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The recent developments in consumer society have led to growing interest in packaging as a branding factor. Product package as a visual sign of brand features and product quality is a topical issue both for brand managers and product designers. Package has become an important marketing communications medium as the more traditional ways of marketing such as mass-media advertising have lost their grip on consumers and no longer provide the wanted results. In the first part of the paper, a literature review of product package as a visual sign of brand features is introduced. Package design is discussed both from design and branding marketing perspectives, and comparisons between these approaches are made. A model of six principles for effective packaging 1 is applied to cover both design and brand perspectives. In the second part of the paper, a case study of a European gift chocolate producer is introduced. The case study explores a package design project in which a multidisciplinary team created new packaging design concepts for a gift chocolate brand. The paper concludes that package design is a crucial element in strategic branding. It is illustrated that package design improvements require multidisciplinary teamwork including designers, brand managers and engineers. New package design concepts need to be innovative as well as fulfill requirements of being experimental, emotional, informational and functional for shoppers and product users. Finally, the problems in traditional package design process are discussed and ways to improve strategic brand building with package design are suggested.


package design, brand, gift chocolate, strategy

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Author: Sanna Heiniö



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