How Packaging Helps Developing Meaningful and Memorable Brands

by Alex Cosper on February 23, 2022

Brand recognition is an integral part of product design, packaging, and marketing. The two most important factors to developing and maintaining brand recognition are attractiveness and strategic meaning. Here's a deeper look at the process of creating brand recognition through metal packaging and how it affects consumer perceptions.

Why People Remember Brands

Popular culture delivers a broad mix of images that stand out in each consumer's mind. Everyone is subjected to encountering thousands of commercial images on any given day. Most people can't remember all the brands represented by logos they see each day, but they may remember a handful of brand names that stand out for one reason or another.

The most memorable brands tend to be associated with a consumer's experience. The more a consumer becomes involved with a brand, the more familiar the brand becomes to them. Certain automotive brands stand out because of product design. High quality, useful features and design consistency command strong brand awareness.

For people who have experience with a brand, the products take on much deeper meanings, especially if they resolve otherwise difficult problems. But consumers who have not experienced the brand can still become familiar with the product by becoming aware of its packaging. Metal is a common form of packaging partly because people commonly associate it with quality, strength, and durability.

Matching Brand Characteristics with Design Cues

One of the main reasons a brand becomes successful is because its characteristics relate to core values that resonate with the public. Value-based products can equate to a brand that improves the quality of life for consumers. These successful brands can grow further by matching these values with design cues on the packaging. Design cues can be in the form of size, shapes, colors, textures, materials, and many other variables.

A manufacturer can expand its market share with attractive and meaningful packaging. Metal naturally has a shiny look, giving it an edge in standing out over other types of materials. Design cues need to be simple so that people can recognize them from a distance.

Essentially, these cues should communicate a certain emotion with consumers. Certain colors, for example, are associated with warm emotions while others are associated with vibrant emotions. What matters is that the values, emotion, and packaging all connect to make sense.

Developing Meaningful and Memorable Brands

At the heart of a brand is its value-based meaning. How does it make people's lives better? The answer to this question can be communicated in numerous visual ways. Brands must be more than illusions, as they must deliver meaningful experiences to become memorable.  

Understanding design semantics is crucial to competing in today's consumer market. Brand recognition can be thought of as a subset of design semantics, which involves the messaging used to stimulate interest in the product. Symbolic associations are important for developing effective design cues on metal packaging. Design features must communicate meaning, which can then be illustrated and portrayed on the packaging.

The combination of different strategies for design semantics adds up to brand character if the product experiences match the messaging on the package. The more effective the strategic meaning creation is at matching words with experience, the more the brand's familiarity can spread by word of mouth.


The development of brand recognition occurs over time as consumers become more familiar with a brand's symbolism relating to its qualities. Both explicit and implicit design cues can make a difference in metal packaging. Brand awareness usually doesn't happen overnight. It usually takes a series of campaigns to build mass awareness about the products and whether or not they are meaningful to consumers. 



[1] It Looks Like a Toyota: Educational Approaches to Designing for Visual Brand Recognition (2007), by Toni-Matti Karjalainen

[2] Investigating the Impact of Brand Image and Brand Loyalty on Brand Equity: the Mediating Role of Brand Awareness(2021), by Anas Zia, Sohail Younus, and Farhan Mirza

Topics: Brand Development

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