The package is the branding.

16 Jan 2023
3 min read
The power of good packaging with key principles from Marty Neumeier's book "The Brand Gap".

In "The Brand Gap," Marty Neumeier emphasizes the crucial role of packaging design in creating a successful brand. According to Neumeier, "for many products, the package is the branding."

One of the key reasons why packaging is so important is that it is often the final opportunity for businesses to influence a potential customer before they make a purchase. As Neumeier notes,

"it's also the last and best chance to influence a prospect this side of the checkout counter."

This makes packaging a crucial "brand moment" for businesses, as it has the power to reach 100% of people shopping in a particular category.

Furthermore, Neumeier points out that packaging can be a highly effective form of marketing, with the potential to increase product sales by up to three times. This is why many retail brand managers funnel a large portion of their marketing budgets into package design, as the return on investment is likely to be higher with packaging than with advertising, promotion, public relations, or other spending options.

However, Neumeier also notes that many packages tend to be "heavy on facts and light on emotion," which is the ingredient that customers want most. Instead of being greeted with features, benefits, and "scientific mumbo jumbo", customers want to feel an emotional connection with the product. This is why Neumeier emphasizes the importance of creating emotion with a package, using techniques such as good colors, strong contrast, and arresting photos, as well as bold typography.


There are five important components to packaging that Neumeier highlights in "The Brand Gap":

  • 1. The shopper notices the package, through its good colors, strong contrast, and arresting photo, and bold typography.
  • 2. The shopper mentally asks "what is it?" which brings the product name and category into play.
  • 3. "Why should I care?" which requires a brief why-to-buy message.
  • 4. This elicits a desire for more information to define and support the why-to-buy message.
  • 5. The shopper is ready for "mumbo jumbo" - to make a decision based on features, price, compatibilities, guarantees, awards.

By presenting these pieces of information in a natural reading sequence, businesses can increase their resonance and create a sympathetic bond with the customer. Neumeier also emphasizes the importance of not making product features more important than customer emotions and interests.


In summary, good packaging design is a key component of a brand's visual presence and the overall customer experience, because:

  • It is the final opportunity to influence a potential customer before they make a purchase, and a chance to create a lasting emotional connection with the customer, which can lead to increased brand loyalty.
  • Successful packaging design principles include clarity, emotion, and a natural reading sequence. As Neumeier writes, "branding is simply a convenient package for a business idea."
Unlock the secrets of effective branding with Marty Neumeier in "The Futur" Youtube video, "What is Branding? A deep dive with Marty Neumeier"


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