The sticking power of Apple’s brilliant brand packaging

packaging design Melbourne

When packaging means much more than packaging
Going through the drawers in my study last week I came across not one, but three iPhone boxes. I realised that without consciously intending to I’d saved the boxes from each of my iPhones dating back years, but why? I raised the topic in a meeting with a client the next day to discover that he too had been unable to part with his iPhone packaging, and also the boxes of the pairs of his Jordan’s he’d bought over the years. So what is it about those pieces of packaging that made them so difficult to part with, and what does this brand insight mean?

The iPhone box is a beautifully crafted piece of packaging design. Apple has created a beautifully clean and sophisticated palette of visual language that presents their carefully designed product like a piece of art on a gallery wall. The choice of materials and packaging form design spare no expense with meticulously engineered box, lid and inserts that slowly reveal the product inside. But this is not why we find ourselves unable to part with the empty boxes.

Apple have carefully and thoughtfully created a brand that elevates their products to glittering gems that enhance our lives and reflect so much of ourselves that we aspire to. Apple is like Entourage’s Vincent to our Turtle, it is the brand that we love to hang around with because it makes us cooler, more interesting and our lives more vibrant and glamorous. And just as the iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod represents all that the brand stands-for, the packaging also retains much of the aspirational aura of the brand.

Beautifully designed packaging has the power to attract attention, engage and provoke curiosity, encourage customer consideration and trial and imbue the product inside with a sense of brand mystique. But this kind of carefully hoarded packaging represents more than that. This kind of ‘brand legacy’ reflects all the hard work done up-stream to create such a high level of brand affinity that the packaging represents the esteem and value in which the product is held.

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Dave Ansett
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more at…
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