Storytelling has always been a vital part of society. We have been telling each other stories for thousands of years as a way of educating, connecting, entertaining, informing and more. It’s still one of the most important ways that brands can connect with their customers.
Often, we’re not buying a product as much as we’re buying the story of what it can do for us, how it can change our life or make us into the person we want to be. As such, many companies are now weaving their brand story into their packaging design in order to forge that connection at the point of discovery or sale. A good story has always been a way to stand out. It’s not enough now to only share that on a website or social media channels. Making it part of the packaging can convince a customer to choose that particular brand, even when they have no prior context for that company.
Storytelling makes for more innovative packaging design
One industry that is particularly good at this storytelling through packaging is beverages.
Wine company 19 Crimes has built its brand around 19 crimes that historically could see British convicts sentenced to be transported to Australia. It communicates this storytelling in a fantastic way via its AR enabled labels which feature images of historical figures. But the company has also built in additional storytelling details through its corks. Each features one of the 19 crimes referred to by the brand’s name, which not only adds to the story, but also serves as a mechanism to get shoppers to buy more in a quest to collect them all.
In Canada, Quebec-based Distillerie Grand Dérangement applies a similar historical storytelling approach to its SAGA Grand Gin. The distillery is located in a town founded by the Acadian people, who experienced deportation from Canada by the British Government. As such, the bottle labels feature images of four historic Acadians.
The distillery plays on the unknown aspect of this history by covering the top of the bottle and label in a bright yellow wax. Not only does this make the bottle stand out on the shelf, but the wax also obscures the eyes of the figure which adds an element of mystery and encourages customers to find out more. Distillerie Grand Dérangement has also carried this same approach over to its vodka brand Petite Eau. It plays on the translation of vodka to small water in French by using a vivid blue streak that looks like a tear across the label to obscure the eyes of the faces on the bottles. This time the historical images are of pioneers of New Acadia, which creates a greater story of local history when combined with the SAGA Grand Gin range.
Packaging is a great form of visual storytelling
Storytelling packaging can tell a customer a lot more about a product and the associated brand values in a quick and visual way.
In Poland, the winery of Kamil Barczentewicz appears to have quite a simple bottle design but rather than just include a nice picture, its label images tell a wider story. Each different wine has its own label that all play on a landscape design that reflects the brand’s vineyards. The variations in design represent subtle changes in production such as the ageing process and growing environment.
Sotoleros is a collective of Mexican distilleries that creates a range of different spirits. The brand tells the story of its traditional production methods through its packaging design. Its labels feature a hand-drawn image of the person who handmade that batch, as well as quick glance list of ingredients and a map of the production location. There are also invisible ink messages that can only be seen under UV light which adds to the unique story of Sotoleros.
By Cate Trotter, Head of Trends at Insider Trends, London