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Crafting Memorable Brand Experiences: The Art of Packaging Design with (matter)


Product packaging is a crucial touchpoint in a branded experience. Digital shopping crowds consumers’ online perspective with extremely aesthetic logos, content, media, and design. On a daily basis, shoppers are bombarded with stunning imagery, beautifully curated social media feeds, and well-polished websites. Even in brick-and-mortar retail locations, the amount of branded sensory input can be overwhelming. Shelf after shelf is packed full of product, and nothing stands out in all the chaos.  

At (matter), we’ve experienced firsthand how captivating packaging design can deeply connect with consumers and propel your brand to new heights. We’ve compiled a few tips from our Principal Creative Director, Joel Warneke, to help you begin to explore all the ways that strategic packaging design can elevate your brand. 

Maximize Your Products' On-the-Shelf Appearance

The primary question our clients ask when they approach us for packaging design assistance is this: “How do we design a package that will actually stand out on a shelf?” In response, Joel Warneke notes three important ways the (matter) team – and your brand – can make products pop on the digital or physical shelf.  

In a sea of products, standing out on the shelf is a challenge, but with the right packaging design, your product can attract attention and stand out from the competition. On-the-shelf appeal is affected by multiple factors, from use of color and style of typography to imagery and logos, as well as how these factors work together to tell a brand story. 

First and foremost, take the time to consider every product or service on offer. Rather than spending valuable energy crafting the perfect packaging for a singular product, (matter) takes a holistic approach to our clients’ product lines.  

We consider the product line as a whole and discuss how each product’s packaging can be both unique and compatible with the client’s entire catalog. A well-organized system that clearly communicates your brand and products, as well as your value proposition, creates a cohesive system across all of a brand’s channels and sales locations.  

Joel also recommends that brands consider how packaging will look at every angle. Your product’s box will not always be placed face-forward or in the proper vertical or horizontal orientation on a shelf because consumers or store workers may set your item on a shelf in a haphazard way.  

Even digital stores allow people to rotate many online items for a 360-degree view, so no matter where you sell your goods, remember that every surface of your packaging design could be visible to your consumer. 

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Create a Stellar Unboxing Experience

Unboxing a new product is a moment of anticipation and joy for consumers, as well as an opportunity for your brand to build lifelong, loyal customers. Unboxing videos are also an incredibly impactful way to reach new target audiences because they capture the emotional journey of the consumer while they experience your products for the first time. (Ever wondered why unboxing videos are so wildly popular on social media? This is it.) 

While your product packaging should always protect your items and ensure they reach their destinations safely, another critical component of your packaging design is the materials you use to create it. For example, brands promoting sustainability have an excellent opportunity to develop eco-friendly wrapping for their products – some even print recycling directions directly on the box! – so consumers know you take your commitment to the environment seriously.  

(matter)’s biggest recommendation to clients who want to level up their packaging design is to include unexpected surprises that make an unboxing experience more memorable. These little gifts don’t need to be costly or elaborate; they simply need to show that your brand cares enough to add a personalized touch to its packaging.  

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Navigating the Challenges of Packaging Design

Because product packaging design is such an all-encompassing process, it’s easy to get too focused on a singular product and forget to consider your entire product line. If your team gets tunnel-vision instead of holistically thinking about all of your product offerings, you’ll quickly fall prey to a snowball effect of disjointed packaging design that almost doesn’t look like your brand anymore.  

Another challenge of packing design is time allotment. We know deadlines need to be met and products need to hit shelves as fast as possible, but please make sure to allot enough time to make sure your packaging vision is reflective of your entire brand, not just one product. 

Finally, it’s critical that your internal creative departments be on the same page for the duration of the packaging design process. Managing internal departments and helping them work together to create packaging is no small task, but if you want the end result of cohesive branding, it’s a necessary step. 

Remember, your brand’s packaging is more than just a wrapper — it’s a storyteller, an experience maker, and a brand ambassador. Check out all the great packaging work we’ve done here on the (matter) website and reach out to us for your next design project. Together, we can help you transform your packaging into a powerful tool that captivates consumers and makes your brand matter more.