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Packaging’s Role in Brand Storytelling

Ever wonder why you feel a certain way when you see a product's packaging? In most cases it boils down to brand storytelling. It's not just about what’s inside the package; it's how the package speaks to you and how it can tell a story of brand values before you’ve even had a cheeky peek inside. You want your packaging to be a conversation starter – it’s like a book cover for your brand's story. We find it mad that packaging is often overlooked and merely viewed as a ‘protective layer’ to the product. As packaging designers, we’re here to tell you packaging is so much more; it’s a strategic player in sculpting brand identity and storytelling.
It’s time to turn the mundane into something memorable. So let’s get into it.
15 min read
21 March 2024
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How Packaging Conveys Brand Identity

Imagine holding a product in your hand. The feel of the material, its weight, texture, and the smooth or rugged material it's encased in. Your eyes might be drawn to the vibrant colours or maybe it’s the elegant simplicity of its design. Does the logo speak volumes about the brand's mission and ethos? This sensory experience is far from accidental. Behind every texture, hue, and symbol lies a carefully thought-through decision. The psychology of colours is something to keep in mind when designing your packaging. Brands choose their logos, colours, and materials not just to stand out on the shelf but to reflect their core values and missions.

But it doesn’t stop there. This alignment of brand identity isn’t a one-off; it requires a massive commitment to consistency across all forms of packaging and across every touchpoint of marketing. Regardless of your industry, packaging design matters to everyone. This is how brands embed themselves in the collective memory of their audience, creating a visual and tactile language that is so obviously theirs. Whether it’s the eco-conscious feel of recycled materials that speak to a brand's commitment to sustainability, or the luxurious touch of high-end finishes that showcase a premium ethos, every aspect is a thread in the larger tapestry of this brand story. It’s all about using packaging to tell your brand story.

Why is consistency so important for conveying brand identity? Maintaining consistency is crucial for crafting a unified brand experience, regardless of whether customers come across the product online, in-store, or through advertising. All of this contributes to a seamless narrative across platforms that cements brand recognition, turning casual viewers into loyal customers. The power of a cohesive packaging strategy cannot be overstated—it’s not just about making a product look attractive. It's about forging an emotional connection, one that resonates with the values and aspirations of the audience. Through thoughtful design and strategic consistency, brands can transcend the physical realm of their products, leaving a lasting impression that goes beyond the initial visual appeal.

A few examples of how you can convey brand identity in your packaging:

👉 Sustainable materials shout out the brand's environmental consciousness.

👉 Signature colours and logos make the brand instantly recognisable.

Using Design to Tell a Story

Every element of packaging design, from the imagery to the typography, is a building block in the brand's story. If you have your own brand products – ask yourself – how do they tell your story?

🤔 What do the colours and textures used in your packaging say about your brand's personality and values?
➡️ Are they bold and adventurous, or minimalist and eco-friendly?

🤔 How does the imagery chosen resonate with your target audience?
➡️ Does it evoke the desired emotions or aspirations that align with your brand's core message?

🤔 What story does your typography tell?
➡️ Does the typography make your product pop? Is it modern and tech-savvy, traditional and reliable, or playful and innovative?


🤔 In what ways do the shapes and technical features of your packaging enhance the customer experience?
➡️ Is your packaging inclusive? Do they add an element of surprise, convenience, or sustainability that reflects your brand's commitment to innovation or environmental responsibility?

🤔 How does the overall design coherence across all your products and marketing channels reinforce brand recognition?
➡️ Does it create a seamless experience that builds trust and loyalty with your consumers?


These design choices offer a glimpse into your brand’s ethos, making each product more than just an item but a narrative piece. Shapes and technical features extend beyond mere aesthetics or functionality. They add to the art of the unboxing experience, making it more memorable. Think about how you can add features like a well-designed closure or tactile feel details to add a layer of engagement. It’s all about contributing positively to the customer experience.

Something to keep in mind – the choice of materials speaks volumes about your brand values, particularly its stance on sustainability. Packaging design mistakes to avoid is not thinking about the current market. If your consumers are likely to be eco-conscious, then you want to meet their desired requirements. Eco-friendly packaging not only reduces environmental impact but also strengthens the brand's narrative around responsibility and care.

This synergy between design elements and the consumer experience elevates packaging from a simple container to a storytelling medium, deepening the connection between brand and consumer. Through thoughtful design, brands can create meaningful, memorable interactions that resonate with their audience.

Examples of Storytelling Through Packaging

Let’s take a look at some quality examples of packaging designs that do well in telling a story.

Cane:

The packaging crafted by Noramble for Cane showcases the intersection of tradition and modernity. This packaging not only protects and presents the product but also narrates the brand's journey from its roots in craftsmanship to its contemporary appeal. By employing materials that speak to both sustainability and quality, alongside design elements that reflect the brand's heritage and the unique qualities of the spirit, Cane's packaging invites consumers into a story of meticulous creation. It stands as a testament to how design and storytelling can elevate the perception of a brand, making each product not just a toothbrush but a piece of narrative art to be appreciated and shared.

Cane Packaging 4
Cane Packaging 6

Zingara:

Let’s take a look at what Zingara does right when it comes to storytelling through its packaging. Zingara is a newly established flavoured soda brand. Its packaging is a vibrant celebration of life's spontaneous, joyful moments, shown through the use of bold colours and dynamic typography. These visuals not only capture the eye but also conveys the brand's essence—offering a sip of life’s zestfulness with each can. The choice of colours is not random; it's a deliberate strategy to evoke feelings of happiness, energy, and refreshment, mirroring the experience Zingara promises to deliver.

The playful fruit mascots serve as storytellers themselves, each character inviting consumers into the flavourful world of Zingara. These illustrations do more than decorate; they communicate the natural, juicy goodness inside, reinforcing the brand's commitment to quality and taste. The personification of flavours through these mascots adds a layer of engagement, encouraging consumers to explore the range and find their favourites.

Attention to the finer details—like the tactile feel of the can and the seamless integration of brand elements—elevates the unboxing experience to a memorable event. These thoughtful touches reinforce Zingara's narrative of cherishing and creating zingful moments, making every interaction with the product a part of the consumer's own story.

Zingara 6
Zingara 10

Tiffany & Co.’s Signature Blue Box

We all know what we’re talking about here. We’ve seen it in movies, on social media, you can’t miss it – The unmistakable Tiffany blue box with a white ribbon. It is more than just packaging; it symbolises luxury, exclusivity, and the joy of giving and receiving. Before even seeing the product, the packaging sets the stage for a memorable, high-end experience, instantly conveying the brand’s legacy and prestige.

Tiffany co

Absolut Vodka’s Limited Edition Bottles:

We’re seeing more brands playing around with limited-edition concoctions. Think about competitors Whitley Neill and Smirnoff – they’re following suit. Absolut has released numerous limited-edition bottles over the years, each telling a different story through innovative designs. From city editions that celebrate the unique spirit and culture of different locales to collaborations with artists, these bottles turn each Absolut product into a collector's item and a narrative piece.

Absolut vodka
Absolut 2

Image source: absolut.com

Lego:

Lego boxes are more than just containers for toy bricks; they're gateways to the imagination. With dynamic, colourful scenes depicting the potential creations within, Lego packaging tells a story of endless possibilities and creativity. Each box not only showcases the product but also serves as an invitation to build, play, and explore, connecting with builders young and old.

Lego minecraft

Packaging isn't just about holding your product; it's an integral part of your brand's storytelling journey. It’s about making a connection, conveying identity, and ensuring that your brand's tale is told in the most engaging way possible. Storytelling is the way forward when it comes to looking at the future of packaging design.

Curious to learn more about weaving the perfect brand story through packaging? At Noramble, we work with all sorts of clients. Take a look at our work, we’ve got plenty of experience in this game! Despite what people think, there really is an art and science to packaging design. So check out our services and get in touch if you need a bit of inspo or a nudge in the right direction. We’d be happy to help. We also offer a free brand review, so give us a shout.

FREE Brand Review

FREE Brand Review