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Does Your Package Have a Personality?

By: Jennifer Karsh
Posted: November 1, 2011, from the November 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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I spend six out of seven days a week interviewing consumers about their innermost thoughts, aspirations and ideals. Sometimes we’re talking about floor cleaners, other times we’re discussing financial aid options, occasionally it’s toilet paper... but 100% of the time, we are talking about emotions—the kind of emotions that drive us to buy brand name products and the promise of a better life for our kids or maybe just our skin. The point is that we all dream and we all aspire and we all shop. And when we are rolling our carts at Target or perusing the shelves at Sephora, we are looking for a reflection that speaks to our inner-longing, our inner dialogue. And this is where packaging comes in. The best packaging invites, reassures and delights. The best packaging both acknowledges and elevates the consumer. There are many techniques for this but let me give you a few of my personal favorites:

Benefit. Please see glowing commentary in paragraph two. Their products practically whistle and wink from the cosmetic shelf where they are perched.

Another brand package that has personality-plus is certainly Method. The brand owners have created a very clear brand personality that extends to its packages. Method revolutionized the shape of cleaning by inventing bottles that are worthy of display in a modern art museum. Its “People Against Dirty” is a memorable and exacting tagline that speaks to the persona of its products.

Trader Joe’s has always been savvy with its private label brand persona. TJ has done it again in the otherwise “dry” category of paper goods. TJ’s private label tissue has a tongue-in-cheek, vintage chic package that elevates “Kleenex” to a whole new level.

It actually has taken the bold step to personify tissue paper with cute messages to the consumer such as “I’m here when you need to pick-up icky things. Kindly, Tissue.” Or “I’m there when you run out of toilet paper. You’re welcome, tissue”. “I felt myself oddly reassured, by a box of Kleenex,” says Dianne, a Trader Joe’s shopper from St. Louis Park, Minnesota.