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The Power of Packaging: How product packaging can enhance brand identity.

The Role of Packaging in Branding

Many of us like to think we’re above being influenced by product packaging. As discerning consumers, we’d like to believe that the power of marketing won’t sway us in our purchasing decisions, but we guarantee that whether you know it or not, you’ve been influenced by product packaging. In fact, the beauty of excellent product packaging is that you probably don’t even realize that you’ve been influenced by it!

And chances are, if the packaging was good enough to catch your attention initially (and the product quality meets your expectations), you’ll be a repeat purchaser. A 2018 survey found that the purchase decisions of 72% of American consumers are influenced by packaging and another 2018 study found that 63% of consumers make repeat purchases because of the product packaging.

Effective packaging creates brand recognition. It’s like your product’s outfit—the better it looks and functions, the more heads it turns. Good packaging reinforces your brand’s identity, engages your customers emotionally, and can even allow you to price your product on a more premium level compared to competitors. 

In this blog, we'll dive into the magic of great product packaging and explore how to create memorable packaging that reflects your brand identity and sells your products successfully. Plus, we’ll share some great packaging examples across a variety of retail mediums, including some of Quill’s own award-winning product packaging designs.

How Should Your Brand Affect Your Packaging?

A major part of packaging will always be a practical endeavor—your packaging needs to protect your product, hold it securely, include essential elements like labeling, instructions, and product information, and be convenient for handling, storage, and transportation. But beyond these basics, your brand should be highly integrated into the design of your package.

Like any part of the brand experience, your packaging design should be grounded in a fully formed brand strategy and visual identity. Simply put, your packaging should feel authentically “you”—holistic, intentional, and consistent. Every element, from typography and color to the structure and materials, should be carefully considered to ensure it matches your brand's ethos and message.

Ultimately, packaging should trigger both conscious and subconscious purchasing habits in customers. When your packaging aligns with a customer’s values or connects with them emotionally, it’s more than just a container—it becomes an important part of the product experience.

What kind of packaging experience do you want to give your customers?

Your packaging should be a reflection of your brand’s core identity, so before you dive into package design, you’ll need to start with the basics—competitor research, ideal target audience, visual identity, and overall brand strategy. Once you have a solid brand strategy and identity in place, ask yourself some questions about your brand and its products.

  • Do you have multiple products or product lines? Or maybe even multiple families of brands?
  • How will customers experience your product? In a physical store or online?
  • Do you want packaging that breaks the mold by being different than other products in the same category? (Think the Pringles tube and Liquid Death’s water in a can).
  • Do you have a more traditional brand that would compete better by using familiar design cues proven to work in your products’ category?
  • Will your packaging use sustainable and eco-friendly materials?

Each element of the packaging experience should be carefully considered, and all design decisions should be made intentionally with strategy in mind. With a strategy-forward approach, you can create a cohesive brand presence through your packaging that resonates with your customers and fosters long-term loyalty.

A Branded Family vs. Family of Brands

If you’re aiming for a family of brands approach, each product within your lineup should have its own unique identity. This means that while the overarching brand may be recognizable, individual products will cater to different audiences and markets. This packaging strategy is usually more suited to large companies that oversee many smaller brands, like Unilever or Proctor & Gamble.

On the other hand, if you’re creating a branded family, your products should exhibit a cohesive style that reinforces the overall brand identity. Consistency is key here—each product should feel like it’s part of a larger brand identity. This doesn’t mean all products look identical, but they should share common design elements. This approach strengthens brand recognition and loyalty because customers can easily identify and trust your products based on their consistent appearance and messaging.

The Packaging Experience

Because packaging is a physical touchpoint of the customer experience, it needs to have a tangible and emotionally triggering quality. This is especially true for products whose branding will be seen regularly and not discarded after opening, like toiletries or supplements. These products live in your house for a long time and are often used every day. This means that your branding needs to connect with your customers every time they use the product.

Quill Client Spotlight: Maya Pet & Somaya Life

Take the supplement brands Maya Pet and Somaya Life—one supplement for pets and the other for people, and both Quill-created brands under the same company umbrella. After completing the first step of their rebranding, we knew we had to create beautiful product packaging that reflected the essence of the company and deliver that brand message every single time a customer reached for those bottles. Our research and brand strategy plan led our designers to Greek-inspired mosaic and archaic elements in the design, complemented by calming yet lively neutrals, grounding the brand in a rich history of wellness. Both brands won GDUSA Package Design awards in 2022 and 2023.

Another way for a product to stand out is by providing an engaging experience for your customers. A memorable unboxing can make buying your product an experience that makes them feel special and compels them to be repeat buyers. On the flip side of that, a bad packaging experience can lose a customer for life, no matter how high-quality the product is. You don’t ever want your packaging to frustrate (or even injure customers—looking at you, plastic clamshell packaging) or mislead your customers.

A great example of providing engaging packaging experiences can be seen in subscription boxes.

Take the brand Who Gives a Crap. This toilet paper subscription box has an established brand based on a core value of eco-friendliness combined with a fun and celebratory brand voice and design. With visual branding on all sides of the shipping box and cheeky, on-brand messaging, the box sets the tone for a fun unboxing experience. The brand also actively encourages the reuse and recycling of their boxes, reinforcing their commitment to sustainability. Icons on the packaging communicate key information about the product, while the recyclable paper wrappers inside come in multiple bright colors, each featuring different delightful copy. This detail gives customers a unique brand experience with every new roll of toilet paper, keeping the Who Gives a Crap brand top of mind. As a special extra touch, the box includes an emergency roll wrapped in red, with a reminder to order more before you run out.

Physical Retail vs. E-commerce

Different sales channels present unique challenges and opportunities for engaging with customers. 

Tailor your packaging strategy to its specific sales platform context to ensure that your product stands out and delivers a consistent and compelling brand experience.

Physical Retail

When you sell products at physical locations, good packaging will allow your product to compete for attention on crowded shelves. Your packaging needs to grab attention, convey your brand message, and stand out amidst the competition in just seven seconds—that’s the amount of time it takes for a customer to decide whether they want to purchase your product.

Spotlight: Momentum Carnivore Nutrition

Momentum Carnivore Nutrition's packaging is a prime example of how to achieve packaging design that stands out on the shelf.  After working on a full brand identity update for this healthy dog treat company, the Quill Creative team gave Momentum’s packaging a makeover. Using bright, dynamic colors and design elements, we created a full line of product packaging that allowed each product to remain distinct while still feeling cohesive with the brand identity. One standout feature is the small diagonal window on the front of their packages. This design element evokes the idea of movement—a core tenet of their brand identity—while showcasing the product inside. Unlike many competitors, this transparent window highlights the product's raw, nutritious nature, visually differentiating it from typical dog foods and treats on the market. Quill’s packaging design for Momentum received an award for package design at the GDUSA Design Awards in 2023.


On the e-commerce side, communicating a clear and consistent brand identity is especially crucial because a customer won’t get a tangible experience of your product packing until they’ve hit that final Submit Order button. Online retailers have an opportunity to expand their visual brand through additional images, detailed descriptions, closeups, and callouts on features and functionalities. These elements can be showcased on the product listing and website, providing a comprehensive view of your brand and product.

Environmental Sustainability

Environmental sustainability in packaging has become a cornerstone of the contemporary consumer experience, making the choice of packaging materials an ethical one as much as a strategic one.

Consumers are increasingly scrutinizing the packaging that holds their items, and they care deeply about its environmental impact. In fact, according to a recent online survey, 78% of participants stated they are more likely to buy products packaged in paper or cardboard because they are better for the environment. In another 2020 survey, 55% of US respondents reported being extremely or very concerned about the environmental impact of product packaging.

As sustainability continues to increase in importance to consumers, integrating eco-friendly solutions into your packaging strategy is not just beneficial for the earth—it’s beneficial for your bottom line, too. When considering your packaging, think about how it reflects your social responsibility and commitment to sustainability and how it will resonate with your customer base.

Need product packaging? Quill can help.

The Quill team specializes in creating packaging that showcases your products and tells your brand’s story in a way that resonates with customers on every level. With several GDUSA design awards and recognitions under our belts, we have the design passion and expertise to give your product packaging that makes a lasting impression.

Interested in learning more? Reach out to the team today and let’s chat!