All CPG companies have a brand, and one of the most intimate encounters consumers have with their brand occurs with packaging. Effective packaging relies on having a brand strategy that includes a brand mark or logo solidly at its core – working as the single common visual element identifying and unifying the brand, including the packaging – and beyond. A successfully designed brand mark (or logo) communicates the important concepts about value, quality, trust or reliability, reinforcing the perceived value the brand and product brings to consumers on a personal level.
While I generally become excited when observing the evolution of packaging design, every now and then I am also disappointed – when the potential for success has been diminished as a direct result of its design execution, principally because I consider what it takes to invest the time, materials and resources to launch a product. Product notwithstanding, the packaging design may contain all the necessary components but if it lacks a compelling “voice” as a representation of the brand, the package at best is reduced to a means of transporting the product.
There are two critical elements that require constant focus in creating a package: 1) the brand mark or logo and the standards for its representation, and 2) the visual design systems supporting the logo, which should always act as a visual complement and expression of the brand strategy and story. The size relationship the logo has to design elements and the defined brand colors require consistent application across variable product lines and SKUs. Consistency and continuity are key, and yet I have observed cases where a vague or proportionally over or undersized brand mark or logo leads me as a consumer to wonder what the brand “means”.
It is dangerous to leave a consumer with vague or indirect cues. Competing for consumer attention, packaging has to remain focused on presenting and supporting a relevant brand image and a defined communication hierarchy so at a glance (still not more than 5 seconds – time it!) a consumer responds with an impulse that is almost second nature. As much as consumers may want to, if they cannot discern what idea they are to embrace, there is no inspiration or motivation to use a product as an extension or expression of their style and taste.
Your package design can be simple but remain refined, visually appealing, and intriguing. You can print on lesser quality carton stock and still render imagery that is crisp, appealing and communicative. In the end, regardless of the target audience or product family, while containment and conveyance are important, the operating mission of packaging is to inspire a trial or purchase. The mission of your brand – all those touchpoints where consumers interact with your product – is captured in the shape created to represent that experience. Make sure your logo or brand mark communicates clearly and effectively. Never leave a consumer wondering – what does that mean?
If you would like to explore how to create an effective brand mark or logo, contact us at 920-886-7727 or [email protected] Throughout our 60 plus years of supporting customers with consumer brands large and small, we apply our experience and expertise to the entire process to create efficient and effective solutions.