Packaging is designed to contain, protect, and transport products. Packaging provides a fourth purpose – to inform the consumer. The information on a package can be a deciding factor during the 7 seconds an average consumer spends to make a purchase decision. Approximately 70% of shoppers are influenced by packaging to some extent. The package is one of several components directly tied to branding, product identification, and loyalty.
Perform a Google search for “branding” and over 17 billion results appear. The American Marketing Association defines a brand as “a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers….”.
The intersection of branding and packaging meets when companies successfully leverage packaging to impact sales and consumers associate certain products with specific packaging. Some examples are milk, potato chips, cereal, and wine. These packs are distinctive, consumers automatically identify the products commonly packed in each container.
In some instances, the goods can be identified by the packs alone, without labels, logos, or descriptions. It is not uncommon for generic brands to look so much like name brands that consumers get confused or select the generic and consider it equivalent. How many times have you picked up the “wrong” pack based on them and not realized it until you were home?
Here are some examples of packaging that consumers tend to associate with products, even without labels:
Potato Chip Bags. The single-serve pouch can be torn open at the top and eaten with one hand on the go while protecting the flavor and texture of a popular snack.
Wine Bottles. Standard shapes and colors identify varieties, there is no mistaking the glass bottle, long neck, and prominent label just below the “shoulder” of the bottle.
Cereal Cartons. This rectangular box fits neatly in cabinets and on shelves. Carton sizes vary, but it can be closed securely with the top flaps. Cereal companies rely heavily upon graphics and branding to make their product stand out on grocery shelves.
Milk cartons – a classic package, also called a gabletop, used to ship fluid dairy products for decades. The gabletop carton is now used for various liquids, such as egg whites and juice, many of them also incorporate a twist top cap, added for improved sealing and increased shelf life.
Here are some famous brands that incorporate packaging into their identity. This exercise of Logo vs. Packaging tells if you can identify the product and/or brand without a logo or identifying label.
How many of these products and brands can you Identify based on the packaging?
This product is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Most likely the shape of the bottle alone gives away the product.
Popular condiment comes in multiple packaging formats, one can be found on tables across the country, while some are designed for convenient dispensing.
Logos change over the years, the grease-resistant paper bucket lets everyone know it’s time for dinner.
It seems that these cups can be found on just about every corner.
This pack has been used billions of times.
This product has a cult following. The packaging has a nifty opening feature, and it can be carried, stored, and used without a can opener.
Many consumers admire this packaging because of its sleek design. Sometimes the packaging is kept longer than the product.
How did you do? Let us know which brands you identified in the comments!
Camille Corr Chism, CPPL Fellow, has a diverse background in packaging engineering, design, supply chain, project management, and new product introductions. Her experience includes a variety of industries including food, e-commerce, technology, distribution, pharmaceutical, industrial, and automotive. Earning an MS and BS in Packaging, Camille earned a Six Sigma Black Belt (2019), and a lifetime certification as a Certified Packaging Professional in 2006. She was inducted into the IoPP College of Fellows in 2014.
Camille is the owner of Indigo Packaging and Consulting. She is the go-to person for all your packaging products and packaging design needs. Connect with her on LinkedIn, LinkedIn Company Page, Twitter @indigopkg, and Instagram @indigopkg