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3 Tutorials that teach Packaging
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Author: Sophia Tutorial

Differentiate between types of brand collateral.

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what's covered
Are you able to recognize a product simply by its packaging? For instance, are you able to tell the difference between a Coca Cola and a Pepsi just from the shape of the package that it's in? This tutorial will cover the topic of packaging. Our discussion breaks down as follows:
  1. Brand Collateral
    1. Logos
    2. Packaging
    3. Labeling

1. Brand Collateral

Brand collateral is the supportive materials that communicate the brand. These supportive materials include things like:

  • Logo
  • Packaging
  • Labeling
term to know

Brand Collateral
The supportive materials that communicate the brand

1a. Logo

A logo is simply a visual symbol of an organization's name and brand. It is usually trademarked and will have either the symbol TM or ® next to it.

think about it
Can you think of any iconic logos? Think of the Nike swoosh or Harley Davidson motorcycles logo, or even the prancing stallion of a Ferrari automobile, which most people would recognize.

A trademark is a brand of legal ownership. It tells everyone that this particular company owns this particular logo, meaning it owns the idea, design, or expression of the brand that the logo represents. An organization that owns the trademark will have exclusive rights to use it. No one else can use it without their permission. Essentially, they are protecting their brand and ensuring that it isn't portrayed in a negative light.


Suppose someone misused the Coca Cola logo, in a way that was unfavorable to the brand. There is a lot of value in that logo, so portraying that logo in a negative way could potentially risk revenue for their business and give them a bad name for the public, risking their future sales also.

term to know

Visual symbol of a organization's name and brand

1b. Packaging

The packaging is more than simply putting a product into a container. It should work to protect that product, offer convenience to the customer, and generally promote the product.

There are a lot of design elements to consider when it comes to packaging.

Packaging Design Considerations
Cost How much expense will this add to your product? If the packaging is too expensive or too elaborate, you may end up pricing yourself out of the market for what you're trying to sell.
Legal Requirements There are also legal requirements. Certain pill bottles have to be child-proof, legally, so that kids can't get into them.
Single vs. Multiple Packages Are you going to have a single package of an item, with one single item in a container, like a two-liter Coke, or will you have a 12-pack? Perhaps you want to do both.
Consistency It is important to consider the consistency of the design, primarily for branding. Remember, you want the brand to be consistent across the board, and you want people to associate good things with your brand. Therefore, if you're going to market your brand, you need to make sure that the labeling is consistent so that people recognize your brand and your company.
Promotional Role Packaging serves a promotional role. Recall those funny-shaped Coke bottles. Well, there's a reason they're like that. They're iconic. Coke goes to great pains to think about how that bottle is shaped, and they don't take changing that shape very lightly, because it--in and of itself--is promotional for the product.
Retailer Needs You have to consider retailer needs, as well as wholesaler needs. Now, what do they have to do with the package? Well, if you have something that's extremely oddly shaped so that it's difficult to be packaged well in a larger package for shipping, then it's not going to do your wholesalers or retailers much good, because it makes handling that product that much more difficult.
Environmental Think about environmental responsibility. Is the packaging able to be recycled? If you throw caution to the wind on environmental issues, you're likely to ostracize the very customers that you're trying to reach.

1c. Labeling

The labeling is a bit different than the packaging. Labeling refers to the printed communication that displays information about that product. It could be actually on the product, like a Chiquita banana, or it could be on the package, like this jar of jelly.

If the label wasn't there, it would simply be a red jar. You might not be sure what it is, exactly. Now you know it's strawberry jelly, because of the label on the front.

Now, there are legal requirements involved in labeling, as well as significant promotional value. An iconic brand on a label adds promotion to a product that it might not otherwise have.

The jar of jelly, above, looks fairly plain. However, if it had Smuckers on it, it instantly adds promotional value, because then you would recognize it as a particular brand, as opposed to some random strawberry jelly that you could pick up at the store. Now, you have an expectation attached to it.

Packaging and label design are often integrated together, meaning that what is on the label and where it is placed on the package are complementary. It needs to look appealing. You wouldn't use odd, contrasting colors, or put an overly large, misshapen, square label on a round jar, for instance.

Today we learned about brand collateral--all those elements such as logo, labeling, and packaging that surround a product to help define its brand. We learned about logos, which represent the visual cue of an organization's name and brand.

We also learned about packaging, including what the product is actually put in and some of the considerations that are important to pay attention to when designing the packaging. Lastly, we learned about labeling, discussing what goes on the package that informs consumers about the product inside, that can also serve promotional value for the product.

Good luck!

Source: adapted from sophia instructor james howard

Terms to Know
Brand Collateral

The supportive materials that communicate the brand.


Visual symbol of a organization's name and brand.