Maximizing Brand Image through Package Design.
By Ted Mininni
Image is important in our society. The image that brands project is critical to their success, and those images must be conveyed by packaging—the ultimate touch point for consumer product brands. If the packaging doesn’t appeal to the consumer, why would the brand or product appeal?
Consumers identify with the brands that match the perceptions of their lifestyles. The role of package designer has expanded from being a researcher, marketer and communicator to that of also being an image maker. This may sound simple but it has actually added to the complexity surrounding the development of successful packaging.
Why should more emphasis be placed on the image packaging conveys now? Stand at the end of an aisle in the supermarket or Target store. Can you, while scanning hundreds of items, pick out a few that are instantly recognizable from that vantage point? Now, ask yourself what it is about specific products that make them quickly identifiable from the myriad other products in the retail environment. There has to be something unique about the packaging of those products that makes them stand outs. Color? Brand mark? Packaging shape? Photographic imagery or graphics? All of these factors?
So why are many of the products in the same aisle unremarkable, even from a short distance? Could it be that many packages in specific categories are too similar in color, shape and graphic design? According to research conducted by Perception Research Services International, shoppers ignore over one third of store brands also, due to shelf clutter and lack of recognition. If this is so, then how can a unique brand image be solidified in consumers’ minds?
Think of it. Packaging makes products and their brands tangible to consumers. Shoppers can actually pick a product from the shelf, hold it, read the front or back panel, shake it, sniff it, and make a purchase decision. Since packaging is the ultimate touch point after the product itself, shouldn’t it project the brand image in a meaningful way?