Packaging Design That Tells a Powerful Story

Your product’s packaging is the first thing potential customers see when they come near your product. Naturally, everyone will tell you that it must be attractive, engaging and captivating, and they are right.

But what they might not remember to reveal is that your product’s packaging design must tell a story if it is to succeed.

So how does packaging tell a story, you might ask. Not through talking, of course, but through the words, colors, designs, symbols and wrapping you use on it. We go into detail on each aspect of the storytelling packaging design below.

Tell a Compelling Brand Story

The power of a brand story in influencing sales is becoming more and more evident today as new consumers, especially millennials and younger consumers, start making more informed purchases. Suffice to say, brands with stories that speak to people are already cashing in.

A brand story may already be featured on a company’s website, but the average customer might not know it. Product packaging offers a new wonderful avenue for telling that story to any customer that checks out the product, albeit with less words.

You can tell your brand’s story through your product’s packaging design using the avenues below:

Brand Promise

One way to tell your brand story is through your brand promise. A brand’s promise is essential in helping customers identify with the brand because it marks the brand’s positioning on a particular issue.

It’s important to know that a brand story is more than a logo, tagline, slogan or color theme and that other oft-forgotten aspects such as the brand’s promise to customers are integral parts of it. Tell your brand promise on your package if you can, but also on your website.


Symbols, much like a color palette or images, are a smart way of telling your brand story using your packaging design. Your choice of symbols should subtly tell your story, or lead customers to a website or platform where they can learn more about it.

The best example of symbols telling a story is of the UK based Divine Chocolate, which uses Adinkra symbols on its chocolates’ packaging design. The Adinkra symbols are not only a tribute to the Ghanaian people that farm the cocoa used to make the chocolate, but they also carry moral stories that speak to the company’s mission.


A few words can make a huge difference, but never more than when a packaging design is involved. Many designers believe that the only requirements for the wording used on packaging designs are that it should be attention-grabbing and informative, but that’s not all.

The wording should also be used to further the virtues depicted by the brand’s story. It should also work to help build a positive brand perception that’s rooted in values such as trust and honesty. In other words, every word, punctuation and letter choice is important, and every mistake can be fatal.

Charlotte’s Web, the hemp oil maker and supplier, takes full advantage of wording to push their brand story forward (a story of how hemp oil helped a customer), along with their values (trustworthiness and boldness).

You can also look at the way the packaging for alcohol and whiskeys targeted to men are worded to arouse feelings of strength, confidence and boldness.


You can also use your product’s packaging material to tell your story. Remember that your story is a combination of your product’s history, its promise, its logo, its mission and more.

The best way to start is by using materials that further your brand’s mission. If your products aim at helping save the world’s environment, you can start by choosing renewable material for your packaging design.

The color scheme also comes into play here. Colors are a fun way to express your brand’s story through its personality and to grab attention for your product. If your product is targeted at young, edgy individuals, bright colors and designs will tell your message to your audience better.

Duller, more serious colors work well for mature audiences or products of a serious nature. The American dog food product PoopBags does this very well with their mixture of bright green tones and earthy browns on their packages. You should also emblazon your logo and slogan somewhere for easy reading by customers.

Product unpacking as consumer experience

For many prestige products, unpacking is a major moment of the customer experience. It’s also, quite indirectly, a marketing platform for the seller, which is the silent reason why brands entice customers to share their #unpacking images and videos on social media all the time.

So how do you catch up on this trend? By designing and creating the best packaging boxes for your products, such that opening them is simple and a pleasure that someone may feel privileged to share online. It’s worth noting that almost every product’s box looks the same, so there’s room for innovation in that space.

Think Simplicity

There are already millions of well-packaged products in supermarket shelves everywhere, so your product needs to stand out. But that doesn’t mean you should overdo your design for a bigger effect.

Experts recommend that you incorporate simplicity in your visual and text cues such that they are easy to read for a customer in a hurry. Simplicity doesn’t have to affect your brand story; rather, it should pronounce it even more.

Hemp oil company, Charlotte’s Web, make a good example here again with their simplistic packaging design.

  1. The company employs a simple white, black and brown palette on its packaging, with minimal lettering where possible.
  2. The word ‘Hemp’ is made the largest on each package, signifying its importance and making it easy to see.
  3. One might also notice that the palette’s darker shades are more prominent in the hemp bottle’s design, which commands immediate familiarity with the product since most such bottles are dark brown.

In other words, if someone came looking for hemp oil they could trust, they wouldn’t think twice picking up a bottle of Charlotte’s Web Hemp Oil. That’s the power of telling your brand story through packaging design with utmost simplicity.

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