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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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So how do you apply these ideas to your packaging? First and foremost, personality needs to be authentic. Here are three important lessons to consider in taking your brand/package to charm school:

1. Discover Your Brand’s Personality

There are several ways to uncover or re-discover your brand’s personality. One of my favorite techniques for conducting this research is called a Brand Essence Study. This study allows you to uncover and understand your brands’ attributes, promises and overall story. At the end of the study, you have a full report card of what your brand means to your customers and how you can position yourself to win with these customers and win-over new customers. It’s genius (like a Myers-Briggs for brands) and it gives you the key insights you need about your brand’s personality.

2. Be Your Consumer

One of the very best ways to internalize and externalize your brand and, therefore your packaging is to BE THE CONSUMER. Once you have discovered your brand’s personality, get in the shoes of your customer to understand how your brand is perceived through your packaging on the shelf. This requires in-context research (in-store, in-home) followed by a one-day session in which you can create a profile for your consumer. By getting this kind of intuition about your consumer, you can better guide decisions and creative. Once you create this kind of “brand architecture,” it pays back in spades.

3. Let Your Packaging Do the Work

Once you’ve cemented your brand’s personality and learned to think like your consumer, you can let your package designers and creatives do the rest. With a clear vision of your brand and your brand’s personality, packaging simply becomes the invitation to the party, the welcome mat that draws people in.

Perhaps this whole matter of packaging with personality can best be summed up by a recent and popular tweet, “Beauty fades but personality lasts a lifetime.” We couldn’t agree more.