Maximize your packaging copywriting to include a killer brand voice.

by Darlene Veenhuizen

Packaging design is something that DASH has a lot of experience with, Darlene has worked with companies like Wash With Water, Prakash Organics and several small food businesses in Central Oregon. Packaging writing can be tricky – you have to walk a fine line between legal requirements that are governed by the FDA and your state’s department of Agriculture (depending on what you are packaging, of course) and also want to be clear about what’s inside the package so the consumer knows what to expect.

Why brand voice on packaging is important:

    • Packaging is a personal way your customers interact with your brand. They touch it, feel it, read it, and engage with it.
    • Packaging writing can allow you to use humor, great design in the form of font choice or hand lettering, and emotion to further your connection with your customer 
    • Package design and copy is what sells your product on the shelf when it’s sitting there (right next to all your competitors).
    • Give it the attention it deserves, because your customers certainly are giving it their attention. 

However, packaging is also a place to connect with your customer and to elicit an emotional response. You can appeal to the problem they are trying to solve by buying your product. You can paint a picture of the lifestyle they will lead if they take your product home. What are they gaining when they take your product to the checkout line? 

Packaging writing needs to elicit an emotional response as well serve a functional purpose. 

If you create physical products, give your packaging some consideration and attention in a language your customers can understand instantly with great copywriting! Packaging is a fun and unique touchpoint with your customer, and everything about it should be exciting, appealing, and selling the feeling the brand is going to deliver.

Great examples of brand voice on packaging: 

EXAMPLE 1: Lesser Evil Snacks

The thing that I think more companies could do is come up with branded language or phrases. LesserEvil makes popcorn and packaged snacks, but they have this whole “guru” theme going on in their brand. They use phrases like “Mindfulness Moment Manifesto” and “Simple Acts, Clean Snacks” that are cute, to the point of their mission and vision, and share a unique point of view.

lesser evil foods packaging example DASH content collective design writing brand voice
lesser evil foods packaging example DASH content collective design writing brand voice

EXAMPLE 2: Trader Joe’s

If you shop at Trader Joe’s, you’ll notice they take a lighter side to their packaging. Most of the packaging is funny or on the side of humor over being serious. It’s also full of fun product names and art.

They don’t take themselves too seriously and play with whimsy on their packaging a lot. 

Tips for great writing on your packaging:

  1. Talk directly to the consumer: Do your customers read nutrition labels or what to know the materials the product is made of right away when making their purchasing decisions? Put a message or blurb of copy on the place you think their eyeballs will go first. 
  2. Use emotion: Appeal to the pain point they are trying to solve – where your product is the solution. Are they hangry in such a bad way that only your potato chips will do? Are they so thirsty it’s like they have a mouthful of sand? Be descriptive while using empathy to create an emotional connection with them.
  3. Hide some easter eggs: putting copy in unexpected places or including an insert that is beautifully designed and written and really showcases your brand voice in the writing. 
  4. Consider adding personality to the dry sides of packaging – if you have to include a manual or instructions for your product, is there a way you can inject some personality into that? More people will actually read your manual and remember it. 
  5. Highlight benefits, not features: What are they getting when they buy your product? Again, what pain point are you solving for them or what are the benefits that even go beyond that to enhance their life? 
  6. Tell a story or further the connection: Take them on a journey or further the one you are already on that maybe started at an earlier touchpoint. A great example of this is if you are an online retailer and you deliver products to customers, what would they already know about your brand, and in what ways can you use even your packaging materials (boxes, tape, stickers) to further the connection? Custom printed packing tape and beautiful cards and stickers included in orders are all opportunities to use your brand voice. The planner company, Get to Work Book, uses motivational phrases on packaging tape and cards that get inserted into the order, so it becomes something extra for me that furthers the brand mission.
Get to work book packaging example DASH content co Bend or Design agency

To stand out in a crowded marketplace, you need to take advantage of every opportunity to differentiate yourself. Packaging copy that uses your brand voice effectively will give your customers that extra push – all the way to the checkout line. 

Need help working on your brand voice? Work with DASH to hone in on your voice and your messaging for more consistency and trust with your customers!

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