Have you ever received a package from a brand or private seller that made you say, “Wow”?
Have you ever been in a store shopping, picked up the first product in the front to see if it’s what you’re looking for, but the little dent in the corner prompted you to put it back and grab the one behind it?
Have you ever seen packaging on an item that makes absolutely no sense or is extremely unappealing, so you go with another brand?
Have you ever decided to stay loyal to a brand because of their packaging?
When brands go above and beyond to be sure they pay attention to all the details… and we mean all the details… it is more likely to assist in customer loyalty to your brand. Make your brand memorable, whether it be with package design, color choices, or even materials.
The first thing to remember is what the packaging was initially designed for. If we’re thinking of our typical stores today, they are most attractive when everything fits neatly on the shelf. Not only is packaging there to protect the product at a minimum, but it is there to promote your product, display it in a visually appealing way, and attract buyers. I worked in retail and merchandising in the past and there’s definitely a method to where everything is placed as well, also dependent on the packaging!
So how does this help you and your business? Let’s think about a time you ordered something online, expecting the minimum and getting much more. Personally, I like ordering items from Etsy (https://www.etsy.com) which is a website for handmade, natural, or vintage goods. On one occasion, I ordered some stickers and a print from an artist I follow on Instagram. When the package arrived, it looked normal on the outside except for a cute branded traditional ink stamp on the side and a branded return address sticker. Upon opening the package I found several surprises: tissue paper with her logo, a bonus sticker and a bonus mini print, a business card, and a handwritten letter from the artist thanking me for my purchase. Not only did I get more than I expected, but the package and color choices inside were cohesive with her artwork, all wrapped up and topped with a twine bow.
In another instance, I ordered a LootCrate box because it was October and they were doing “The Walking Dead” as that month’s theme. It was my first LootCrate, so I was unsure what to expect. For those who don’t know, LootCrate is a monthly subscription for different exclusive pop culture items. It usually includes a piece of clothing, an action figure/collectible, a pin, and more. Upon receiving my LootCrate I instantly knew what it was. The box was black and it had the logo on several sides, front and center. When I opened the box all the items were neatly arranged inside, with a letter describing the box, what was inside, and why those items were special (besides the exclusivity of the items). In addition, the bottom of the box had a removable zombie mask that was perforated to pop right out of the side. I thought it was so cool… that I saved the box and still have it to this day. The packaging blew me away in their creativity and reminded me why I wanted to create packaging with my graphic design degree in the first place.
Sometimes, though, it’s our ethics and morals that sell us on packaging. If your target market is the environmentally conscious customer, you may want to lean toward something more “green.” Reel Paper does just that. They market their bamboo paper products to the people that are interested in making a change. The products are wrapped in bamboo paper, not plastic, that is eco-friendly and sourced sustainably. Even the tape on the outside of the box is plastic-free!
So let’s take a step back. How can packaging help your business?
- Make it personal.
- In a world where big box stores are everywhere, consumers are turning to small businesses and sellers with OOAK and handmade products for a personal touch. Add a handwritten “thank you” note and keep track of the details of your loyal customers. If they always visit you with their dog Sparky, make sure to address both of them!
- Use consistent branding.
- As I’ve rambled before, being consistent with branding is detrimental to someone remembering your business. Branded colors, logos, and slogans are all part of the process.
- Display the product in a way your target market would like to receive it.
- Remember this is about your target market wants, not you personally. If they are an eco-friendly bunch, choose packaging and product ingredients that represent that. If they are the money-saving type, go with the most inexpensive option possible.
- Promote your business.
- There are so many ways to promote your business, we couldn’t even name them all. Put logos on everything and find affordable giveaway items such as pens, buttons, or pins. These items are all likely to travel with the customer, or better yet, be put in a place where others can see them. These are all great options to add a free item to your packaging.
- Protect your product.
- Consider how the product will be displayed and ensure that it will not get damaged with the packaging choice. Whether you’re shipping the product or displaying it in-store, everything has its place!
- Be memorable.
- Think of the little things that make you remember packaging. If someone gives you a birthday present thrown in a damaged bag with no tissue paper, you might have a different impression than if they wrapped it nicely in newspaper print and twine and topped it with a bow and a card. In this case, it is not “the “thought that counts,” when there is little to no thought at all. Put some thought into your packaging that will keep you in the minds in a positive light of your customers and future loyal customers.
Yes, it all seems like a lot of details and maybe it’s a little too much for you to handle, but guess what? We can help! Our talented marketing team is good at paying attention to those little details and can help you each step of the way, all down to getting you the right packaging for your business at the right prices.