Branding Addict: Why I’m Obsessed With Packaging

by Feb 13, 2014

Branding… It consumes my everything and the need to be surrounded by bright and beautiful things makes me buy products I wouldn’t necessarily need or want. When it’s packaged in a beautiful wrapper I HAVE to have it. But it’s not just me. Here I delve into the facts around purchasing and why impulse shopping is on the rise.

I’m a sucker for branding and design. I find myself buying products I don’t need just because I like the way they look. On a recent food shop I came back with a whole range of little puddings because I was seduced by the adorable packaging. I had no idea what they tasted like (although the descriptions sounded pretty bloody amazing), I just knew I needed to have them (oh and while I’m on it: you probably need to have some too. Find them here).

It’s uncontested that I’m immediately attracted to pretty, quirky, unusual things. Would I pay considerably more for a pudding in a little ramekin than one in a plastic bowl? Damn straight! And with impulse purchasing accounting for 75% of all consumer spending, it’s clear I’m not the only one. Meaning that for FMCG goods, package and product design needs to work hard to capture attention from the desired audience at that critical decision point.

In a recent article from Creative Bloq, Jessica Felby of Carlsberg’s design department, explained that “For alcoholic beverages, it used to be that advertising was key and design fell somewhere at the bottom of the interest pile, but suddenly, with more and more restrictions around advertising, the one thing you do have is design and packaging – and that can go everywhere. Suddenly, design is the most important thing.”

So what are the essential elements of a product’s design and packaging?

The Visual Branding: Typography, colours, imagery – essential elements of the visual expression of a brand – can make or break a product. This visual identity needs to take into account the brand’s target audience, its tone of voice, its personality, its competitors and its point of difference. Above all, it needs to help the audience understand who the brand is, what it stands for, and what it can offer them – all in seconds – to influence buying behaviour. Using myself as an example, here’s a few more products I didn’t need to buy but the attractive branding somehow compelled me to put them in my basket.

Branding Addict - Drink Branding Addict - Sauce BrandingAddict_1

Package Design: The conventional role of a product’s package was simply to be a vehicle in which the product was carried.

But now, the shape, size, weight, feel and overall look of a package are all factors in the game of instant attraction. Quality plays a role too: materials and craftsmanship can say a lot about the quality of the item itself, essentially delivering brand values (luxury/sustainability/dedication) and allowing the product to sit on the shelf screaming “I’M GREAT VALUE, BUY ME BUY ME!”.

Branding Addict - Bottle

Branding Addict - Topshop

Branding Addict - Anagrama2

Branding Addict - Anagrama

With changes in consumer desires, companies are becoming increasingly interested in packaging as a tool to increase sales, and my god, does it work!

Ultimately, in today’s saturated market, customers are drawn to a great design and beautiful branding – highlighting the importance of aesthetics. Even taking brand loyalty into account, we know these factors can manipulate and dictate some of the vital decisions we make, often resulting in impulse buying.

So the next time you’re making quick decisions in the local supermarket, just think… are you making choices based on the product itself (forsaking all aesthetic elements) or are you a branding addict too?

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Images © Balyet, ZoetreceptenUmamu, Lovely PackageAnagrama, Sarah Thorne, Design Work Life & The Dieline

About Natalie Jahangiry

Natalie is half Persian with a Geordie accent. Although small in stature, she makes up for it with a big personality! As a Graphic Designer you will often find Natalie gushing about her passion for all things creative and sharing her ideas with everyone and anyone who will listen. If she’s not decorating her house you will find her cooking up recipes from her foodie family or propped up in a cocktail bar in town.