How to Build Your Online Brand With Branded Packaging

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When you’re building an online store, chances are you think carefully about your branding. Product packaging is a great way to extend your brand offline and right to the customer’s doorstep. A product’s packaging is often the first impression a customer has with your brand so you need to make it count.

We always say don’t judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to shopping, the packaging is usually the first thing to grab someone’s attention! However, it’s a step that’s often overlooked when building a brand online despite it being a very useful tool to increase recognition in your market.

We’ll walk you through what branded packaging is, how it can help your business grow, and the steps you need to take when you start designing. We’ll also share some inspirational examples with you so you can see how successful businesses approach brand packaging too!

What Is Branded Packaging?

Branded packaging is all about sharing your brand story and selling the product successfully to customers. There are various layers when it comes to packaging, such as the container the product sits in, the packing peanuts, the tags and labels, and the extra packaging inserts for customers to enjoy like coupons and stickers.

The design opportunities are limitless, but your aim should be to create something memorable, trustworthy, and relatable in your packaging.

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It Makes a Great First Impression

As we’ve said, packaging is the first thing a customer sees when they choose a product in-store or get something delivered to their home. You need it to be eye-catching since the packaging could be the deciding factor as to whether a customer buys your product or not. It also reassures customers that the product itself is high-quality if the packaging matches!

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It Develops Brand Recognition

Think of some of the biggest brands in the world, from Coca-Cola to Apple to Oreo. These brands are instantly recognizable thanks to their effective packaging, which makes customers view the products as familiar and trustworthy. You want to build brand recognition with your customers so they can easily spot your products out in the world.

Advice from the Experts

Top Tip: Having recognizable packaging also helps when your products are shared via word of mouth!

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It Differentiates You From Competitors

You want your brand to stand out amongst the crowd and be the product that customers gravitate towards instead of your competitors. If you add a quirky element to your branded packaging, customers might be more inclined to try your product. However, don’t go too rogue with your design in case it puts customers off purchasing! Being unique is great, but customers feel safe with familiar looks and designs.

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It Tells Your Story

Branded packaging is another way to share the story of your business. You want to think about your brand’s persona, the values you want to promote, and the customers you’re trying to reach because this will help influence your design decisions. Ultimately, you’re trying to engage with your customers while making your brand seem relatable and worth investing in.

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It Makes You Memorable

To build a positive reputation when selling online, you want your customers to have a smooth and memorable experience with you. Branded packaging can make a customer’s purchase feel very special since it feels like you’ve gone the extra mile to present the product nicely.

Advice from the Experts

Top Tip: Remember to stay consistent with your packaging so customers know what to look out for when they shop with or order from you!

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It Makes Your Product “Instagram Worthy”

Social media is an essential market to tap into if you’re looking to grow your online brand. High-quality and standout packaging can be as exciting as the product itself, and customers are more likely to share their shopping — and unboxing — experience with others online if the packaging is appealing!

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It Makes Your Product Feel More Valuable

It’s a real sign of success when your packaging is branded because it elevates your products and business to a new level. Investing in packaging is crucial and a worthwhile step to take. As we’ve said, it’s the first impression customers have of your business, and you want your packaging to positively reflect the quality of the products inside.

Branded Packaging: How To Get Started

You might be wondering where to start or what the process involves if you want to create branded packaging. Luckily for you, we’ve helpfully broken down each step so you can follow along as you go.

  1. Research: Understand your customers and the market.
  2. Packaging Type: Know the packaging layers you’re designing for and choose materials.
  3. Design: Plan and develop your designs.
  4. Printing: Prep the designs so they’re ready for printing.
  5. Review: Gather customer feedback.

If you want to do a a deeper dive into the process, there are a few additional questions to ask yourself when developing branded packaging.

  • Who is buying the product?
    • You need to understand who your target audience is before you create branded packaging. Who will use your product? Are you trying to reach adults or children? Men or women? Bargain hunters or luxury splurgers?
  • What would appeal to your customer?
    • Once you understand your target audience, think about what would appeal to them when shopping. Consider colors, fonts, shapes, sizing, and the words being used. You need to engage with their needs if you want to promote your brand successfully.
  • What is relevant to your product offering?
    • Make sure your packaging is relevant to the product and features all the necessary information so customers can make an informed decision. Customers should think of you as a trustworthy business so your packaging needs to be an honest representation of the product.
  • How are people purchasing your product?
    • You’ll need to adapt your packaging depending on where you’re selling your items. If it’s online, you’ll likely need something more practical and durable to keep the product safe. If it’s in store, make it eye-catching so customers reach for it over other products!
  • What material options are there?
    • There are many different material options to consider when creating branded packaging. Do you need additional wrapping, packing peanuts, tissue paper, or even bubble wrap to keep your products safe? Consider the logistics of shipping your products and what would work best for your business.
  • Will you print your packaging in-house or use a supplier?
    • Once you’ve got a concrete design idea and understand your target audience, you then need to consider how you’ll print your packaging. Fitting your design to templates, preparing files for printing, costs, and color options, are all things to factor in when deciding between outsourcing to a supplier or dealing with it yourself.

Advice from the Experts

Top Tip: We recommend checking out sustainable packaging options since lots of customers are unhappy with unnecessary or wasteful packaging!

Inspirational Branded Packaging Examples


Apple is a globally recognized brand thanks to its simple but effective packaging. The design displays the product effectively without overwhelming the customer with information, and it also ensures the costly items are safe from harm. Apple is a great reminder that you don’t need your brand packaging to be over the top to be successful — sometimes a minimalist approach is best!


Beauty business Glossier is well known by its customers for its branded packaging, with a signature pink pouch to safely store the products, and unique additions such as seasonal stickers to add a fun twist to the purchase. Glossier knows its target audience well and makes sure to tailor the packaging appropriately. It’s a great example of putting your stamp on the brand’s packaging and keeping a cohesive look in every element of the business.

Happy Socks

What makes Happy Socks’ brand packaging so memorable is its colorful and playful design. The products are eye-catching and bold so it stands out on the shelves, and Happy Socks is instantly recognizable within its market. The creativity of the brand is visible in each design, perfectly matching the packaging with the patterns on the socks. It’s a great example of brand packaging that engages with its customers thanks to the attractive design choices.


There are lots of things to consider when creating branded packaging for your online business, and we’ve explored them in more detail throughout this post. Most importantly, it should appeal to your target customers, speak about your brand’s story, and be recognizable.

Packaging is another form of marketing nowadays. Whether you want to focus on simplicity, be bold or suggestive, or make it pop with wacky colors, you need to make sure you always direct it back to your target customer and your brand values.

For more tips and insights, read our guides to branding packages, and shipping products.


Firstly, you need to understand your target audience and how you want to sell your products. Then you need to decide how to convey your brand through your packaging, whether that’s through the colors, material, font, tone of voice, or additional goodies in the packaging. Think about the experience you would like to have when unboxing a product.

Artios CAD and Adobe Illustrator are some of the most popular packaging design tools on the market currently.

In most cases, a simple approach is best. You don’t want your product or packaging to seem messy! Play around with colors and fonts until you get a look that clicks with your business, and make sure your logo is proudly on display where possible. Place it next to other packaging styles and see if it stands out the most!

Written by:
emma ryan author bio
Emma’s been a Senior Writer at Website Builder Expert since 2022, having first-hand experience with website builders, such as Wix and Shopify, through hands-on testing and research analysis. Her work and expertise have been featured in Digiday, TechRound, Industry Today, and Digital Information World. Specializing in writing about website builders, ecommerce platforms, and hosting providers, Emma stays in the loop of industry updates by attending conferences such as eCommerce Expo and managing Website Builder Expert’s news articles.

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