Packaging Imperfections: A Good Marketing Strategy?

Today every brand is competing to be the best and most visible on the market. They would do almost anything to attract consumers and increase their sales. But being the biggest and shiniest product on the shelf isn’t always a good thing, sometimes less really is more!

Too often the brand image doesn’t live up to the actual product and the consumers start to lose their trust. A few brands, however, have recently come across something we think is a new and better way to go, and we want to share this secret with you.

These brands have started to show themselves and their products as imperfect and a bit vulnerable. This actually gives them more attention since they stand out, but they don’t give them false hope for something they can’t uphold. They also create a connection with their consumers, since who can’t identify themselves with being not so perfect now and then?!

Rohit Bhargava, marketer, author and professor, calls this trend Loveable Imperfection: “where brands intentionally focus on imperfections, flaws and personality to make their products and experiences more human, believable and desirable.”

They are, in other words, showing a more authentic product. However, just showing the flaws in your products isn’t going to get you anywhere. And this is where the marketing, and especially the packaging, come in! is a family owned business that has given their nut packaging a funnier design. The packaging design shows off the nuts in the family and the different variety they have. They have also included a short praise about the family history of the company on the back of the packaging. The design looks silly, handwritten and reminds you of doodling and cartoons. In short, it’s very easy for anyone to identify with and put a smile on their faces.

Dieffenbach’s Potato Chips has given us its new Uglies branded chips, which are made from potatoes with imperfections. The owner and CEO, Nevin Dieffenbach, says: “This new brand is using potatoes that farmers would likely be throwing away due to minor imperfections. Because of this, we’re able to pass on the savings to our customers, and everyone feels like they’ve done something good.”

We can easily say that this packaging that shows its imperfections, both inside and outside, will stand out in the snack aisles where everything else looks flawless and perfect.

Mattel’s Fisher-Price is another brand that has taken its toy packaging to a new level. Their packaging is open to make the products visible and has a design that makes it feel ‘un-designed’ and effortless. Since it’s toy packaging we’re dealing with, they have also included things that attract kids, like bright colors and playful designs that in a fun way show how the kids might play with the actual product. Even the parents will like this colorful and playful packaging!

This new way of packaging design is definitely something we think is here to stay. Consider making your brand and your packaging more human, let’s say less artful and more unstudied. Wouldn’t you like it?

So keep your eye out next time you’re in a store or a supermarket, and see if you can catch any of them!


Read more Swedbrand blog posts at, or visit our website at