer environment. Although unpicking your core brand values and developing targeted campaigns remain essential, brands often engage with additional consumer groups attracted to their business through an in-store POS or packaging displays.

Companies reiterate the messaging circulated through digital marketing and brand marketing campaigns directly through their products and can achieve greater brand recognition and awareness across their target audience.

So, how do you tell your brand story through a box or label, and how much impact might this have on consumer buying decisions in a real-world environment?

  • As many as 73% of consumers rely on packaging used on cosmetic products to choose which brand to buy, based on research by the National Journal of Medicine.
  • Luxury packaging is perceived as containing a more desirable, high-grade product – irrespective of price points.
  • The colour, branding, style, and text shown on product packaging can make one product more visible on a shelf than any other, while intelligent packaging can be used to generate excitement about opening or using the product.

Business brands use various techniques to optimise the limited space available within their packaging to communicate essential information. That could involve using descriptions, icons or graphics to explain the flavour, scent, durability or strength of a consumer product to instill a sense of trust and confidence.

Linking Product Packaging Design With Brand Strategy

Think about the best-known brand packaging that springs to mind – we’ll use the famous Tiffany blue box as an example. The success of this packaging isn’t due to the colour (although that is now a trademarked shade), or the quality and luxe feel of the box, velvet bag and liner.

What makes the Tiffany boxes iconic is that they are instantly recognisable, and part of the experience of buying a product from an established brand, which customers rely on to deliver the quality they anticipate.

Pringles has achieved a similar impact, albeit within a very different consumer market. The Pringles tube would be recognised as containing this specific brand of crisps even with zero labelling, indicating how well it works.

Each of these brands hasn’t stumbled across their packaging by chance or happened to land on an award-winning design. Instead, they have invested time and effort into research to gain a deep understanding of their customer market, making data-driven decisions that help differentiate their products from all other businesses in the same space.

As more and more ambitious companies utilise influencer marketing alongside advertising campaigns, the ‘unboxing’ trend has added further importance to packaging design. The secret is always to ensure that your packaging is based on the needs, priorities and preferences of your consumers and aligns with your broader business strategy.

How to Translate Branding Into Stand-Out Packaging Design

Packaging development starts by conducting precise market research, a process that uncovers vital information about your target audience, their objectives and decision-making factors, and what your business stands for from a consumer perspective.

Working with a skilled marketing strategy agency with extensive industry experience provides access to brand marketing experts, creative ability, and comprehensive marketing services, helping a business pin down those attributes that should be front and centre on all its packaging.

By gaining a comprehensive understanding of why a consumer might choose your brand over another and leveraging that knowledge, you can turn brand positioning into a feature of all your real-world brand assets, from the unique content you publish on social media, your web design graphics, and the way your products look and feel.

That might mean:

  • Reinforcing brand values such as a commitment to sustainability by using eco-conscious inks or compostable packaging.
  • Focusing packaging on shades, colours and slogans synonymous with your brand – using the same themes and tones across all marketing efforts.
  • Consulting customers, staff, retailers and vendors to identify emerging trends or appetites that might contribute to your brand marketing activities.
  • Basing new digital marketing campaigns on your updated packaging, using your fresh perspective to unveil a relaunch, a rebrand or a new range.

Great packaging is memorable, noticeable and on-brand, but it’s also an extension of your overarching brand strategy. It should feel and look like the content shared throughout all your marketing channels.

Working With a Strategic Marketing Company to Develop On-Brand Packaging Assets

So many brands spend years looking to land on the magic formula but find that they have yet to see tangible results even after extensive investment in innovative packaging. In most cases, that isn’t due to a lack of effort but because of a missing link, overlooking the deep understanding of consumer preferences and priorities that feeds into the success of any brand strategy.

Packaging isn’t only about representing your business in the way you want to be seen – it’s about meeting the needs of the customer you want to buy your product.

When you get to the finer details about what your business means to consumers and what they love about your brand, you can use that to reimagine how you present your brand to every prospective buyer, drilling down into values and messaging to make a compelling impact.

If you feel that your packaging is letting you down or that your in-store presence doesn’t align with your marketing goals, please get in touch. The team at Flintlock Marketing will be happy to discuss your business goals and branding and begin the process of uncovering the best ways to drive traffic, improve revenues, and ultimately ensure your packaging helps to deliver more sales over the long term.