HOW TO LEVERAGE MATERIAL VOICE FOR PACKAGING DESIGN

Posted on 07/18/2022 | 4 minutes read

"Using material to narrate brand stories and messages humanizes your brand and consequently enables it to create genuine connections with clients in different ways. For starters, materials guide users on how to interact with the physical brand experience.  Also, using the material to narrate a brand message or story helps marketers set the mood or feeling of what users can expect when they engage with the actual product."

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As part of a robust physical brand experience strategy, marketers need to understand the importance of choosing suitable materials to use in their packaging and exhibit designs (trade show booth designs, brand activation spaces, etc.). Marketers need to consider various packaging design elements such as colour, form, texture, and scale to come up with a material voice that clearly communicates the intended message.


Remember, every material has a "voice" that needs to be leveraged to communicate and amplify the brand messages and brand story. Materials can act as the narrator of the brand image, the main actors of the brand image, or play a supporting role in amplifying the brand image. That said, coming up with a voice that is truly representative of a brand/product isn't the easiest of tasks. It's no wonder that many marketers fully entrust their designers with the development of packaging designs. The designers use brand architecture to develop brands that meet their client's preferences. While consulting a renowned designer is a sure way of getting an excellent packaging and exhibit design, marketers should ensure that they ask their designers the right questions to help them develop designs that align with their brand.


This quick read defines packaging design and how you can leverage material voice in your packaging design.



WAYS OF LEVERAGING MATERIAL VOICE FOR PACKAGING DESIGN


Packaging designs entail connecting structure, materials, typography, colour, form, and imagery, among other design elements, to create a unique product that communicates your intended message to your audience. Given the vastness of products lining supermarket shelves, department stores, and various online markets, coming up with a packaging design that appeals to your consumers is vital in gaining a competitive edge.


Below is an outline of the different ways marketers can leverage material voice to create a package design that communicates with the audience.


MATERIAL "AS THE NARRATOR"


In this modern era, consumers are less thrilled about being talked at and sold to. Most would rather create genuine connections with a given brand. One of the ways that marketers establish such brand connections is by using materials as the narrator of their brand story and messages.


Using material to narrate brand stories and messages humanizes your brand and consequently enables it to create genuine connections with clients in different ways. For starters, materials guide users on how to interact with the physical brand experience.  Also, using the material to narrate a brand message or story helps marketers set the mood or feeling of what users can expect when they engage with the actual product.


That said, when it comes to narrating a brand story, just because you can create content doesn't mean that you are communicating your story effectively. Unfortunately, some marketers neglect using storytelling, and some of those who use it tend to focus on quantity over the quality of the story. In fact, according to a 2019 B2C Content Marketing Trends report, only 52% of marketers use storytelling in their marketing strategy. As a thumb rule, marketers should use materials relatable to their brand when telling a story. For instance, your narration should include details such as your company's use of recycled materials in its production process. This will indicate to your audience that your brand is eco-friendly.



MATERIAL "AS THE ACTORS"


Marketers can use material as actors to communicate their brand image and brand messages to their audience. Among the ways in which material can be used as actors include:



  • Material can be used to showcase the multiple depths of a brand's personality. For example, a marketing officer who uses a mixture of recycled products and a matte-coated, smooth exterior for exterior packaging portrays the image of being eco-conscious and modern, and sleek at the same time.


  • Material can be used to segment a brand activation design, with each area communicating a different brand message. For instance, in the case of packaging design, marketers can use a matte-coated, velvety texture on the exterior packaging to write a slogan like "we are modern and sleek." On the other hand, they can use touches of uncoated Kraft substrate on the interior of the packaging to say, "but we are also eco-conscious."


  • Another example of where material can be used as actors is in exhibiting design. "Cold" materials such as shiny metals or concrete can be used for a brand activation space to evoke a message of strength. Similarly, using "warm" materials like wood can give the feeling of being down to earth.



MATERIAL "AS THE SUPPORTING ROLE"


How your customers perceive your brand plays a huge part in how well they will embrace it. Luckily, marketers can use material to support and reiterate the brand message. Below are two examples of how material can play a supporting role for your brand message.



  • Material can act as a support in packaging designing: For instance, marketers can use a Kraft corrugated board for packaging to communicate that the brand is eco-conscious. They can further support this position by using another material like moulded pulp fibre so that the insert can reiterate the message that they are eco-friendly.


  • Material can act as support in exhibit design: For instance, suppose you use a gauzy translucent fabric to communicate a feeling of airiness and calmness; you can support this position with another material such as a soft natural material to enhance the message.



Today's dynamic business environment has made marketing an a-must ingredient for business success. And one marketing strategy that is proving essential is the use of materials as brand communication tools. Among the most vital gain that marketers gain from using materials as brand communication tools is the ability to put through the brand message in a way that the audience doesn't get confused. However, marketers need to choose the proper material for their packaging and exhibit brand activation spaces to achieve this feat.


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Failure to acknowledge material as a brand communication tool or not choosing proper material for your brand messaging can negatively affect your business. Some of the effects include:



  • CONFUSION ABOUT YOUR BRAND STORY AND BRAND MESSAGE: Choosing not to use material as a brand communication tool can derail your efforts to communicate your brand story/message to your audience.


  • INEFFECTIVE MARKETING EFFORTS: Companies need to incorporate various marketing strategies, including the use of material in communicating brand stories and brand messages.


  • INABILITY TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE: Today, consumers want brand messages and stories that speak to them. Not incorporating material as a branding communication tool can lead to you losing the competitive edge.



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ABOUT ARC & CO. DESIGN COLLECTIVE


Arc & Co. Design Collective transforms your brand messages into engaging physical brand experiences that increase your brand's perceived value and loyalty with your customers. By utilizing our proprietary FOUR Dimensions Framework™, we strategize, conceptualize, innovate and design experiential packaging and brand activation spaces that will complement your business and keep you ahead of the competition.


Get in touch with us to discover how we can assist in integrating a physical brand experience into your marketing strategy.

TL ; DR NOTES

Failure to acknowledge material as a brand communication tool or not choosing proper material for your brand messaging can negatively affect your business. Some of the effects include:


Choosing not to use material as a brand communication tool can derail your efforts to communicate your brand story/message to your audience.



Companies need to incorporate various marketing strategies, including the use of material in communicating brand stories and brand messages.



Today, consumers want brand messages and stories that speak to them. Not incorporating material as a branding communication tool can lead to you losing the competitive edge.

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