What is branding and packaging

How packaging design promotes branding.

Both wrapping paper and product packaging generate massive amounts of packaging waste every Christmas. For many, packaging is the means to an end. It is used to protect the product, transport and storage. For marketing professionals, however, packaging is an important advertising medium.

In order to stand out from the competition, many marketing professionals rely on individual packaging design. Ideally, the packaging can help ensure that a product not only sells once, but also encourages people to buy it again. For Michael Karle from Brand Boosting, sales packaging is the means to set oneself apart from the competition in the long term.

Packaging design increases value in retail.

Today, the primary purpose of packaging products is no longer just to protect the actual content, but also to emphasize and increase the value of the goods. It is not for nothing that packaging design is more important than ever.

A simple example: A good wine can be filled in a beverage carton or in a beautiful glass bottle with a cork and a stylish label. To increase the value even more, the wine bottle can also be packed in a high-quality wooden box. For protection and another highlight, the box is filled with wood fibers or colored tissue paper. The question for you: Which product would you choose?

Potential customers - who consciously opt for quality and environmental awareness - are willing to spend more money on a product if they receive a high-quality and beautifully packaged product in return. The content may be the same, but the image of the product is polished up and raised by a corresponding presentation. Whether in a supermarket or a delicatessen shop, packaging design ultimately depends on where the manufacturer wants to position itself in the market.

One can argue about the sense and purpose of additional packaging. On the one hand there is environmental awareness, on the other hand marketing. For many products, packaging is not necessary at all, but if it is used correctly, it can create purchasing incentives. Special packaging materials are more valuable than unpackaged products. There are numerous examples of this, especially in the cosmetics sector. In this industry, manufacturers attach great importance to packaging. These are usually very complex and produced to a high quality. Shiny surfaces, embossing, punched decorations and beautiful fonts ensure the required attention.

The different Brand providers compete meanwhile not only on the shelves of department stores for the favor of customers, but also On-line. In the online area, above all Amazon, eBay and their own online shop should be mentioned. The packaging cannot be touched online, but its high-resolution product and packaging photos give a comprehensive impression from different perspectives. A popular means in this sector are the 360 ​​° all-round views.

Targeted influence on brand awareness.

Consumers can be influenced by various visual stimuli and brand building can be sustainably supported. You don't believe that packaging is so important in retail? I would be happy to show you a few specific examples of the product's recognition value based on its packaging.

  • the face cream in its typical dark blue packaging with the white letters
  • the brown, caffeinated soft drink with a red label
  • the chocolate in its purple packaging

Did you recognize all of the products straight away? Consumers usually recognize well-known and large brands immediately and associate them with a certain degree of confidentiality. It is not for nothing that such “long-established” brands hardly ever change their iconic appearance. These brands have earned and established their trust over the years. New brands are therefore happy to adapt to their packaging design and guidelines.

There are several factors that affect brand building in e-commerce:

  • Colors as a targeted branding aspect
  • Sustainability as a marketing tool
  • Emotions are king
  • Branding and logo

In the following sections, the individual factors will be discussed in more detail.

.Color for the target groups

Colors arouse emotions. Bright colors such as red or pink are always immediately noticeable. Colder colors like blue convey objectivity, trust and seriousness. It is not for nothing that these colors are often chosen by insurance companies or banks. People buy through emotions. It is important to wake them up with a successful choice of colors.

A product in the organic segment is very likely to have a fresh shade of green. Green not only underlines organic, but also sustainability and environmental friendliness. But also different shades of brown can underline these thoughts even further. Tip: In order to stand out from the crowd, not all colors of the competitors should be used. A good example of this is the chocolate in the unique, purple-colored packaging. The color purple alone gives this brand an outstanding unique selling point.

The coloring for packaging also depends on the target group. Products for men (e.g. body care products) are often designed very masculine - preferably in black with blue accents, whereas products for women in this product group are often lighter, more feminine in light pastel or white tones.

Children are also their own target group and the advertisers know how to use this skillfully. Here it can be a little more colorful, so that the products in the toy store as well as on the website of an online department store catch the eye of the little customer. Here, for example, even after many years, colors such as pink and pink are still used to package and advertise products for girls. Why? Because it works.

Market researchers deal extensively with the effect of colors on packaging and these are explicitly tested and compared with one another in field trials and on test markets. An example of this would be whether the same product sells better in red packaging than in blue.

Here alone, however, there can be differences within Germany. In one such field trial, it was found that consumers in the West preferred the cigarettes in a blue box, while consumers in the South preferred the same cigarettes in the red box. These differences are not only evident in Germany, but worldwide.

If a product is to be sold and advertised worldwide, cultural differences must be taken into account. There may be different perceptions of the colors. There are quite a few cases where domestic products are packaged differently for export than for Germany. However, all of these are years of experience of the companies and current trends can also have an impact on buyer behavior.

Sustainability of the cardboard boxes

In the flood of all the packaging that we are confronted with on a daily basis, sustainability is an important factor for companies as well. Most packaging ends up in the trash with consumers. It is therefore important that the manufacturers already produce their packaging in an environmentally friendly and recyclable manner. However, the combination of elegant and environmentally friendly often fails in practice. A simple, brown corrugated cardboard box for a high-priced perfume? It can be done, but it is not the rule. Paper refinements - such as varnishes and foils - are difficult to recycle. Manufacturers of branded products are reluctant to do without it, as refinements continue to emphasize the feel and look of the packaging.

However, specific target groups can also be addressed without major refinements. Environmentally conscious people in particular can be won over with sustainable packaging. Simple packaging can be spiced up with few resources, such as tissue or honeycomb paper.

But apart from the real packaging made of paper, cardboard or plastic, the intangible packaging of a digital product is also playing an increasingly important role. You've probably seen it before when you've bought software online. Even if you only get a download link and no DVD at the end - which is in turn in a nicely designed cardboard box - a product image of a packaging and DVD is displayed visually in the provider's online shop.

This should associate the buyer with the fact that he gets something for his money - a whole box full of software, so to speak. Based on the physical products that were previously purchased in electronics stores and where they actually received a cardboard box with a DVD in it. At this point, online retailers try to convey a familiar feeling.

We see the same game in e-books and music albums. The products always have a cover as a product image, like a real book or CD. Here, too, the attempt is made to give the customer a feeling as if he had purchased a physical product. It is therefore important to design virtual packaging in the form of boxes, book or DVD covers.

.Branding and logo! Stay in the consumer's mind!

Due to the constantly growing e-commerce and shopping on the Internet, not only the product packaging plays a role, but also its shipping and outer packaging. It's easy too! Shipping packaging does not always have to be lavishly designed or refined in terms of color. A very good example of this is the shipping giant Amazon. Although the shipping packaging is designed in a simple brown and only with the distinctive logo, it can be assigned from a long distance.

Another well-known online shipping company for cosmetics and fragrances sends its goods in mint-green shipping boxes. Here the market is not very saturated, at least as far as the appearance of the shipping boxes is concerned. An original packaging design can still pay off in this industry.

Packaging design therefore plays a role in many areas - be it in the supermarket, electronics store, mail order business or online shopping. Everywhere we are confronted with packaging that basically only wants one thing, namely our attention.

Closing words

Does a deodorant roller really need extra packaging? Is the cream jar packed again? Perhaps you will take a closer look at your next purchase. In particular, pay attention to how companies differentiate themselves in the way they make the packaging and how this may influence you in your purchase decision. In the end, it is possible that only the color is responsible for the fact that you choose one product and not the other.

Your author Michael Karle:

Michale Karle is a graphic designer at brand-bossting.de and always has a creative idea when it comes to unusual packaging designs. He advises medium-sized companies on branding and improves websites with regard to their usability.