How To Make Your Packaging Come Alive With Emotion
If picking the best colour palette to effectively represent your brand is keeping you up at night; you’re not alone. Companies over the years, have spent millions of dollars in the pursuit to better understand a concept known as ‘Colour Psychology’. For businesses who are equally as passionate about their branding decisions, but would rather spend their money on more pressing concerns; a simple shift in mindset can assist and fast-track the process of developing the right visual representation of your brand.
By pausing your thoughts on what specific colour to choose, take a step back and think about the personality your brand is trying to convey through your packaging, and then understand the emotions you can project through the use of different colours. In this post, we’ll explore how you can solidify your brand identity and personality, and discuss 5 different emotions that will help you attract and retain the right customers to your business.
Get some personality
As a business owner, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking about how your product will perform in the market, rather than first understanding exactly who your perfect customer is, and building an entire brand that caters specifically to them. This process is called Buyer Persona Development, which enables you to define your perfect customer based on customer demographics, psychographics and behavioural characteristics, among other things that can influence their decision-making. Getting to know your ideal customer on the deepest level will go a long way in positioning your business as the best possible alternative to any other companies competing on the market. More relevantly, since you know who your most ideal customers are, you can align every piece of visual communication (such as your custom packaging) so well, that your customers will see your business as everything they’ve always wanted.
Creating that seamless visual communication is an essential part of having a solid brand personality and identity. Brand personality is the overall feeling or image your business projects to make a strong and almost moving connection with your customers, both existing or new. While defining your brand personality does sound like a timely process, you can actually get a decent understanding in as little as 10 minutes with Brand Personality Quiz. Aside from personality development, the role of colours on packaging is crucial in conveying your personality, but understanding how they work to create an emotional response holds greater importance.
Do these colours look good on me?
The use of colours in branding and, to a greater extent, custom packaging, has been a hotly debated topic for decades. When it comes to individual colours, the link between any one colour and its impact in (or on) the eyes of the consumer is shrouded in ambiguity due to the fact that, as humans, we perceive colours differently. It is for this reason that defining your brand personality is paramount in helping you pick the right colours to support the ‘image’ as a whole, rather than picking colours based on common stereotypes (such as ‘green means natural’). In terms of supporting the image, the colours should ‘fit’ with what is being sold or served, as well as the story or inspiration behind the business itself.
Shifting your mindset from ‘choosing a colour’ to ‘choosing an emotion’ instead, will help you align your visual efforts seamlessly with your brand personality, to illustrate ‘who’ your business is, as opposed to ‘what’. Now, it’s time get a little emotional.
Let’s get emotional
We’ve chosen five common emotions that our clients in the past, and present, have striven to evoke through their pieces of customised packaging.
Common colours: Bright or fluoro tones – Red, Orange and Yellow
Why these colours: Each of these colours have a high level of intensity and stand out to make an instant impact. Red in particular is commonly associated with ‘Stop’, which implies that the viewer’s attention is needed immediately. The colours stimulate the viewer’s senses, making it effective in attracting attention from afar.
How these colours are used: It’s very common to find a dash of red on a full white or brown coloured piece of packaging, where the viewer’s sight is drawn solely to the colour red, such as in text that says ‘SALE’. The opposite of this also holds true where a fully red coloured packaging piece with white text achieves the same goal. Orange and Yellow can be used in similar fashion throughout seasonal promotions (like a summer sale) or to excite customers about something new or unique, in terms of the product placed within the bag.
Common colours: White, Grey, Black, dark shades of Red or Blue
Why these colours: Ever bought a product from Apple? The company has mastered its brand personality development to the point that they are now seen as the epitome of sophistication. The use of White delivers the emotion of simplicity, and the image of purity, by isolating and channeling our focus onto its high quality products, and further engaging us with the use of high impact Black text. Similarly, dark Blues and Reds exhibit a more professional and conservative style, adding a touch of class that can interest a more mature market.
How these colours are used: In addition to above, it’s normal to see one colour (usually all White) dominate the entire piece of custom packaging, with the addition of text or logos coloured in Black, Gold, Silver or deep Blue.
Common colours: Black, Dark Grey, Dark Blue, Dark Brown and Dark Red or Maroon
Why these colours: The darkness of these colours, when applied to the whole piece of custom packaging, appears to increase the ‘weight’ of the package and, as such, generates a higher perceived ‘value’ of the goods as well as the brand, itself. Complemented by the font or the design, customers can feel a high sense of achievement when leaving the store as they can feel confident in the experience that has been delivered.
How these colours are used: Often applied as a solid fill (whole package is the same colour), the colour itself is complemented by a custom package made from thick and sturdy material with a premium gloss, matte or custom textured finish. Adding a touch of White or Gold can boost the emotional response to deliver a sense of luxury and elegance.
Common colours: Brown, Green, White or an array of different colours (like a rainbow)
Why these colours: Customers regularly associate these colours to brands that are passionate about basic humanitarian elements, such as environmental awareness, social responsibility, ethics and natural living. If your brand is backed by a story that we, as Humans, would love to be a part of, then these colours will help you maximise your personality with ease.
How these colours are used: Businesses who are one step ahead of their customers’ social expectations and utilise Australian Made Environmentally-aware Packaging are also capitalising on water-based and non-toxic inks to project the image of sustainability, alongside their unique brand personality. These brands take a more minimal approach to their colour use to highlight their sustainable approach, but are increasingly using a wide variety of colours to make a stronger and more attractive connection with customers.
Common colours: Lighter tones of Blue, Green, Pink, Brown, Yellow and Orange
Why these colours: Customers feel at ease when they see these colours since they deliver a feeling of comfort and calmness, which goes a long way to subliminally increase trust. It also shows that the brand has placed a high level of effort in understanding their target market, where the choice of lighter shades can indicate that the customers will be in for a positive and enjoyable experience.
How these colours are used: Whether they are placed on a White background or used as a solid fill, there is really no limit to the ways these colours can be used to project sincerity. We recommend using a solid fill of light Blue with dashes of Brown, White or Black in the text or design areas, to attract young, knowledgeable and savvy customers.
It’s not, and never is, just about the colours you choose to represent your brand. It’s about first taking the opportunity to fully understand the type of customer you want to attract, and then developing a personality that will help your customers fall in love with your brand, with ease. Once you’ve defined the type of persona your brand represents, think about how you can create an emotional connection with your customer, through the use of personality-projecting colours, designs and logos, and align these traits across all of your communication channels.
If you ever get stuck anywhere along this process, talk to the professionals who know exactly how to activate your brand personality through customised packaging. Give us a call for a free chat to see how we can unlock your brand potential, starting today.