Packaging plays a pivotal role in defining your brand identity. It’s the part of your company that customers get to take home; the part that comes through their door and shapes their whole experience. After they’ve gone through the process of clicking your ads, navigating your website, and making a purchase, the last thing you want is for ‘The Grand Unboxing’ to be, well… less than grand.
So, how do you enhance your brand identity through product packaging? Take note as our in-house UX/UI Designer, Ieva Sabuckyte, highlights 10 brands that do it best...
Well-designed packing isn’t just beautiful packaging – it’s also sustainable. That’s where Everist comes in; it’s a new, eco-friendly brand that creates covetable shower essentials. Their formulas are waterless, which makes the products more compact and lighter to transport, in turn reducing carbon emissions. Meanwhile, all of the tubes are made with recyclable aluminium, which – bonus – also looks super chic in your shower. Even the plastic caps can be recycled when you send them, free of charge, back to the brand.
2# Who Gives a Crap
Image: Who Gives a Crap
We all know how frustrating it can be to rifle through pointless packaging for one small order. We've asked ourselves a million times, ‘do we really need all of this cardboard and plastic?’ So, all hail Who Gives a Crap; a plastic-free loo roll brand that keeps packaging to a minimum. Their toilet paper is delivered in a cardboard box, stuffed to the top with toilet paper rolls. The rolls are then individually wrapped in patterned, colourful paper which, it turns out, is far more sustainable than wrapping them all together in plastic. Plus, the rolls add a little bit of brightness to your bathroom. It’s certainly more exciting than your average plastic-wrapped, supermarket-branded bundle.
#3 Girlfriend Collective
Image: Packaging of the World
Girlfriend Collective is a cutting-edge womenswear brand that crafts their collection out of recycled materials – so it makes sense that their pared-back packaging would follow their sustainable mission. Their orders come in a plain, recycled, paper cardboard box and a reusable cloth pouch, which has also been made out of recycled materials. (And when we say recycled, we mean to the very last thread.) The packaging looks warm, inviting, minimalistic and modern, representing the brand values and the overall aesthetic that GC has carefully perfected.
Nope – you’re not looking at the latest niche fragrance brand. VINEBOX is a unique fine wine company that sells small batch subscriptions in these pleasingly sleek, recyclable vials. In your seasonal box, you get nine single servings that come in a variety of flavours, so you can sip a few yourself or organise a wine tasting session with your friends. Their patented bottling technology preserves taste, scent and quality for up to three years, while the packaging’s colour scheme changes from season to season. You may also notice that each wine tube features different typographical elements, which reflect the character and heritage of the juice inside. Clever.
Offering natural toothpastes and deodorants; Wildist packs their products with unexpectedly effective ingredients (like a cool, calming combo of activated charcoal and chamomile in one of their toothpastes). These cruelty-free blends are then packaged up in botanical prints and pastel colours that look great on their own – but even better when you collect the full range. In a world where minimal branding is seemingly reigning supreme right now, it’s nice to see a pop of patterned colour in our bathroom cupboards. The illustrations simply seal the deal.
#6 Magic Spoon
Enter a cereal brand with a difference. Magic Spoon creates gluten free, low-carb, protein-packed breakfasts in illustrated boxes so whimsical, they look like children’s storybook covers. From bunny-riding wizards to chocolate-eating monkeys, these designs are anything but understated. The otherworldly designs are so fun, in fact, we’d find it hard to throw them away when we’re done.
Interiors influencers are waxing lyrical about new paint brand Lick, thanks to its rich pigments (full coverage in two coats? Yes, please) and its peel-and-stick samples (you simply stick them on your walls). However, the packaging is also up there as a major pro of using the brand, with retro-style buckets, boxes and brushes featuring their signature typography. Just a glance at these tins gives the impression of a sleek and stylish home, making shoppers feel like they’re not just buying paint; they’re buying into a lifestyle.
Image: Conscious Avenue
Hello, sunshine. We could all do with a little extra brightness in our lives, so Australian brand Asarai’s yellow bottles are a welcome addition to our skincare routine. Sunny, smiley and summery – yet minimal at the same time – these bold bottles stand out in a crowd of muted beauty tubes. They even offer a bright yellow turn key that helps you squeeze every last drop from the moisturiser tubes.
Image: Caitlyn Hearts
You can’t have missed Estrid on Instagram. With a solid paid media and influencer strategy in place, they’ve taken over the hair removal space and got everybody talking. But it’s not just their marketing that’s helped them take off; their unboxing experience is up there too, with every. little. detail. meticulously crafted to bring joy to their customers. From the razor handle, to the tongue-in-cheek copy, to the pastel colour scheme, Estrid has nailed it all. Never has a razor been more aspirational.
#10 Blend Station
Image: The Die Line
What could be more eye-catching than coffee that quite literally stares at you? Blend Station’s matte black pouches feature eyes that are almost saying, ‘buy me, drink me, love me’. Contrasting pastel colours each represent a different coffee blend, which is a clever way of seamlessly pouring visual language into a packaging design. Simply put, this is that coffee brand that never gets tucked away in the cupboard. It’s earned its spot on your counter for all to see (and be seen 👀).
More tips for boosting brand identity with packaging
Good branding doesn’t stop at packaging; it’s a piece in a very large puzzle, bringing one facet of your story to life for your customers to enjoy at home. For your brand identity to truly spark joy, it should be prominent at every touch-point, from your ecommerce site to your confirmation emails, to – yes – your bottles and boxes. So, how can you make your brand stand out from others? Here are a few tips:
Keep your eco-conscience clear
Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of sustainability, and are actively seeking companies that align with their values – while shunning those that don’t. Look to add value to your brand by opting for eco-friendly packaging and materials, carbon-neutral delivery and charity collaborations. If nothing else, it will mean your brand is kinder to the planet.
Build your story
One of the benefits of being a small business is having a better brand story. If you’ve entered your industry for personal reasons, communicate this in your About Us page and packaging. Maybe you’ve started a CBD company because it helped you deal with chronic pain, or perhaps you kicked off socks subscription after always getting holes in your own. Whatever the case, let your customers know the brains behind your brand.
Prioritise the user interface and experience
Sure – the most fun part of being a customer is unboxing your purchases, but few will actually get there if the on-site user interface and experience feels jarring. Consider hiring UI and UX designers, who can help you improve the feel and flow of your site, ensuring your design meets best-in-class standards while propelling your brand identity.
Stay true to your brand
While there’s plenty of inspiration here, standing out means being inimitably you. That’s why it’s important not to copy competitors, but to think instead of what makes your brand unique. This is what will grab potential customers’ attention, and this is what will make them come back time and time again. Your email marketing should be just as thumb-stopping as your product packaging. Discover the brands that get ecommerce email design on point.
Are you keeping up with your competitors?
Your customers see up to 10,000 (!) ads per day – yours needs to command attention. That's why we’ve packed this free guide with creative advice from our Art Director, Francesca Boyd, our Design Lead, Sara Azmy, and our Copywriter, Zara Kenyon.
We'll reveal the cost-efficient tricks and tactics that elevate your brand across every platform, so you can scale up your ROI and ROAS to achieve your best year yet. Download your free copy here!