Packaging that enhances brand identity
Yes brand identity it is! Starting from the ‘ting-ting-ta-ding’ signature tune of Britannia to Apple’s tagline-‘Think Different’, from the trademark colour of Pepsi to Nike’s logo, every little thing that we see helps in inducing brand loyalty among us, which in turns triggers our neurons to send across a positive response when we are standing at the shop front or just browsing through the collections on an e-store.
When we design a product package, it is crafted with all the elements that are or will in future, create a brand for us. The design of the package reflects the position of the product in our minds. Everything that we do for this package, starting from high quality printing, idiosyncratic design that creates a story and distinctive symbols presented on the package ensures that our product stands out among all its competitors in a crowded bazaar of brands yelling for attention.
Let’s take the example of Cadbury’s packaging design. Its packaging has lit up elements like the corporate purple colour that stands out among gold and pastel colors of similar products thronging the market. Then comes the Cadbury script logo, derived from the original signature of William A Cadbury, which has been modified over the years without tarnishing the memorability of the brand anywhere.
The reason good packaging works is that, for the packaging designer, it is not the sales figure that dominates his creation. It is always the emotional connection that the product is striving to achieve with its customer. For packaging to work… it is always the relationship that matters, never the numbers.
A classic case of relationship building through packaging as a part of an integrated effort is witnessed in the way Nestlé presented Maggi to the India. It was equivocally proclaimed as the ‘Two Minute Noodles’. But how many of us really stared at the watch and found the water bubbling even after 2.5 minutes was over? But to continue with its relationship, the one that Maggi had created over the years, we have found innovative packaging specially created for the ‘Meri Maggi’ campaign on the occasion of 25 years of consumer association where people shared their ‘Maggi Moments’ on social media and the same were printed on the Maggi packets. Even when Maggi’s reputation went down after a ban, Maggi managed to make a comeback by not only correcting its ingredients but also ensuring that their packaging was rift with the statements that they were standing by in taglines such as “Our Commitment to Goodness you can always Trust with Quality Ingredients”.
On another note just like a good friend is always at hand to provide some ready advice, the package needs to have some ready advice for the consumer in bold and black. That makes the difference.
A classic example lies with Dove Shampoos where the packaging is designed in a way where the brand gives directions to the consumer how to use the shampoo, the time that should be allotted for every stage and also how following steps will fulfill the desired hair that is promised by the brand. Along with that they also suggest consumers to use the secondary product, i.e., the Dove Conditioner after the consumer is done using the shampoo. When you think of a brand – you humanize it. And the best humans you know are the ones who always have useful advise ready at hand. Think of the one you call when you suddenly stand in the kitchen with the potatoes in the frying pan turning hash brown very fast…. your mother or your sister, right? Think of directions on product packaging the same way.
If consumers are marketing the product through word of mouth after a user-experience, then packaging has a crucial role to convince the buyer. The smart tricks that you play on your package can trigger impulses in favor of your product.
Here’s a fresh example. ITC came up with a biscuit called Sunfeast Choco Fills packed with 75 grams and priced at Rs 30. On the other hand Parle launched Hide and Seek Choco Rolls in the same sub category. But the packaging and the product were presented in a very different way. Being a competitor of Sunfeast, Hide and Seek pack weighed 150 gm and was priced at Rs.50. In fact, the packaging was used to highlight the fact that the initial price of the product Rs. 55 is scratched out and made Rs. 50. Result? A natural perception of getting more for less among the value driven multi-brand retail store grocery customer.
The last thing that matters while you using packaging to enhance brand identity is its brand protection. The appearance, the packaging quality, the selection of material, they are all a part of your brand protection efforts. The Defective packages tear the growing confidence of the consumers and well as the sales channel. Even the positive influence that the packaging attempts to convey to the customers remains undelivered if the basic packaging materials are not suitable enough to handle.
When Amul upgraded to Ultra High Temperature (UHT) milk it also came up with a new packaging facility. Amul implemented the new generation high-speed lines from Tetra Pak to hit on the escalating demand of UHT milk. Thus Amul Tetra Pak’s were easy to handle, store and distribute. Yes, speed of go-to-market, ease of distribution and storage… they all tantamount to various types of brand protection efforts.
Packaging is and will remain one of the most primary reasons brands exist in the market. And packaging will be the key element that will take your product beyond the product.
(Sources: MSG Management Study Guide; Office Max; Identity Wise; The Irish Times)