Building Brand Consistency Part 3: The Sense of Touch

Jute gift totes


Many think brand is all about the message and the design… and to some extent it is… but design is much more then just the way your package looks. As humans when we interact with objects we use all our senses to evaluate it. For packaging that means the sense of touch is a must.

According to research, touch is the first sense to develop and the last sense to be lost with age. The problem with just thinking about design in terms of looks is that our sense of sight is easily deceived. We all inherently know this. Think about it for a moment, have you ever wanted to take a bite out of that juicy looking apple in the fruit bowl… even if you know it’s fake. Or have you ever wondered if the tree in the lobby to the doctor’s office is real? You usually have to go and touch the leaves to find out right? The reality is our eyes play tricks on us every day and if we never get to use the other senses we’ll always be left wondering.


3 Elements of Packaging That Appeal to the Sense of Touch


Finish: The finish or texture of the packaging is the first thing people will notice. Do you sell green products? Guess what…  recycled paper feels different then paper with a glossy finish, customers will be able to tell if your core values extend to all aspects of your business just by touching the packaging.

"Thank You" retail store bags

Thickness: More subtle then texture but just as important, flimsy cardboard doesn’t mix well with high end products. But thin cardboard is perfect for eco friendly product or value products. Have you ever had an expensive piece of jewelry handed to you over the counter in one of the thin see through plastic thank you bags from the grocery store? Of course not, that’s an extreme example to prove the point but dissonance can occur in much more subtle situations.


Weight: Even as a kid you know the heavier the gift the more likely it was expensive, that’s why kids want to pick up every package under the Christmas tree (that and they want to shake them invoking the sense of sound). If you sell heavy high-end gifts you customers will notice what you package them in. Make sure the packaging matches the brand.

Super Satin Ameritotes

The sense of touch is a sense that is often overlooked but is an integral part of your customer experience. If you go the extra mile to appeal to all of your customer’s senses they will take note of your brand, and keep coming back when they want the perfect gift.