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The Packaging Design Secret of Iconic Brands

What's The Packaging Design Secret of Iconic Brands? This post will give you their secret sauce.

Consistent packaging design system
There is a simple secret that all iconic brands use in their packaging design

Consistent packaging design is an important investment for any CPG brand that wants to succeed in today's competitive marketplace. Using this post as your roadmap your brand's packaging will follow the same strategy as packaging design professionals.

How consistent packaging design can benefit CPG brands:

Consistent packaging design is essential for success in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. It helps to create a strong brand identity, increase brand awareness, make packaging more visually appealing, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. With this simple formula you too can have the benefits of successful packaging:

  • Increased sales: A study by McKinsey & Company found that companies that invest in packaging design see an average increase in sales of 10%.

  • Higher customer satisfaction: A study by Nielsen found that 61% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product from a company with packaging they deem attractive.

  • Reduced product returns: A study by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute found that companies with consistent packaging design have lower product return rates.

  • Improved brand loyalty: A study by the University of Warwick found that consumers are more loyal to brands with consistent packaging design.

How to develop a consistent packaging design system:

As a packaging design agency that eats, sleeps, and breaths packaging, here are the 4 key steps to consistent packaging design.

A study by McKinsey & Company found that companies that invest in packaging design see an average increase in sales of 10%.

Step 1 - Define your brand identity

  • What are the core values of your brand?

  • What are you trying to communicate with your packaging?

Once you have a clear understanding of your brand identity, you can start to develop design elements that reflect it.

Apple retail packaging
Apple has been a leader in brand since their inception

Step 2 - Create a style guide:

A style guide is a document that outlines all of the design elements that will be used in your packaging design system. This includes usage guides of how the following are used throughout the packaging design process:

  • Brand logo

  • Icons

  • Typography

  • Color palette

  • Imagery

It is critical the style guide includes the guidelines for how these elements should be used. Again, keep it consistent. See this example by Apple from the 1990's, you can see even then they were hyper-focused on how their brand logo, type, and imagery were applied throughout their eco-system.

Vintage Apple Brand Style Guide-Packaging Guide
Vintage Apple Brand Style Guide-Packaging Guide

Step 3 - Build and use templates:

Templates can help you to create consistent packaging designs more quickly and easily. You should already have most of the needed information/direction in your brand guideline document.

You can create templates for different types of packaging, such as boxes, bags, and labels. Once you have created a template, you can simply plug in the product information and the design elements from your style guide.

  • Start by developing templates for your smallest, middle, and largest-sized products. This will ensure you see your packaging design system at multiple sizes before committing to a packaging design system.

  • If your packaging is only one size start by making a template for your longest and shortest product names.

Example of a brand style guide
Example of a brand style guide

Step 4 - Work with a professional packaging designer or packaging agency:

Packaging design is difficult and today's marketplaces are very competitive and gone are the days of trial and error. Specialty in packaging design is critical and not all designers understand the nuances of packaging design. Often we work with customers who have created beautiful looking packaging, however, it falls short of being the cohesive sales tool that good packaging is.

A few of the issues we most commonly see are:

  • Too much or too little product information

  • They're not solving someone's problem on the front of the packaging

  • Hard to identify what the product is

  • They're detaching from their core brand values

A professional designer can help you to create a system that is both visually appealing and effective regardless of the retail channel the product will be sold.

Congrats! You're on your way to consistent packaging design that drives sales.

By following these tips, you can develop a consistent packaging design system that will help you to build a strong brand identity, increase brand awareness, and boost sales.

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