Packaging Design: Top 10 Brand Packaging Design Trends for 2015

Great package design is crucial for a successful consumer brand. Whilst packaging is only one element of a comprehensive brand strategy, it is among the most important—in fact for many retail customers, your packaging is the first impression they have of your brand and it’s personality. The job of your pack design is to stand out and create an emotional connection with customers, building brand coherence and loyalty.


Packaging can be timeless and iconic, but even the most successful brands need to ensure that their packaging designs remain relevant to their target audiences. This means having an awareness of the latest trends in both branding and product packaging, so you can meet the evolving preferences and expectations of your customers.


Top 10 Brand Packaging Design Trends for 2015


1. The Evolution Towards Simplicity

In recent years, there’s been a general trend towards a more minimalist approach in many areas. Websites are moving towards cleaner, more open designs, technology is becoming easier and more user-friendly and packaging design has also moved towards simpler, clearer brand communications. This trend will continue strongly into 2015, as customers who are overwhelmed by information overload look for more simplistic, easily and quickly understood options.


Simple, minimalist design stands out on retail shelves. For example, the UK-based Ashridge Drinks recently redesigned their product labels to embrace a simple, colourful look with a fun font and abstract fruit shapes to instantly signify flavour choices.


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The trend for simplicity in packaging involves not only visual design, but also labelling and package functionality. Convenience is a powerful draw for brand loyalty.



2. Paper as Primary Packaging Materials

In keeping with the trend of simplicity, a number of brands are turning to a type of packaging that is simple, sustainable, and versatile. Paper packaging, specifically using various thicknesses of Kraft paper, is a rising trend in pack design.


Traditionally used for years to package postage items, Kraft paper is highly elastic and tear resistant. It can also be recycled widely, making it both convenient and eco-friendly. Using paper in packaging adds to the simplicity and authentic feel of a design, while conveying a brand’s commitment to the environment.


The California based Paperboy Wine Company has incorporated paper packaging in an innovative new way, with wine bottles made out of recycled paper that contain a plastic liner. Expect to see more versatile paper packaging trends like this in 2015.


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3. Hyper-functional Packaging

The basic requirements for packaging are that it contains, protects and transports products from the store to customers’ homes. However recent trends sees package design that goes beyond just the basics mentioned by delivering added value and functionality once customers bring the products home. This is called hyper-functional or multi-purpose packaging, and it’s a trend more brands will turn to in 2015.


Wine brand Aquilegia provides a stunning example of hyper-functional packaging with a wooden display box that transforms into a reusable wine stand.


 Aquilegia Wine Wooden Packaging Design



4. Bespoke Technology

Combining basic technology with product packaging is nothing new, many brands have used things like QR codes or printed campaign hashtags to offer enhanced value to customers. However as technology continues to advance in 2015 we can expect to see more elaborate, customised packaging tech that bridge offline and online brand marketing, or delivers value to the product itself.


“Intelligent” packaging is one example of this. For example, food packaging may use technology that opens the pack at the optimal temperature, changes colour when the sell-by date is reached, or automatically syncs with digital health tools.


Bespoke technology can also extend to value-added digital content. FMCG brand Nabisco did this in 2013 by offering unique video content from pop stars One Direction that could be accessed from packages of Oreo, Ritz Bits, Cheese Nips, and Chips Ahoy.





5. Hand Drawn Logos & Labelling

Authenticity and the human touch is one of the most powerful forces in branding. As social media allows brands to be more accessible and approachable, delivering this type of emotional connection can be extended from digital media to offline components of your brand through great packaging design. The trend toward a more hand-drawn feel for pack labels and brand logos reflects this.


Many brands are achieving the hand-created look through unique designs and handwritten fonts that extend across all brand collateral and touch points, including labelling. As an accent to this trend, package design is trending away from glossy and 3D looks that previously defined high-end brands to matte and solid flat colour splashes which are becoming representative of the new premium look.


 Morrisons Love In A Cup Teabags

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UK supermarket brand Morrisons’ brings an example of the power of handwritten, hand-drawn labelling with their whimsical tea bag package design, which delivers a more personable yet premium feel to this private label brand.


  Morrisons Love In A Cup Tea

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6. Designing for Range Differentiation

For brands with multiple product lines, differentiating between them may be as simple as a few lines of text—but recent trends have more brands moving toward at-a-glance differentiation that does more than, for example, place the words “sugar free” somewhere on the packaging.


Coding various products in a brand’s line by things like bold strong colour or clean imagery—while remaining within the overall brand look—helps to deliver a convenient customer experience, strong shelf standout, and encourages brand loyalty. Indian brand Flossy’s Flavoured Candy Floss provides an example of this type of instant differentiation.



Flossy Flavoured Candy Floss  



7. Innovative Perceptions

The perceived value of a brand can be just as powerful as the actual value—and packaging can help you elevate perceived value. Innovative pack design is one way for brands to stand out, and in 2015 expect more brands to come up with unique twists on packaging conventions.


Packaging trends in the craft beer industry illustrate this type of innovation. In order to counter the perceived negative experience of drinking from a can, U.S. brewer Sly Fox created a can with a top that opens fully to deliver the feel of drinking from a glass. Samuel Adams, another popular craft beer brewer, recently introduced “raised lip” beer cans that enhance the experience and diminish the negative beer can perceptions.

    Helles Topless Beer Can

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8. “Clean” Labels Made “Clear”

As a response to growing customer concerns for transparency and environmental awareness from brands, the “clean label” movement has been gaining increased popularity. Clean labelling serves to emphasise a brand’s use of wholesome, organic ingredients, a lack of artificial ingredients and common allergens, and the absence of harsh or damaging processing that results in a more natural product. The processing aspect also refers to environmentally responsible sourcing, such as following the Fair Trade Agreement.


Method Cleaning Products 

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However, the eco-friendly market lacks true definitions of what constitutes terms such as organic, natural, and minimally processed. This has led to a push from customers for greater clarity—especially among Millennials, who have embraced environmental responsibility and actively seek brands that are making a real difference. Thus, “clear” product labelling is a top trend in packaging—which includes labels that display certified, third-party assurances about the use of responsibly managed resources, natural ingredients, and the organic qualities of the product.


9. Personalised Labelling

As technology advances and the costs of sophisticated technologies become more affordable, more brands are able to take advantage of packaging design methods that deliver greater versatility and flexibility—such as variable and short-run digital printing. With this technology more accessible, in 2015 expect to see a trend towards more personalised labels and packaging.


Label personalisation includes strategies such as creating separate designs for flavour differentiation, regionalizing your labelling, or releasing limited or special-edition packaging to enhance the perceived value of your products. The ability to remain flexible in pack design can help you build your brand more effectively by precisely targeting various segments of your audience.


10. Packaging as the Focal Point

In 2015, expect to see more brands turning to exceptional packaging as the start of customer conversation. Truly standout packaging that goes against conventions and WOWS shoppers is becoming much more popular, not to mention a commercial impetus—not just among brands, but also among the people who consume them, as evidenced by the “unboxing” trend.


The volume of “unboxing videos” has boomed in recent years with enthusiastic consumers videoing footage of themselves unwrapping and opening the packaging of their new purchases. Since 2010, the number of YouTube clips with “unboxing” in the headline has increased 871%. Last year alone, 2,370 days, or 6.5 years, worth of unboxing footage was uploaded to the site. (Source CNN)





In fact “unboxing videos” has become a lucrative little corner of the internet for people who film them. Originally the output of enthusiastic consumers capturing the moment of opening the packaging of their latest new purchase, these home made videos of “unwrapping packaging” have become such a massive trend its prompted brand owners to upload their own “unboxing” videos birthed from their high-end packaging.


In fact if you can buy it, there’s probably an unboxing video of it so make sure your brand packaging is worthy of an “unboxing video”. And in case you doubt me this “unboxing video” showing toys inside Disney themed Kinder Eggs has attracted more than 40 million views!





Exciting, innovative, and disruptive packaging can get people talking about your brand on the strength of the pack design alone. When you deliver with a top quality product that exceeds expectations, customers will want to continue using it and referring your brand, and then you’ll have a recipe for incredible brand success.


So, what do you think?

• Is your current package design relevant to the latest market demands or does it need rebranding?


• Could your packing design benefit from a more simplistic or handmade feel if this is appropriate to your brand’s personality?


• How are your various product lines and other supporting brand collateral differentiated through your package design?


• Are you using any sustainable elements for your packaging? How are they emphasised in your product labelling?


• Can you innovate or personalise your packaging designs?


• What do you see as trending in the packaging design arena and have your incorporated this into your brand strategy?


Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!


Packaging Design: How It Can Make or Break Your Brand

In a fast-paced and highly competitive world, packaging design has become one of the most crucial elements for communicating your brand and standing out from the competition. Your brand might be the best in its category, but without packaging that grabs your target audience, customers won’t investigate your product to find out more or see what’s inside. In fact research shows that you have less than 9 seconds to engage your customer and close the sale!





What Are The Characteristics of Highly Effective Brand Packaging?

What goes into a fantastic package design? The best packaging engages customers at a multi-sensory level that includes a visual and tactile experience of your brand which communicates your brand promise and evokes a memorable, emotional response.


Successful packaging is a combination of powerful shelf impact or standout and a strong visual aesthetic, coupled with other triggers such as additional sensory memorability through its feel, sound, or sometimes smell and taste too.


Effective packaging design should deliver the following:

  • An immediate sense of your brand story, promise and core values i.e. ‘What your brand stands for?’ also known as its Brand DNA, Brand Essence or Genetic Code etc.
  • Trigger a positive emotional response through design simplicity, elegance, a sense of fun, mischief, healthiness, honest natural nourishment or whatever sensory experience is appropriate to your brand and what it represents
  • Have a clear, strong call to action with a really significant and compelling point of difference to every other competitor in its category i.e. an incomparable selling proposition backed up with reasons to believe this proposition (note: this must be authentic and honest)
  • Reflect your brand’s primary characterizations and personality whether your products offer luxury, security, environmental awareness, corporate social responsibility, reliability, tradition, or pure unadulterated pleasure etc.
  • Use impactful brand visuals and verbal differentiation that separates your products from competitors on retail shelves or displays, through irresistibly strong brand design that hooks your core target audience immediately



Elements to Consider in Winning Package Design

Successful branding through packaging design requires more than just reproducing your brand collateral on the container your products come in. Multiple factors must be considered to create a coherent and unified design that conveys your brand message, separates you from the competition, and makes your brand instantly recognizable. Some of these factors include the following:


Signature Colours:

Your brands colours should be integrated with your package design in order to maintain brand continuity. Successful FMCG brands make use of carefully chosen colour palettes and colour coding to differentiate their product lines and expedite choice for customers who are often brand or category conditioned by colour application. Colour psychology has a huge bearing on attracting customer attention, pick up and conversion, particularly in the visually chaotic environment of retail. 



As an iconic representation of your brand, your logo should feature prominently in your packaging design to preserve and promote your brand identity and ensure customer recognition and trust transfer. Conversely if you brand is an iconic one like McDonalds, Marmite or Heinz than your logo on pack may be a less significant requirement because the rest of your brand messaging is so powerful and highly recognizable as an embodiment of the brand the logo is no longer always necessary.


 Debranded Packaging 570px


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Tag Line:

You may have a single strong tag line e.g. Uncle Ben’s Rice – Never Sticks, or multiple tag lines to represent different product lines. Strategic integration of your tag line on your brand packaging can help reinforce your brand messaging and amplify your brand promise.



The shape of your packaging is a vital consideration. Distinctive or iconic packaging shape designs, such as Coca-Cola’s contoured bottle or Johnny Cupcake’s paint can T-shirt containers, can be powerfully effective as brand assets with instant recognition value which over rides everything else. In fact structural shapes when done well can become valuable intellectual property assets in themselves.


Other elements that may be considered in your package design include the materials used, the way the package is opened, the unique rituals around its use or consumption with text to support this message, the on pack messaging and text, and any visual or tactile aspect that will affect a customer’s experience with your product. Each of your package elements should work together to create a cohesive and fully engaging branded experience.


The following are some examples of brands that got their packaging right—and one that failed to communicate its brand promise, with damaging results.



Vivid Water: Differentiation Through Environmental Awareness

Environmental responsibility is a strong selling point for many modern customers. Few products are more environmental than water – a product that generally comes in non-eco-friendly and relatively unhealthy plastic bottles. In 2013, Vivid Water introduced Water In A Box, the first Tetra Pak carton-packaged water product in the UK.


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Every part of the package design for Water In A Box reinforces the simplicity, purity, and responsibility of the brand, from the clean and uncluttered visual design to the instantly recognized water drop icon. The packaging is made with renewable, responsibly sourced paperboard, and unlike plastic competitors, contains no PET.


Water In A Box packaging clearly conveys a brand promise of fresh, pure water that considers environmental impact and promotes health and vitality.



Toscatti: Simplicity and At-a-Glance Convenience

Toscatti offers premium kitchenware with a very distinctive design and unlike most reusable plastic storage containers, Toscatti is made with food-grade stainless steel. The brand is committed to minimizing its planetary footprint while providing the highest quality food-grade stainless steel containers – independently certified to be free of BPA, PVC, phthalates and lead. The durability, high quality, easy to clean, and aesthetically appealing qualities of this premium brand are reflected in its unique packaging system – which helps reinforce and underpin the brands’ promise.


 Toscatti Product Range 600px

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The packaging for this kitchenware product line uses a Pantone™ color scheme, with bright, bold colors to categorize different sizes and capacities of the containers. The minimalist packaging – an easy-to-remove paperboard sleeve, are made memorable with colorful geometric shapes and a rounded typography that appears friendly and approachable.


Toscatti Extra Large Container 575 600px 

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This packaging, combined with the unique qualities of the product itself, makes Toscatti stand out on shelves, creating instant recognition and very strong visual impact.




Festina: The Proof is in the Packaging

Packaging can make a bold statement about your brand without saying a word. Such is the case with Festina diving watches. This German company’s brand promise is quality and performance – and their highly unique packaging conveys this promise instantly. Festina diving watches are displayed at the point of sale inside clear bags filled with distilled water, unarguably proving that the watches are indeed waterproof.


 Festina Engineered For Water 600px

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The packaging carries only the Festina name and logo, and the brand’s clearly demonstrated promise in a succinct tag line: “engineered for water.” This innovative packaging makes a powerful statement about the quality of the Festina brand while winning high recognition value coupled with instant customer loyalty.






Tropicana: Fixing What Isn’t Broken

When considering a new package design, rebranding strategy or package redesign, your business can’t afford to ignore your existing brand equity. This was a lesson Tropicana learned the hard way, when a packaging redesign for its Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice line resulted in a 20 percent decline in sales over less than two months, dropping roughly $33 million and sending the company rushing to restore the previous packaging.


 Tropicana Before Rebrand Fail

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The Tropicana carton design, with its vibrant straw-sporting orange, had become synonymous with the brand for customers. The redesign replaced this iconic image with a juice glass featuring weaker colouring, shrank the bold stripe at the top identifying the juice type to a thin strip, and replaced the conversational product titles No Pulp, Some Pulp, and Lots of Pulp with the starker and less interesting Pulp Free, Low Pulp, and High Pulp.


Tropicana Rebrand Fail Reject

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The rebranding was an effort to create a more refined contemporary image for the Tropicana brand, but customers clearly demonstrated they weren’t interested in sophisticated orange juice – and further, the complete and abrupt change suggested the contents of the packaging might have changed.





Whenever we start work on a new brand packaging design project, or even revitalizing an established brand for our clients, all the key ingredients discussed and various methodologies mentioned are automatically integrated into our brand packaging design process everytime –  to ensure we achieve the best results for our clients.

Effective package design that reflects your brand profile,  brand story and conveys your brand promise collectively helps strengthen your brand, increases customer loyalty, and ultimately supports growing your bottom line.

It’s vitally important that you place as much emphasis and care on your packaging design as you do on your products themselves, to ensure a consistent and memorable brand experience that drives repeat purchase, referability and increased profitability.


What do you think?

• Does your current product packaging design accurately reflect your brands’ promise?


• How can you reflect the best qualities of your product through your packaging design?


• What innovations or brand differentiation does your product packaging convey?


• Is your packaging congruent with your overall brand collateral? 


• How recognizable are your packaging designs? Do they strongly stand out on shelf from the competition?


Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

Eco Packaging, Essential for Your Profitability and the Environment

‘Made from recycled material’, ‘Eco-friendly’, ‘Sustainable’. Packaging terms have never been so popular as a means of distuinguishing and developing brand image.


The past 24 months have seen a transformative mind-set from many leading global brands willing to change their process to ensure ‘performance with conscience’.


From retail giants ‘Gap Inc’ to FMCG brands like PepsiCo and Heinz, companies are committing to sustainable choices that work for the environment. But is a commitment to environmental stewardship a product of collective corporate conscience, or is there more to sustainable packaging choices than saving our planet?


Heinz Ketchup Bottle


While a move to more environmentally friendly packaging and processes can only be a good thing where the planet is concerned, for brands ‘going Green’ can offer considerable benefits.



Environmentally-Conscious and Customer-Friendly


A committment to environmental sustainability is now frequently cited by brands looking to offer increased value to their customers. Changes to packaging is, for many brands, the most efficient way to display the company’s environmentally conscious efforts to the public, and build a positive image that can be leveraged to strenghten brand value.


Greener packaging design fulfills the needs of a business trying to connect with its target consumers without sacrificing the environment. And big brands have taken note.


Pepsi Green Bottle


Pepsi developed the world’s first 100% plant-based PET bottle made from fully renewable sources. Coca-Cola, Ford, Heinz, Nike and P&G quickly followed suit in embracing PET technology.


Pepsi and Coke’s Green bottle  brings to life the essence of ‘performance with purpose’. Customers are now offered added value to their purchase. In fact PepsiCo added brand value to all their products by committing in 2010 to protect the earth’s natural resources through innovation and more efficient use of land, energy, water and packaging.



Brands are Increasingly Understanding that Sustainability is Inevitably Linked to Increased Revenue.


While the ability to adapt all manufacturing practices to more sustainable processes may be restricting for small brands in the short term, embracing eco-friendly packaging could be a smart move both for costs and customers alike in the long term. 


Paper Bottle


The move by big brands to change their packaging to lighter recyclable material certainly helps these brands embrace a committment to the environment, but it also greatly reduces their packaging weight and avoids huge landfill costs.


Consumer and political pressure is mounting for companies to refine their packaging along sustainable lines. It is increasinly likely that most packaing will be required to be made from sustainable materials in the not too distant future. Early movers in the area are likely to benefit from improved brand image and offer consumer’s additional value compared to market competitors.



A New Tactic for the War in Shelf-Space


Over the past few decades brands have attempted to boost their presence by introducing more sizeable, eye-catching packaging. However, modern day consumers are becoming increasingly environmentally aware and market savy. Customers are now more sceptical of excess packaging. They think if something is over-packaged then they reason that they will have to pay more for it.


*Recent studies found the 2/5 consumers said they were more likely to buy a product if it had less packaging than a rival. 56% of respondents said they opt not to buy products that have too much wrapping or wasteful packaging!


Wasteful Packaging



Attract the Right Attention

Package design is challenging enough with the everyday evolution of products but now there is the added complication of trying to successfully integrate sustainability into branding.


Brands need to use insights and innovation to develop packaging that cuts out waste and keeps customers coming back for more.


Eco-friendly packaging needs to be well designed, streamlined, bio degradable, and easily recycled or reused. When designed well eco-friendly packaging can be a selling point in itself.


For some brands it acts as a point of differention from market competitors. Puma’s redesigned Clever Little Bag is a great example. 



You dont have to be a global brand to embrace green packaging, some of the best examples in innovation come from smaller brands too. The Irish O’Egg brand is a great example of sustainable packaging design.


In order to ensure best product quality the preferred packaging material for eggs is moulded pulp fibre rather then plastic or polystyrene. Moulded pulp material is made from recycled paper and is strong yet soft enough to protect the eggs against breakage during transport or storage. Its also breathable, the moulded pulp absorbs shock, prevents loss of moisture and keeps the eggs from picking up undesirable odours and flavours. It’s also very eco friendly, compared to polystyrene, not to mention functionally much better for maintaining egg quality. 


O Egg White Eggs Icograda


Looking for increasingly efficient ways to package your product may seem like an unnecessary hassle but it could be worth it, on multiple levels, in the long run.


*36% of shoppers in the US in 2011 said they were likely to choose environmentally packaging. This is a 29% increase on 2010. Half of those surveyed said they were willing to pay for such packaging. One third said they bought more of a product if packaging was labeled “recyclable” or “made from recycled material”.


Boxed Water


Going green is inevitable. Brands who embrace their environmental conscious now can offer consumers increased value and reduce their operational costs in the long run.


• Is your product packaging cost efficient?


• Is your packaging really meeting consumer needs?


• Could your brand packaging offer more perceived value and differentiate your brand more distinctly from your competitors?


Stats: *Toluna Market Research