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Design: It’s Not Just Wrapping Paper

brand marketing is like choosing how to wrap a gift

I’ve been invited to a birthday party, and I want to get a fabulous gift for the person who we’ll be celebrating. What’s the best way to choose something they’ll like? I can’t start picking out wrapping paper colors or writing the message on the gift tag quite yet.

Think About the Recipient

I like to think about what their hobbies are. How do they spend their free time? What’s their daily life like? When I focus on them, it’s easier to find a gift they’ll enjoy.

Once I’ve purchased a gift, it’s time to wrap it. I can’t wrap the gift until I’ve thought about who it’s for, and I’ve purchased it, right?

I have to know who I’m giving it to, and what I’m going to give before I look for a box and pick out the wrapping paper.

That’s the way it is with design, too.

Don’t Wrap it Before You’ve Picked It Out

Before you pick colors and typefaces and start to design your layout, you have to spend some time thinking about who you’re talking to. Once you’re clear about your target market, think about their lives and problems. What are their challenges? What are their daily lives like?

When you understand these details about them, you’ll have a better idea how to speak with them, and what kind of message to send to them.

First Craft Your Message, Then Work on Delivery

The wrapping for your marketing message will be influenced by who you’re giving it to, and what you’re delivering. That’s the way it should be: get your message straight and the rest will follow.

When you know who you’re addressing, and what you want to say, you’ll find it’s easier to pick the right colors and typefaces. Finding the right wrapping for your message will be easy.

Designers Don’t Just Make It Pretty On The Outside

A good designer doesn’t just pretty up your message on the outside. When you’re putting together your own materials, you shouldn’t do that, either. Don’t leap ahead and start buying wrapping paper before you know who you’re giving a gift to, and what you’re going to give them.

Focus first on formulating a marketing message that will resonate with your audience. Then, and only then, think about what color paper and what type of bow you’ll use to wrap it in.

Looking for a way to generate marketing ideas? Read my latest post on and leave a comment! It’s all about how you can come up with marketing ideas through cross pollination.

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson is an online educator, author, keynote speaker, and the founder of BIG Brand System. Read reviews of the tools used to run this site and business.

Pamela Wilson

I want to help you take the next step. Pick your free workshop topic and let’s do this!

5 thoughts on “Design: It’s Not Just Wrapping Paper”

  1. I think in addition to rushing into design before taking a hard look at who it’s for, people also fuss over design before creating any meaningful content.

    Let’s face it, tinkering with bells and whistles can be fun and it makes you feel like you’re getting stuff accomplished.

    It’s an easy trap to fall into and one I’ve been guilty of in the past.

    Thanks Pamela.

  2. Good points. Good “wrapping” can make a great product greater. But your message/product has to be internally just as good or it is like making a “silk purse out of a sow’s ear” as my Gramma always said.

  3. This is such a perfect analogy for what too often frustrates us, right? I will be using this one. Most people (especially executives) know that you’re supposed to fully vet out who it’s going to and what the message is, but they still come in with specific design requests. Blah!

    And I’m the same way – I look at my blog more as way to remind me of what I think. Ha!


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