The story of a business is one that current and future customers should learn about through advertising and marketing, and telling a story with packaging ensures your business tells the story it wants rather than the story your customers invent.
Plain packaging without some type of adornment is a missed opportunity to grow your brand, as well as to endear your business's inception, history, and story with the public. A label on your custom packaging is terrific, but a picture or design on your packaging that tells a story is even better.
An insight from Packaging Digest reveals:
"… every brand tells a story whether the brand owner strategically and carefully writes that story or not. If the latter, then in the absence of a clear story the consumer fills in the blanks as they see it, not necessarily as a brand owner desires."
Even if your business doesn't operate in a traditional retail format, packaging remains a strong tool for communicating with the customer.
New Packaging Can Refresh the Brand & Its Story
Creating iconic packaging is definitely one way to increase brand awareness, but a packaging refresh that tells a story can create a significant amount of new interest in a new product, as well as in a venerable brand where there is a desire to increase brand awareness and the size of the company's geographic scope of coverage.
For example, imagine a company that sells water, like Evian. Packaging World shares:
"Sometimes refreshed packaging can bring their stories forward in a meaningful way. Evian bottled water just refreshed its packaging with a simple, new structure and signature blue cap. The clear bottle shows the purity of the product. Graphics depicting pristine Alpine mountains and the simple words, "Natural Spring Water" and "From the French Alps" are all that are needed. The packaging is crisp and clean, and isn’t that what Evian is all about?"
Not only can new packaging teach current customers something interesting about your brand, but it can also improve the likelihood that new customers will decide to try what you're selling. Humans are impacted significantly by what they see, and new packaging may not only appeal to a customer's emotions, but a story can also build trust and appreciation.
Telling a Story with Packaging
You may already use custom packaging that features a custom logo for your business, and you don't necessarily need to completely abandon your current design. In fact, some of the best storytelling you might tell could incorporate your company's logo and a new design.
For example, maybe your company sells a product that's used by outdoorsmen. A logo that makes the observer think of a forest, a mountain, or an outdoor area can help put the customer in the right frame of mind as he or she examines your product.
Methods you can use to help tell your story include:
- The material of the packaging
- How the packaging feels to the touch
- The shape of the packaging
- The colors you use for the packaging
Packaging that helps convey feelings is an excellent way to help customers imagine how they might use your product, even if they aren't anywhere near the place where your product would see use. Perhaps you sell diving gear, but your customers examine the gear on a store shelf. Packaging that tells a story can help your customers imagine how your products would benefit them while diving in some far-off locale.
A memorable logo is a great tool for building brand recognition, but your business can benefit further when you decide to tell a story with your packaging.
The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) reveals several ways to achieve success with storytelling that include:
- Tell the big story from the point of view ('through the eyes of') someone who is directly involved.
- Sometimes the most powerful effect is achieved by simply telling the story of one individual.
- Achieve a balance between words from human beings and statements from organizations.
What Type of Stories Can You Tell with Packaging?
The story your packaging tells may help a customer evoke a certain feeling while examining the product's box or wrapper. You may also create packaging that tells the story of your business. Perhaps your business began in a friend's garage and eventually grew to a locally popular chain of stores.
The story you tell with your packaging can help you differentiate your product from that of your competitors. Perhaps you utilize sustainable materials, and you include designs on your packaging to convey this aspect of your business model. Perhaps you use local materials, artisans, or suppliers, and your packaging shows how you support the local community.
How do you convey the right story? Packaging Digest goes further in explaining how to tell the right brand story:
"…the most important step in telling the right brand story is understanding who you are and what you want to tell."
Imagine you own a bakery, and you specialize in pies. Perhaps you use apples from a local orchard, and you get your flour from a local supplier, too. You might include pictures or drawings of the local businesses you work with as part of a hand-drawn skyline that runs around the edge of the pie.
Updating Your Packaging to Meet New Sales Challenges
It's important to differentiate between a logo that you'll use for the long-term to promote your business and the packaging that will bolster its visibility, appeal, and public recognition. Your packaging might mark the anniversary of your company or one of its products, and the packaging may or may not have a long lifespan.
Additionally, the design on the packaging isn't the only facet of package design that must be discussed. Retail Packaging suggests:
"Packaging must work hand in hand with the brand; it must be tailored to consumers, and constantly evolve to meet their ever-changing needs."
In designing an effective and clear story with packaging, it's also important to consider the actual design of the packaging underneath the design. Does the packaging make it easy for the user to get into the package? Is the package made with sustainable materials?
If you're considering a change to your business's packaging to feature a story in the design, you may also wish to spend time discussing the actual design of the package and whether it's "green" friendly, easy to open, and ergonomic.
Let Howard Packaging Help You Tell a Story with Packaging for Your Business
Are you interested in telling a story with your business packaging? Is it time to refresh the designs on your business packaging? Let Howard Packaging help you tell an effective story with packaging that uses sustainable materials. Request a Free Catalog and Sample Kit Today!