In a world immersed in products and packaging, it is often difficult to stand out from the crowd and grab the attention of consumers. Packaging is required to protect and provide information about it’s contents, but to really capture it’s audience, the brand’s packaging needs to connect on a higher level – to engage, entice and absorb the consumer.

So what sensory cues can be used to bring packaging to the next level? Here are our Top 5 sensory primers to ensure a lasting impression:


The majority of products on the market will reach the consumer at a store where indoor lighting illuminates it’s packaging. The way light interacts with the materials used on packaging can make a huge difference on it’s performance on shelf. Contrasting finishes can really catch the eye of a consumer, for example a foil stamp on matte paper.


As consumers, we love the element of suspense and anticipation when opening packaging. That’s not to say we use the box-in-a-box-in-a-box approach!! With thousands of ‘unboxing’ videos on the internet, the modern consumer has become much more involved with the experience of packaging. The packaging of Apple products has become famous for it’s sleek, minimal, high quality materials and the unveiling of the device within is part of the experience of the brand.


To connect with a consumer on a deeper level, a sense of heritage is often established. There may be a very interesting history of a brand which can be communicated in more ways than just a paragraph of text on the packaging. Custom papers and fabrics (silk, canvas etc) can be used to give a sense of the brand’s heritage that will really connect with it’s target audience.


As consumers we instinctively like to pick products off a shelf and run our fingers over it’s packaging. When our hands receive tactile feedback, for example an embossed logo, we immediately get a sense of luxury and quality from the packaging which differentiates it from rival brands. When the packaging is visually tactile we are instantly compelled to pick up or touch the product.


Understanding the product and it’s purpose is one of, if not the most important factor in designing it’s packaging. High quality, luxurious materials may be used, but if they do not suit the environment they will be in then the packaging will reflect very poorly on the brand. There is nothing worse than seeing warped packets or running ink, so considering the quality of materials and print processes before rolling out the packaging is crucial. After all, first impressions are everything!

By Siobhan Cotter