Why do people all over the world get excited when Apple, Nike, Samsung or Louis Vuitton releases a new product? Many of these customers get excited before they even find out what the new product is all about. Their anticipation stems from their loyalty to the brand.
It's not only that these brands have built a strong name for themselves. They've also learned how to present their products in compelling and unique ways. Product and packaging design can have a huge impact on the experience a customer has with your brand.
Product design & branding are connected
Many companies fail to realize there's a strong connection between product design and branding. A product can sabotage its own success when it's not designed, created, launched, and sold with the brand at its core. Product and branding should work together in harmony, or else it could lose its credibility or confuse the market.
As you design your products, consider the kind of brand you want to build for your business. Here are 5 best practices to help you achieve synergy between your products and your brand.
Write your story early on
Before you get too far in with your products, button up your brand story. Keep in mind that a business is generic and faceless without its history, values, mission, vision and personality.
To refine the story you'd like to convey to the public, ask yourself some of these questions:
What beliefs drive you and your company?
What makes your business and product unique?
How would like to see the business a few (or many) years from now?
How can your products change the lives of your consumers?
Once you've answered these, it'll be easier to focus your brand story—and that story can inform the choices you make with product development and package design.
Give your product a persona
Don't think of package design as just a way to deliver your product. To truly convey a message, a story or a brand identity through your product, you should think of it as a person. That's right, just like in marketing, you're creating a persona—but this time, it's for your product. This is where brand personality comes in.
By thinking of your product as a person, it'll be easier to design packaging that reflects the brand personality and resonates with your target audience. Potential buyers will notice that authenticity and gravitate toward the product before they even realize what it is. They'll know that it's been designed for them.
Don't over-design it
It's easy to succumb to this temptation. In trying to make a product the most eye-catching or unique, some companies over-complicate the design. Sometimes, these products luck out and sell well, but they do little to build or reinforce the company's brand.
Don't get too carried away with embellishing your product or packaging designs. Stick with simple, clear concepts that your audience will easily understand. Often, it's the most simple and well-thought design that wins out in the hearts and minds of customers. [ ]
According to famous designer and author Robert Brunner, "Everything you do creates the brand experience. Ergo, design is your brand."
Just as it's important to maintain brand consistency in your marketing, it's important to design product packaging that's consistent with your brand's identity and values.
We're not saying you should slap your logo on everything. But you do need to design concepts that reflect your brand—concepts which could be informed by the logo, typography, color, etc. Even if your product doesn't share the aesthetic characteristics of your brand, it should feel congruent with its values.
Invest in packaging
Don't underestimate the power that packaging design can have on your brand. Because your packaging often sparks the first connection between a customer and your product, it's often the first experience they'll have with your brand.
On top of the time and money spent on product design, you should also carefully consider your packaging. Design packaging that stirs up emotions of excitement, joy, delight or amazement. Once you've created packaging that instantly connects with your customers, your brand awareness and recognition will benefit.
An effective brand will help sell products and attract customers. If you want your customers to get excited about your new products before they're even announced, build a strong brand using these concepts.
Bonus: Product packaging infographic
Want a few more tips and pointers on the importance of product packaging? Check out this data-packed infographic from our friends at Uppercut Box.