When it comes to brand awareness, your packaging speaks volumes. If you’re an independent café owner, coffee or food service provider, or are in any way looking to promote your food product brand, the packaging is going to be one of your most valuable tools. Think of the way Starbucks makes headlines every year with its Christmas cup designs, or how Tim Horton’s gets nationwide engagement in Canada through its “roll up the rim to win” promotion. These are high-profile examples, but no matter the reach of the product, packaging will be the first thing a consumer notices and remembers.
There are a number of techniques that can be used to differentiate your packaging or make it stand out in a way that customers will respond to. Obviously, the first step will be choosing materials. Cardboard, recycled cardboard, Styrofoam, and many other options will have to be selected from. Next is design – if you’re selling coffee products and beverages, choosing cup sizes and shapes will be the most important aspect of your packaging. Finally, branding comes last. Where will your logo be placed? Will you include your logo alone, or is there lettering you’ll want to include?
The most popular packaging today is probably made up of environmentally-friendly cardboard with a minimalist design. Using these as guiding principles, there are a number of ways you can personalize the packaging to fit your business. Café owners, for instance, can use a stencil of their logo with the name of their café against a raw cardboard backdrop, adhering to this popular stylistic choice while still establishing a distinct brand. The same stenciling can then be used on take-out boxes, business cards, or in café windows to ensure familiarity.
How Does it Feel?
Another element of packaging that is rarely considered is the way it feels in a consumer’s hands. Although this has little to do with appearance, it can still make a difference. Choosing between a glossy or matte finish, a rough or smooth exterior, and a heavy or light material will be something you’ll have to consider. If you’re serving hot coffee in these containers, for instance, you’ll probably want a thicker material with a rough exterior; this will serve to decrease heat transfer and increase grip.
Making sure your packaging complements both your café décor and architecture is another way to take package branding to the next level. Hard, modern lines within minimalist architecture will go well with the basic cardboard look. If you’d rather your packaging felt warmer and more personalized, a homey atmosphere in your café would match well. In any case, synchronizing every possible design element of your business or café with the packaging you choose is an ideal method for making your brand more significant.
The result of your attention to detail when it comes to packaging will be a direct increase in brand awareness and customer loyalty. It’s practically a truism in both design and in business that such efforts will be rewarded in spades. That’s why your product packaging should one of the most important considerations you make as a food service business owner.