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Yes, We Do Judge Books By Their Covers: The Importance of Packaging

We’ve all heard the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but most people don’t realize just how much our judgements rely on appearances! Whether we’re choosing what to eat, what to buy, or even who to vote for, our brains are always making judgements based on looks.

By the Book

We might not like to believe that we pick style over substance, but no one knows it better than the book industry. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Mark Coker, founder of the indie book distributor, Smashwords, shared his experience:
“Our brains are wired to process images faster than words. When we see an image, it makes us feel something.” A great cover, Coker says, can “help the reader instantly recognize that this book is for them. In addition to promising what a book will deliver, the [cover] image also promises (or fails to promise) that the author is a professional, and that the book will honor the reader's time.”
In the interview, Coker also notes that he has seen book sales take off with nothing more than a simple switch of cover art. First impressions really do make all the difference!

Great Things Come in Great Packages

This lesson from the book industry is a great one to consider when choosing packaging for your products. If the product is ordered online, it’s usually the only physical interaction a customer will have with your company. The presentation of the product helps set up the customer’s expectation and tone before they even open it. In fact, One-third of consumer decision-making is based on packaging alone!

Brand in a Box

Ads are everywhere. So much so that we’re really good at ignoring commercials, billboards, emails, and other advertisements vying for our attention. Your brand’s packaging is a uniquely unavoidable and tangible - making it a perfect branding opportunity. Some brands like Tiffany or Pringles have made their signature packaging into their own iconic statements. However, great packaging doesn’t need to be iconic. It could simply highlight your quality product while supporting your branding style. Either way, it’s a great opportunity to engage your customers and differentiate your company from competitors.

Beyond Customers

While ensuring a great customer experience is vital, don’t forget about your employees, volunteers, donors, vendors, and other people your company may interact with! Thanking the people who have helped make your business or organization successful is an essential practice. The packages they receive their awards or gifts in matter too. At Dion, we’re always working with our clients to ensure their award presentations are everything they want them to be. Whether that means an elegant wooden ring box, or a completely custom box with a letter from the company president included, packaging really is the final touch that brings it all together.


Despite the old adage, we love judging books, and products, by their exteriors. Packaging is not a detail to be overlooked, but an opportunity to make your products, awards, and gifts even more impactful. A properly designed exterior ensures a better experience for the recipient, causing them to pick your company over and over again!


By Aubrey Dion

Aubrey Dion is proud to be back working for the family business she grew up in. Over the years, she has performed a wide variety of jobs in both the office and factory, becoming a true "jack of all trades." Aubrey credits her quick learning ability to her strong theatre background, where memorization and attention to detail are vital. Working in the marketing department allows her to stay creative and work on exciting new projects for the company.



Huffpost - Yes, We Really Do Judge Books By Their Covers

Cogent - Three Big Reasons Why Packaging Matters for Your Brand

Marketing Profs - How Product Packaging Affects Buying Decisions