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Pretty as a Package: How Effective Package Design Builds Unique Brand Position and Increases Sales Opportunities


Understanding your audience becomes the key to market place success.

So, here’s the scoop: effective packaging matters. It matters to your audience and it should matter to you! Here’s why:

Effective packaging creates an emotional connection with an audience, it meets their needs, and it solves their problems. In today’s market place, which is flooded with countless options and opinions, mind you, it matters how you present your product and establish your brand. There could be 100 people that create the same product as you–so how are you going to set yourself apart when first impressions are everything?

Effective Execution Cultivates Attraction

Or simply, packaging that is created with innovative design will allow your audience to feel attached to it immediately. Think “eye catching vortex”. If your audience is not compelled to pick your product up, then your package isn’t effective enough.

There are many ways packaging can attract consumers. Effectively executed package design stems from understanding who you are trying to target and what is important to them. This becomes your audience. To answer these questions and clarify what is going to resonate with them, it’s a good idea to start with some market research.

Creatively Solving Problems

Birchbox, conceived in 2010, is a well known cosmetics provider that was created when two friends had the desire to solve a problem they were facing: how to learn about new beauty products easily and without breaking the bank. Their mission became creating a fool-proof way for women (and later, men) to learn about, try out, and buy the latest and greatest beauty products that worked for them online. They developed a monthly subscription with personalized cosmetic samples for women and launched their men’s box in 2012.

Every month Birchbox subscribers receive a personalized and unique box filled with products for them to try. Two words: packaging pioneers. Each box is packed with great attention to detail; they’re stylish, unique and different every time. The Birchbox team is always thinking of how the type of experience their subscribers will have when they receive their box. In doing so, they build anticipation and excitement each month and retain subscribers while offering a product that is both fun and effective. It is like Christmas each month! The level of surprise and anticipation, the excitement in opening something wonderful–it is hard to contain! Birchbox turned the initial problem into a dynamic solution using an innovative idea and unique packaging.

Mission Driven Meeting Audience Needs

Although design plays a huge role in creating these emotional bonds, the mission and materials to which the package was made also matters. Consumers are becoming more informed. They are also becoming more mindful of the impact the products they purchase have on the environment. Dynamic packaging takes this into consideration and is able to help that concern be alleviated.

The brand Boxed Water has created an innovative and influential means to sell water. Their mission is very simple: waste less, do more, and live well. They sell a 5-step filtered water in a mostly paper carton, which is a renewable resource, and they donate a percentage of their proceeds to the National Forest Foundation and water.org. A great deal of their packaging, up to 76 percent, comes from trees, because of this fact the Boxed Water team wanted to find a way to plant additional trees to replace those that had been used. They began a program called the Retree Project where Box Water partnered with the National Forest Foundation and 1% for the Planet to plant 1 million trees over the next 5 years.  This is incredibly appealing to an audience that cares about the environment.

Brand Consistency Long-term Success

Cookie Cottage's current design is not only eye catching, but truly represents how gourmet their product is.

Cookie Cottage’s current design is not only eye catching, but truly represents how gourmet their product is.

Cookie Cottage, a locally owned family cookie shop (Fort Wayne, Indiana), strives for brand consistency through their production of delectable cookies. These cookies are not simply locally known, but nationally known too! Cookie Cottage knows that great products will sell, but everything is sealed with a great presentation and a strong brand, which they attribute to their long-term success.

Since their beginning in 1989, Cookie Cottage’s owners, Theresa and Maureen, believed that it was necessary to invest in their brand if they wanted to grow and become a well-known cookie shop. They began with an initial concept design and a logo with a few different packages to accommodate customer orders.

The first designs were uniform, but have since been redesigned to match a more gourmet feel and meet their increasing customer’s demands. At that time, customers were ordering a variety of amounts, which led to the need for additional bags and cartons. Whether you grab three cookies or six dozen, they have ‘fit like a glove’ bags and cartons to prevent excess movement and broken product. This helps ensure that their cookies integrity is maintained and the customer experience is solid.

Taking the time to understand your audience will help you successfully create a product package that will attract, connect, and resonate with the right people. Effective packaging not only allows that connection between your audience to happen, but it also helps you build brand position in the market place. Having a unique brand positioning is essential to increasing opportunities for product sales. The more effective your product package is, the stronger you your brand position will be and that will ultimately create more sales opportunities for your brand and product.

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