Your CPG branding strategy shapes the way that you develop your packaging design. Packaging is a way to articulate your brand’s values and communicate a story to your customers.
When a product delivery arrives at your customer’s house or workplace, it should elicit anticipation. Opening the product should be an experience, as your customer notes the packaging you have used, sees the branding on the box, and looks inside to discover their product tucked safely into the package.
The material that makes up your packaging, the images on it, and even the texture of your packaging is all part of your corporate branding. As you develop or refresh your branding, consider how packaging design can help tell a story about your business, telling them who you are even before they open the box.
Aligning Packaging Design and Brand Values
A box is not just a box. When you design the packaging surrounding products and when you design your packaging for shipping, the containers you use help articulate your CPG brand values.
How can packaging design reflect a brand's values and mission?
- Packaging material: What kinds of materials do you use for packaging? Do they contain recycled content? Are they easily recyclable, reusable, or biodegradable? Using environmentally-friendly packaging helps customers feel good about your business values.
- Packaging amount: How much packaging do you use? Does it feel wasteful and too much, or does it feel like a thoughtful amount of packaging, enough to get the product there safely?
- Packaging durability: How does your packaging protect your products? The customer wants to open the box and feel delighted that the product is intact. Durable, customer-tested packaging shows the customer that you value their purchase.
- Exterior of the packaging: What does the package look like when the customer first picks it up? Is it obvious that it is from your company? Add your logo, individual images, and patterns to the box’s exterior.
- Interior of the packaging: When the customer opens the box, what is that like? Adding messages inside the box, notes, or free samples adds to the unboxing experience. Do you thank your customer? Can the box be reused in a clever way?
Understanding and Incorporating Packaging Trends
CPG consumer perception is often based on the latest packaging trends. Consumers are surrounded by packaging of different kinds, and even if they don’t realize it, they both respond to and shape trends and CPG branding strategy.
What are the latest trends in packaging that can enhance branding strategy?
- Incorporate textures - how can you make your packaging a multi-sensory experience?
- Minimalist packaging - enhancing sustainability through packaging that is eco-conscious.
- Sustainability - recycled, biodegradable, and compostable packaging tells customers you are conscious of your company’s environmental impact.
- Vintage experiences - bringing back the best visuals of the past and drawing customers in with nostalgia.
- Strong colors, with illustrations and creative visuals - bringing happiness to customers with vibrant color palettes.
Strengthening Brand Identity with Packaging
Packaging is one way to communicate your CPG brand identity and CPG brand values. How can you use your product packaging to make your brand stronger?
- Tell a story. Choose what story you want to communicate to your customers, and do this through graphic design, fonts, images, and even materials. Do you want to communicate an earthy, holistic feel? Choose images of nature, minimalistic and recyclable packaging, and colors that remind your customers of those found in nature.
- Be memorable. While it might feel scary, it’s also possible that your memorable packaging will enchant your customer base, leading them to return to you again. Consistent brand design that is also memorable gives your customers a strong visual cue.
- Make your product packaging distinct. Your packaging should tell your own story. While you should certainly take a look at other companies’ packaging strategies, consider what makes your company’s values and story unique. Your packaging should reflect that.
- Respond to your audience. Flour companies in the last century did this well. From the 1920s to the 1960s, bulk foods were packaged in sacks. Companies discovered that customers were using the sacks to make clothing, so they started printing them in patterns, thus creating the flour sack dress.
- Convey quality. Make sure that your packaging looks and feels sturdy. Develop a consistent pattern of images and fonts to make your packaging visually reliable.
- Be practical. The purpose of packaging is to keep a product safe. Do this in an environmentally conscious way, minimizing waste and transportation costs, but test your packaging to make sure that it will result in nearly no damaged items.
The Power of Packaging on Consumer Perception
Product packaging is a consumer’s first impression of your brand. It also builds brand recognition and identity. Whether it’s packaging for shipping or the package surrounding a food product, packaging design influences CPG consumer perception, helping consumers understand your business values and personality. From the use of recycled content to the color scheme you use, each choice you make transmits a message to your customers.
Product packaging design is also a spotlight. In a store, packaging draws the consumer’s eye. Customers who feel connected with your brand will seek it out again and again, using packaging as a visual cue.
When you’re shipping items, packaging is especially important. Not only does it make an impression, but it also protects your product during shipping and provides the consumer with the anticipatory experience of unboxing your product.
Packaging design significantly influences consumer perceptions of a brand, making design a core part of your CPG branding strategy.
Packaging is just part of your branding strategy, but its importance should not be underestimated. It communicates the essence of your brand and your product to the consumer. Your product is outstanding, and your packaging should be as well. Subscribe to our blog today for ideas that will help you shape your product branding through packaging design.