Whether or not people end up buying your product, they will inevitably link their initial impression of your packaging to you and your brand. So the “net effect” we talked about earlier today is where you should really focus on your brand identity. Why is brand identity important? Your brand represents nothing short of control over how consumers think of you. Think of it in terms of that old saying about getting only one chance to make a first impression. Your customers will eventually form an opinion about your brand and your product based on their positive experience with using it. But you can’t afford to waste the opportunity to make a good impression on them before they try it for the first time.
So, lets back up a step and try to answer the question, what is brand identity? Brand identity is the consistent visual presentation of your brand or company. It often includes a wordmark, which is your brand name written out in a specific font, and a symbol, often called a “logo,” which is a graphic that somehow represents your brand. Brand identity can also include a consistent color scheme, type style, slogan, and even a specific shape of packaging, among other things. The sky is the limit on how structured you want the look of your brand to be. Just keep in mind a few things:
1. Does it match your “brand personality”? For example, a logo with loud colors and a playful, childish font would probably not fit the “personality” of a fine jewelry store. Likewise, a muted color scheme and very austere font would look out of place in the logo for most children’s clothing stores. Your company makes a certain product, usually for a certain audience, and has a certain atmosphere or feeling to it—its personality. In the end, your brand identity should reflect that.
eBay’s logo is a good example of a smart brand personality match. They are a forward-thinking, informal, online company that brings people all over the world together to do business in a relaxed, often playful atmosphere, and their lower-case, sans-serif, multicolored logo shows it.
2. Is your brand identity widely applicable? Will it fit just as snuggly on a post-it note as it will on a banner? Does it translate as well onto a rounded cosmetic container as it does on the flat side of a box? Does it function on multiple surfaces, like paper, vinyl, fabric, wood, metal, etc? Does it mean the same thing to various audiences?
Our very own logo at Majestic Mountain Sage was designed for use in a wide range of sizes and printing materials, shown here in large vinyl letters on our door, embroidered on a sweater, and printed on our packing tape.
3. Is it flexible and, if need be, expandable? Some brand identity is simply the name of a company and a unifying “feel” to all of that company’s products and packaging.
BeautyIn is a healthy snack and beverage company with a flexible brand identity. Even though their product packaging comes in a wide variety of colors and graphics, you can tell that they all come from the same company. By the way, I borrowed these images of BeautyIn’s products from a fantastic blog about packaging, www.thedieline.com. It’s great for inspiration!
Even if you’re using stock label designs, simply putting the name of your company in a consistent font and color on all of your packaging will give your products cohesion, and make your brand more inviting and memorable.
I hope you have found this topic interesting and thought provoking. Your company is worth special consideration in this area.