Packaging is branding

Branding is the process of designing and building a brand. In this process, packaging plays a crucial role.

Each of us has our own routine, our own way of starting the day. Some dive straight under the shower, to wake themselves up with the delectable scent of shampoo. Others may prefer to start the day putting something into their stomach. And, there are even those who leap up, jump into their trainers and go out jogging, just as the first rays of sunlight illuminate their part of the planet.

Whatever your choice, what’s most likely is that one of the first things your hand falls upon every day is packaging of some sort, be it a tube of toothpaste, a jar of coffee and box of biscuits, or a deodorant.

In truth, it is through packaging that brands really impact our every day lives. They surround us, touch us, approach or distance themselves from us. They tell us where to find what we want and allow us to feel confident that what we are about to eat is of the highest quality. It is the brand itself in the form of volume and texture, flavour and scent. You can touch it, hold it, smell it, play with it or even, put it in your mouth!

Packaging is an element of communication vital to any product brand. With only a small space at the point of sale, it has to compel love at first sight and generate love through coexistence. It must be a loyal companion, brighten up the everyday, without which nothing would ever be the same. It must command your trust, be enjoyed as company, teach you things, look after you, always be there at your side.

In short, packaging must make the best of its privileged position to convey the universe of the brand to the world of the consumer, bringing the two together in a unique and personal experience. It is the best way for a brand to generate a true brand experience, without expecting the consumer to take the initiative.

But, the question is: Just how does one go about building brand experience through packaging?

A cool design on its own is nowhere near enough. The context the packaging is to inhabit, the way it is to coexist with its target audience, how it lives and all that it needs, must all be subjected to in-depth research.

Below there examples are of brand leaders which have built up their branding by conceptualising the essence of the brand in the packaging and creating singular icons that provide a unique and personal experience that is compelling both from near and from afar.

Chanel Nº5 is a clear example of an iconic brand which has grown from its packaging. Its essence, concept, attributes and history, that is to say, its branding, are all strictly tied into the product for which it was devised and designed: more than many others, it is the perfume for which most emotional connotations have been created.

The simplicity of the component parts and the force of the typography have permitted the brand, designed around the bottle, to grow far beyond its roots and become a firm with a multitude of communication campaigns, a firm that stands as a mark of distinction for many celebrities.

It is one of the leading, most outstanding perfumery brands of recent years.

AXE has done an excellent job in creating its own brand universe, one highly relevant to its target audience. It was achieved with the key visuals created for its packaging and then extracted and employed in brand communication.

Each reference, through the use of highly potent graphic icons, encapsulates an entire world, identified by the name of the sub-brand: Apollo, Marine, Dark Temptation, etc., connecting with the aspirational universe of men.

Lastly, new technologies open up an infinite range of new possibilities: from technological packs, such as the Nescafé jar, through to the use of Augmented Reality. And, all part of the quest to transport the relationship between the brand and consumer to a new dimension.