Designing branding or packaging for your dessert company, can seem daunting. With so many options for sweet treats and desserts on the market, it can be confusing for consumers to choose the product they want. That’s why you need to create a brand design that stands out against the competition and catches the eye of consumers through implementing a carefully thought out set of brand guidelines. Whether you’re an independent baker who is opening up their own service or you aim to launch confectionary products in stores, branding your desserts in a way that represents your brand and your consumers is going to give you a sweet set up for success.
What are brand guidelines and what do they do?
As designers we will create brand assets based on your brand identity and values. These brand assets include all the visual components that will be seen across your different platforms such as social media, websites, print materials, signage or packaging. Brand assets include your logo, colour palette, illustrations, fonts or packaging. We then put all these brand assets into a set of guidelines so that you can use your brand assets consistently across your platforms. Ensuring you follow the brand guidelines to a T and consistently is essential for customers to trust your brand.
Slow down there
Before we dive into the brand design, you need to understand your business, your market and your audience. The purpose of branding is to transform your brand’s values and identity into your visuals so that your ideal customer can connect with your brand over your competition. Before you start, ask yourself a few questions in order to gain all the information you need for the design process:
What is the purpose of your brand?
This will form the Mission Statement
Decide what you want to achieve with your dessert product and why you are offering it. Aim to narrow this down into one sentence that encapsulates your brand, which will make up your mission statement. Take a look at the Ben and Jerry’s brand for example:
To make, distribute, and sell the finest-quality ice cream and euphoric concoctions with a continued commitment to incorporating wholesome, natural ingredients and promoting business practices that respect the Earth and the Environment.
Who are you?
This will form the Brand Personality and Brand Voice
Ask yourself who are you? Your brand should have a clear identity, as if it is it’s own person. List the personality traits your brand bears and then you have an idea of what your brand voice will be. This information is going to be the base for your brand guidelines and how you show up to your audience. Take Gu puddings for example, they offer high quality and indulgent desserts, and suggest they are ‘pioneers’ that produce ‘restaurant-quality’ ‘wickedly indulgent’ desserts. It is clear from their brand voice that Gu has a professional, mysterious and rich brand personality: ‘If you’re ever wondering if a Salted Caramel Cheesecake is acceptable at 11 am; just know that somewhere, somebody is tucking into a Gü every single second …’
Who is your target audience?
This will form the Customer Persona
You need to know who you are aiming to attract with a dessert or confectionery brand, or any brand. Think about your ideal customer and create a profile with all their traits; occupation, age, hobbies and interests etc. This is going to make it easier to create your branding and market to your audience because you can focus on connecting to just one person. Your audience will inevitably only share some of the characteristics of your ideal customer, but they will all find something they can connect to with your brand and therefore be attracted to your product. For instance gift givers, hotel owners, or families are all going to respond to different types of brands and values.
Who is your competition?
This will form your USP
Before launching your brand it’s super important to research your industry to know where you fit in the market. Look at similar businesses that have a similar audience and identify what their strengths and weaknesses are. Establish what your brand can provide that they don’t. If your main competition offers sweat treats for young children, do you offer natural ingredients and low sugar treats that will appeal to health conscious parents instead?
Designing your Dessert Brand
Packaging and the visual elements are just as important as the dessert itself because you are offering an experience to your consumers from the moment they see it on the shelf. We call the visual elements such as your logo, font or colour palette Brand Assets. These Brand Assets can be used consistently across your platforms to create a cohesive brand, whether that is your packaging, website, social media or print materials.
A great way to stand out against competition is to create a unique packaging or packaging experience that is memorable and represents your brand. There are many options you can choose depending on the product you are offering from cardboard boxes, bags or ramekins. Whether it is a unique gift opening experience, plastic free packaging or utensil-included, you can enhance the brand experience for your consumers by utilising the packaging itself. The design you put on your packaging similarly will enhance the customer experience of your brand and this will depend on the remaining brand assets.
A brand is more than just a logo, but it does play a crucial part in gaining recognition from your audience. Whether you have a logo that is your name, an image or a shape, the form you choose again will instill a specific message. You want something that is well thought out and clear to your audience. Too many elements and messages can confuse the audience about who you are and what your brand is. Glaze boutique doughnut studio for example
Font and Typography
Finding a font that represents your brand identity and personality is key. It needs to make sense to customers so that they can take in your brand and form an opinion. Multiple fonts are useful in creating hierarchy between all the information you want to provide. Pairing fonts that are used for headings or subheadings can create contrast and make the main font stand out. Using the same typeface but with different font versions is also a good way at creating hierarchy between messages whilst maintaining the flow of the design. Cursive fonts are popular with cake or confectionary brands as it gives you a feel for the baking or making process behind the product.
Colours are incredibly important to your brand. People create strong associations with different colours and you can take advantage of this by having a brand palette that evokes specific messages or emotions. Pastel colours are traditionally associated with candy if your product is targeted for children. More bespoke or high quality brands may opt for sleek and professional colours such as black, gold or brown that represent the fineness of their brand.
Illustrations and Stickers
Your brand package can include more than just your logo and colours, having specific stickers, shapes or illustrations can be another useful tool in creating familiarity. These illustrations help define your brand and your products and make your brand instantly digestible. Look at frozen yoghurt brand The Bear and the Rat for dogs. They use hand illustrated dog characters on their packaging that not only shows they are for dogs but also translates their use of ‘natural’ and ‘real’ ingredients but using a friendly hand-drawn illustration.
The icing on the cake
Consistency is key here. You want to use the same assets across all your channels – from print materials, packaging, signage, social media, websites and more. Branding assets that are seen continuously across your platforms will be embedded in consumers’ minds. Not to mention a consistent image will make your brand feel professional and trustworthy. Brand assets exist everywhere. Companies that are not utilising them past a logo are missing out on the biggest marketing tool they have, and creating a real connection to their target audience.
The dessert and confectionary industry is a big industry to break into. With a huge array of products and services out there already, having a unique brand that consumers can recognise and connect with is essential to standing out against competition. Take the time to understand your business and your market and then you will be well on your way to building a successful brand that represents the values of your business and your consumers.