How packaging can shape your brand’s identity

When our customers get in touch with us, they will usually have come up with a brilliant idea for a brand already.

They will have spent a lot of time (and often money) crafting the perfect logo, honing the ideal strapline, and developing an overall identity that showcases precisely what their business is all about.

Having gone through this process, they will then contact Hallmark Labels searching for labelling and packaging ideas that will complement the concept they have so painstakingly put together. And we can always present them with solutions to meet their needs.

But what if companies took a different approach?

What if they focused on designing practical and one-of-a-kind packaging solutions first – and the branding followed?

This is an idea that has been revisited by a contributor to Packaging News recently – and we’re totally here for it.

Exploring the case for packaging-first brand design

The look, feel, and functionality of packaging can be used to convey a company’s truest values, particularly in terms of their stance on sustainability. As a basic example, businesses that are highly committed to keeping their carbon footprint as low as possible (and not just saying this for the sake of ‘greenwashing’!) will naturally want to opt for eco-friendlier packaging options, such as Kraft boxes and bags.

Packaging design can also become iconic; and by that, we mean forever synonymous with a particular product, and even at a particular point in time. Take Coca-Cola bottles. Take the label off them, and we’d all know precisely what they are and which brand they represent. Coca-Cola bottles have also changed size and spec since they first hit our shelves in 1886, so eagle-eyed Coke fans can identify which era a certain container is from based on its aesthetics.

The same could be said about Toblerone chocolate bars and Pringles crisps. Neither of these items are completely one-of-a-kind – there are plenty of other sweet and salty snacks out there – but their packaging conveys their shape, which is the very thing that makes them unique. As a result, we, as consumers, can immediately identify them. And we can’t forget Ferrero Rocher, which managed to turn its simple yet instantly recognisable wrapped chocolates into a premium item just through clever marketing and a more robust packaging style than its competitors. Without their distinct packaging, Ferrero Rocher might have struggled to make the same waves in the luxury chocolate space.

Did the big brains behind these huge brands designed their products with a packaging-first approach? We have no idea. But these case studies certainly reiterate our point that packaging should not, and cannot, just be an afterthought.

Well-thought-out packaging can definitely be integral to the overall experience of the product you’ve created, and therefore a vital part of the brand experience, too. With today’s consumers expecting brands to tell a story and sell a solution, interesting packaging can help to differentiate an item from others in its category and create a supporting visual that can’t be mistaken for anything else. If you’re searching for out-of-the-box packaging ideas or would even like to try designing your new packaging before you settle on a final brand identity, we’d love to hear from you. We have worked with thousands of companies at every stage of their journey, from brand new start-ups to more established businesses that are taking their product range in a new direction. From custom printed mailing bags and custom courier boxes to branded tissue paper, packaging tape and even bespoke Thank You cards, we can supply all kinds of quality packaging that leaves a lasting impression at every touch point.

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