Packaging is a brand strategy disguised as a container. Until you package the product, it is just an idea.
Brand packaging matters. In addition to stimulating the senses, packaging creates an overall brand impression and offers hints about what you can expect from the brand. Packaging is often the first glimpse of a brand, and it can either repel or attract the consumer.
Because it is always a brand impression, packaging must be memorable. For example:
Tiffany’s: Robin’s-egg blue with black type
Macy’s: Red star
Target: Red bulls-eye
Coke: Red, with white ribbon
Pepsi: Blue background with red, white and blue circle
SimpleHuman: bold colors with icon coding
Apple: Apple silhouette with a bite eaten
IBM: Blue (or white) I.B.M. letters dissected by lines
AT&T: White and blue striped globe
In retail especially, redesigned packaging can revive an outdated presentation for relatively little expense. A new container shape, larger brand iconography, even a clearer, easier-to-read label can push more products off the shelf. New packaging re-announces the brand and can suggest that the product is improved in some significant way.
When revamping packaging, there is one caveat: be sure to retain enough of the original look and feel so that you do not confuse customers and erode brand recognition and awareness. It will not do you any good to have a great new package if your customers do not recognize you.