fusion point research Marketing Research Reports

Marketing to Packaging Design in CPG

Understanding Their Role

Effective, attractive packaging is an integral part to building brand identity in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry because it is the most direct form of communication between company and consumer.1 Packaging conveys important information as well as establishes a connection with the brand’s attributes.2 The packaging industry is always changing and packaging managers must stay abreast of new information and trends.3


In addition to important information about the product and the brand, packaging also needs to be attractive and attention getting. The importance of a CPG’s packaging being effective advertising cannot be understated.4 Customers make snap decisions when choosing a product off the shelf, so eye-level placement and package differentiation are necessary to support brand growth.5 Each brand must develop their unique visual cues and verbal concepts, which are pertinent to designing recognizable packaging. They work together to instill a clear picture in the consumer’s mind of the brand and the company’s goals.6 Good communication on the packaging leads to strong brand recognition and drives a consumer to pick an item off the shelf.


Ideal packaging includes an equal emphasis on form, feel, and function.7 Packaging that extends empathy to the consumer, solves their problem, and gives them a reason to care is highly effective in increasing sales.8


The final component to packaging is the procurement process. Packaging needs to support the product, keep it safe and sanitary, and ensure the consumer has the best possible experience. Packing customers want sustainability, graphic excellence, and functionality.9 As an example, lightweight aluminum protects beverages from oxygen and light.10 Benefits exist for packaging manufacturers beyond making customers happy, like lightweight packages being cheaper to manufacture and costing less to ship.11 Likewise, risks exist like sustainability, the challenges of unforeseen manufacturing delays when changing to new packaging, and effectiveness compared to previous packaging.12


Packaging has evolved beyond simply conveying a product’s contents. Now it is recognized as being the driving factor for in-store purchase decisions, acting as the spokesperson for the brand and communicating the brand’s identity and purpose, and is a user experience in itself.13

“Packaging is the embodiment of the brand and is prominently featured in nearly all forms of marketing communication (TV, Web, etc.).” - Scott Young, Brand Packaging14

1 Gold, Lor. “It’s Time to Elevate the Package.” Brand Packaging 18, no. 5 (2014): 17 – 20. EBSCOhost(96794302).

2 Wencel, Mike Sr. “How Strong Will Your Redesign Be? Make the Most of the Nutrition Label Makeover!” Brand Packaging. BNP Media. , 2014.

3 Ayre, Noel. “Meeting Consumer Needs in Packaging Design.” Food Magazine, 2012, 16. EBSCOhost(77924184).

4 Lado Cousté, Nora, Mercedes Martos-Partal, and Ester Martínez-Ros. “The Power of a Package.” Journal of Advertising Research 52, no. 3 (2012): 364 – 375. EBSCOhost(79987407).

5 Lacroix, Jean-Pierre. “PACKAGING 2020: Envisioning Changes, Seeing Trends.” Brand Packaging 18, no. 7 (2014): 56 – 61. EBSCOhost(97787677).

6 Mininni, Ted. “WINNING THE BRAND WARS.” Brand Packaging 18, no. 6 (2014): 14 – 18. EBSCOhost(97335789).

7 AHERN, JILL. “LAUNCH SUPPORT.” Brand Packaging 18, no. 5 (2014): 22 – 24. EBSCOhost(96794304).

8 Gold, Lor. “It’s Time to Elevate the Package.” Brand Packaging 18, no. 5 (2014): 17 – 20. EBSCOhost(96794302).

9 JACOBSEN, JESSICA. “Second to None.” Beverage Industry 104, no. 5 (2013): 38 – 39. EBSCOhost(87919609).

10 JACOBSEN, JESSICA. “A Trio of Options.” Beverage Industry 105, no. 4 (2014): 42 – 45. EBSCOhost(95276708).

11 Gorick, Jane. “The Unforeseen Effects of Lightweighting Packaging.” Logistics & Transport Focus 15, no. 9 (2013): 60 – 62. EBSCOhost(92621417).

12 Creasey, Simon. “Designing Green into Packaging.” Packaging News, 2012, 20 – 22. EBSCOhost(87055467).

13 Young, Scott. “MAKING THE CASE FOR PACKAGING.” Brand Packaging 18, no. 4 (2014): 23 – 28. EBSCOhost(96167992).

14 Ibid.


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Copyright © 2016 Fusion Point Research, Inc.

Packaging is one of the most important ways CPG companies communicate with consumers. Yes, packages must be functional, but they are also used today to convey vital information about the brand and company, and are key to driving sales at the shelf.