In the Age of Instagram, well-designed, beautiful packaging is being shared across social media almost as much as the product and purchase itself. Many social media influencers are using distinct luxury packaging as props for their carefully curated Instagram photos – presenting brands with a great opportunity to increase brand awareness.

Robert Lockyer, CEO at Delta Global, a packaging supplier for the luxury retail sector, argues that brands need to be acutely aware of current Instagram-related trends and themes as it is increasingly becoming the medium through which consumers receive their first impressions of a product.

Minimalism and simplicity

Something that will never go out of fashion is simple, minimalist packaging. Sleek monochrome packaging with a clean, unfussy logo can be used time and time again. Some of the most luxurious brands are often the simplest. Gucci, Céline, Dior, and Chanel are some of the most prestigious brands out there, however, their packaging is extremely basic – and it works.

High-street companies are following this lead by increasingly making their packaging much more effortless and simplistic. Cosmetics brands The Ordinary and The Inkey List are just two examples of this. Although this approach may look plain, it is also invariably effective, professional-looking and fuss-free.

Paired alongside the right product, influencers and social media users can create the perfect contemporary, understated image of an item of packaging that will attract the masses.

Pastel pink hues

One of the most sought-after and popular “Instagrammable” packaging trends of recent years comes in the form of pastel pink hues – bags, parcels, and boxes. The internet’s most-loved colour has become somewhat iconic and can frequently be spotted in images and flat-lays on social media.

Some brands have even made a name for themselves all thanks to the colour of their packaging. Being one of the originators of the pink-hue hype, American beauty brand Glossier's signature baby pink packaging has its very own hashtag: #glossierpink. A classic pink tone combined with quirky packaging makes for great social media content and ensures regular appearances in many images and flat-lays across an array of social media platforms, particularly Instagram. All Glossier products arrive in a reusable pink pouch - ticking the boxes of both reusability and current trends.

Other brands that are known for their pretty pink packaging are Lee Stafford, Herbivore and Acne Studios.

Colour palettes

It isn't always a necessity or a feasible option to stick to one colour. However, if brands have a group of colours that they regularly use for their packaging, then it’s a good idea to stick to this same colour palette.

Having a colour palette instantly makes your brand more recognisable and consumers will begin to associate your brand with a colour. They’re are a great way to make your packaging Instagram-ready and they allow influencers and social media users to play around with colour and incorporate your brand.

Artisanal chocolate company Mast Brothers took Instagram by storm with its beautifully designed marble packaging in a range of soft tonal colours. Often used alongside fashion and jewellery, the chocolate has become a regular feature in many Instagram photos.

High street retailer & Other Stories has combined simplicity with colour by developing a variety of white paper bags with different jewel tones – creating the perfect shot when placed together or alone.

Fun messaging and arrival announcements

Often using tongue-in-cheek typography, brands are finding playful messaging to be an effective way of communicating and engaging with the consumer in a fun and light-hearted way.

Quirky messages and slogans give an insight into a brand's personality and provide a fun and memorable experience for consumers. This often leads to the packaging being posted onto Instagram as part of an image or an unboxing.

Many brands have adopted this strategy, using messaging such as “Good things await you”, “You've been expecting me” and “Hello: I'm here”. These phrases build anticipation and excitement for the consumer.

Other brands have adopted a slightly different approach by incorporating sticker sheets and illustrations into the packaging – often featuring phrases that can then be turned into Instagram hashtags.

Combining functionality with social media

If your target audience is highly active across social media platforms, it is crucial to implement these steps into your product packaging to receive as much positive online attention as possible. Today, packaging needs to be functional, reusable, sustainable and of course, Instagram-friendly.