PACKAGING DESIGN: WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
So, here’s a crash course in semiotics – the study of signs and symbols as elements of creating meaning in communication.
1.Symbols are important. They are units of meaning that can be used to communicate.
2.Symbols are ever changing and evolving. Just look at the use of emojis and how they have acquired additional meanings through use (pro tip: Just avoid using the eggplant emoji altogether.)
3. Brands should pay close attention to the symbols they’re using.
OK, I know you’re thinking that we’re talking about packaging design, not the Da Vinci Code, and people aren’t intensely interrogating the world around them. But the signs and symbols around us often create an unconscious reaction, and this is especially true in the retail space.
Nobody would admit to choosing one product over the other because of the packaging – but good packaging elicits an emotional, gut-level response that deeply influences how we perceive a product.
AND THAT’S WHERE GOOD PACKAGING DESIGN COMES IN. IN OUR OPINION, GOOD PACKAGING DESIGN:
Brand recognition is a powerful thing. It connects the consumers to everything that brand stands for
Puts the user first
If a product is frustrating to open, difficult to carry, or annoying to use then those feelings of frustration are transferred to the product itself.
Engages the senses
Consumers are very attuned and hate being blatantly marketed to (Looking at you Youtube ads). But we’re also influenced by things that engage our senses. A brand should communicate its values not only through messaging but also the look and feel of a product.
Tells a story
OK, we’ve talked about semiotics so that next natural step is to talk about Aristotle, right? RIGHT!
Our favourite ancient Greek philosopher is the granddaddy of persuasive communication and had a lot to say on the topic. In a nutshellold Ari said that persuasive communication could be broken down into three modes: ethos,pathos, logos.
And if you look at any brand communication you’ll see these three modes utilised: Ethos – appealing to authority to establish credibility (Think the ‘9 out of 10 dentists recommend this product’ line from toothpaste advertising), Pathos – an appeal to emotions (Like the blatant attempt to link Coca-Cola and happiness) and Logos – an appeal to logic (laying out how and why the product does what it does)