With the increase in social media use, there’s a 74 percent chance that 18-25 year olds will share a picture of packaging on social channels. In a hyper-connected world, online presence and perception is crucial to brand and product success and perfecting visual elements while offering a premium feel can play into attracting new consumers and demonstrating brand image cohesion.
The Elements of Packaging Choices
Various factors including color, typography, image, brand name, structural design and print finishes all go into the creation of a brand and product’s packaging. Each visual choice made during the design process can influence the way a consumer views a commodity and organization. While the reaction to the physicality of a product can vary person to person based on personal history, there are common trends that can be identified in our culture.
Colors, for example, can evoke different emotional reactions from an audience. Green can evoke a sense of peace, growth and/or health, while blue can represent trust, dependability and/or strength. Similarly, fonts can emotionally sway a prospective customer toward specific reactions to what he/she is buying. Serif fonts, for example, are seen as traditional, trustworthy and have more of an air of formality than cleaner sans serif fonts.
Packaging in the Social Media Era
After the initial purchasing phase, there’s a high probability of a product being shared via social media channels. Facebook alone has over two billion active monthly users, while Instagram comes in at 700 million, Twitter at 328 million and Snapchat at 255 million. Images are uploaded to all of these channels and shared by millions every day. This opens up the possibility of a brand being seen by audiences that were once considered unreachable. As a result, choices made in the design process can live forever digitally.
Think it’s all hype? Take the example of French bakeshop Maman. Elisa Marshall, co-owner, admits that 80% of new customers come from Instagram alone, looking for the patterned blue-and-white coffee cups. Brands are picking up on this trend and ensuring their aesthetics are social media ready. In other words, innovative and premium packaging and labeling may lead to more social shares, better reception from audiences, and in turn, higher sales and customer conversion.
Why and How to Get This Right
Every choice made in the packaging and labeling process can have implications that go beyond mere aesthetic elements. With color, typography and design playing increasingly larger roles, it’s important to make sure they offer a premium and cohesive feel. A cohesive product with premium, brand-consistent packaging can lead to increased sales, improved brand reception among consumers and more social shares that result in organic, word-of-mouth advertising.
Before diving into the design process and making quick choices, it’s crucial to identify a desired reception of a brand or product. Once aspirations have been set, they need to be considered and evaluated during each step of the packaging and labeling process to ensure the larger brand story is being told to the target audience in a genuine, believable way.
For example, if the goal is to appear simple yet premium, routes may be taken such as clean font on thick paper with cohesive colors. With the same goal in mind, implementing large, intricate text on thin plastic with a wide variety of colors may come across as messy and ill-thought-out, losing the premium effect in the shuffle.
Premium Packaging, Successful Branding
In the era of empowered consumers and consumer-driven marketing activities, it’s becoming even more important, and sometimes more difficult, to stand out for the right reasons in saturated markets. A sometimes forgotten art, the packaging of a product goes beyond simply wrapping a product up and the impression it makes can even outlive the product. To drive purchasing decisions and increase positive brand recognition and loyalty, all aspects of a brand and commodity, from labeling to physical product, need to feel premium and convey cohesion to deliver consumers the “total package."
About the author: Jared Powell is Principal at Frontier Label, which helps companies design product labels, to provide tips on design tricks for premium packaging.