Unwrapping success: how packaging can make or break your brand

In today’s world of crowded shop aisles, upandcoming brands face a major challenge: how to command attention.

Packaging is one of the most impactful ways for businesses to distinguish themselves from competitors in the same space, considering that an item’s box, packet, or wrapper is the first point of contact between it and its buyer.

To put it simply, packaging is a silent salesman. The outlook of an item must be captivating and communicate all the right things for discerning consumers to first pick it up, then basket it.

Consumers may even make purchase decisions solely based on aesthetics alone. According to Forbes, 72% of respondents admitted that they opted for particular products due to their design.

Communicating good value

There are myriad ways companies can present their goods’ unique selling points to customers. For instance, bundling items together can show good value.

An example of a brand that amplifies its price point is Target’s “everyday nofrills basic line,” which promises to “deliver big value” on nearly 400 household items.

Aptly dubbed “Deal Worthy” the range places its cost-effectiveness front and center, highlighting the number of cotton balls available in each packet or how many paper plates are available in a single bag. No distractions necessary.

Creating the perfect “unboxing experience”

Source: Apple

Another reason why businesses may want to invest in packaging is to improve consumers’ unboxing experiences. This term, which has made its rounds on social media in recent years, functions as an extension of a brand instead of just a protective shell casing.

Through the years, Apple has stood out in this aspect, allowing customers a look into its overarching design philosophy rather than just a single item.

The simple white box exudes a premium air, turning an otherwise ordinary sheath into a smartly laidout container that fans are excited to keep.

Going green

Of course, we can’t forget about the virtues of sustainability. More than a simple buzzword, conscious consumers in 2024 are looking to packaging options with lower carbon footprints.

As per a report by McKinsey & Co, compostable and plantbased packaging materials ranked high among customers across the globe. Ocean litter remains the top concern among those in Europe, Japan, and the United States, while Asian and Latin American countries focus on the threat of pollution.

As such, many brands are pivoting to environmentallyfriendly options, even the global manufacturer, Cup Noodles. Last year, the Nissin Foodsowned company announced it was switching its longstanding Styrofoam cup to an allpaper design, the first such change since the product was introduced back in 1973.

This new rollout has applied to all its flavours, with the cup now crafted from 40% recycled fibre, eliminating the need for plastic wrap. Plus, the sleeve is made from 100% recycled paper.

Standing out from the crowd

Source: Method

While the good ol’ adage often persuades us to focus on the inside, there’s good reason for brands all over the world to spend more time on the façade: to make their best sellers stand out from the crowd.

In a saturated marketplace, where many items promise similar results, there are times when the only thing that sets one brand apart from another is its packaging. For example, many shoppers may not see joy in the world of household cleaners and toilet sprays.

However, Method broke through the bland, white, and grey world of detergent packaging by introducing its range of brightlycoloured alternatives. These pop off the retail shelves and pose as a stark contrast to the other opaque, dull bottles lining the stores.

Each time a product concept is defined, the company’s packaging engineers, known as inhouse plastic surgeons, assess and understand all the different merits of the options available.

This allows each meticulously designed bottle to be both eyecatching and good for the Earth, with environmental implications factored in at the front end of the design process so informed decisions are made without sacrificing looks or sustainability.

How to do it better

Naturally, the best way to position products to stand out from the crowd would be to incorporate all the above.

For example, during DoDo Seafood’s rebrand, we conceptualised a way for the company to rekindle brand love with its consumers and forge new relationships with modern buyers: by transforming its longstanding logo.

Its familiar mascot took center stage, with a fun, refreshed design standing powerfully as a representation of its bold new identity. Once a mere symbol, it was turned into an icon, an ambassador of transparency and ethical manufacturing.

The new look saw the emblem act as a “quality seal” of approval on all items, accompanied by vibrant wrappers that pointed out each ingredient’s health benefits to increase its perceived value.

A brand’s packaging is another way in which it shows off its identity, beliefs, and stories to its consumers. More than just to protect the item within, businesses should pay more attention to what their packages are communicating about them.

Boring and dull or exciting, vibrant, and luxurious? The first impression is all in the packaging.

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