Think about the last time you bought a new smartphone. Was the logo of the manufacturer perfectly embossed on the box? Did the packaging slide open with that satisfying ‘whoosh’ sensation that’s hard to put into words? Was the phone itself perfectly nestled in the box, looking as though it had been waiting all this time for you to discover it?
Ok, maybe that’s overselling it slightly. But there’s no denying that the way a product is packaged affects the way we perceive it. There’s a reason that Apple trademarked the packaging of the iPhone along with all the components that went into the actual phone.
And the key to truly great packaging that really sells your product? Custom retail packaging.
Think of it as another tool at your disposal, just like your customer referral program software, or your digital marketing. It serves its own purpose, but can also have far reaching benefits across your business.
We’re going to take a look at why custom retail packaging is so beneficial to your brand, and consider some of the finer points you should think about when designing your own.
Why Use Custom Retail Packaging?
If designed and utilized correctly, custom retail packaging can have a positive effect on the way your brand is perceived, helping to attract new customers, and keep existing ones coming back to buy from you again and again. It’s just as important to your business as knowing how to manage remote workers, or how to achieve better ROI on your marketing.
Firstly, custom retail packaging is fully customizable, (just in case you hadn’t guessed from the name). This allows you to use packaging that is exactly the right fit for your product, ensuring you don’t spend too much on unnecessarily large bags or boxes.
It also means it can be designed to perfectly reflect your brand, and can be as eye-catching, or as simplistic, as you need it to be, whether you’re making ice-cream, or ice machines.
Reflecting your brand identity in your packaging is important, especially if you’re selling high-end goods. 61% of consumers say that premium packaging makes a brand seem upscale, and 44% say that it makes the product feel worth the cost.
Custom retail packaging is also a great way to get people talking about your product. 40% of consumers say they will post photos of a product online to show off unique or interesting packaging.
So if your packaging looks good, and looks unique, you stand a better chance of generating buzz online, and reaching audiences who may have otherwise not been made aware of what you’re selling, providing a great user engagement strategy.
5 Tips For Using Custom Retail Packaging
Now that you know about how custom retail packaging can help boost your business, it’s time to start thinking about the finer details of what your packaging will actually look like, and how it will best show off your products.
- Think carefully about the kind of packaging you need
It’s critical to determine exactly what kind of packaging you need when using custom retail packaging. After all, if the packaging isn’t designed specifically for the product it contains, you may as well just use generic, pre-made packaging.
You should consider the size, shape, and weight of the product, and ensure that the packaging is designed with these factors in mind. Measure the height, width, and depth of your product, remembering to also factor in anything else that will be included in the box, such as accessories.
Consider what kind of inserts will be used to house the product and any other peripherals included. If your product is fragile, you should consider whether your packaging needs any kind of extra reinforcement to protect the contents.
Once you’ve determined everything that will go into the box, you can determine exactly how big your packaging needs to be. Try to keep it as small as possible, as unnecessarily large packaging can contribute to increased shopping costs, not to mention an increased carbon footprint.
- Think about what you want your packaging to say about your product, and your brand
Distinctive, custom packaging gives you the opportunity to tell potential customers about the product you’re selling, and who is selling it. This can be done with product descriptions, but can also be accomplished in more subtle ways.
For example, artisan chocolate makers Kakao use their packaging to reflect the South American origins of their product by using vibrant colors and distinct geometric patterns. They also use the packaging to display information about the origins of their products, taking the opportunity to educate as well as advertise.
Using packaging that reflects your company will help your business stand out among your competitors, and will make customers feel more personally linked to your brand. For example, if you wish to be seen as an environmentally friendly brand, consider using packaging that is all recyclable or biodegradable.
As people are becoming more aware of the threat of global warming, the use of sustainable packaging is becoming a growing trend, and a recent study of British consumers showed that 75% of them want their online orders to be delivered in sustainable packaging.
- Consider what your competitors are doing
If you’re producing products in a competitive industry, it can help to take a look at what some of the other manufacturers you’re competing with are doing. We’re not just talking about which content creators they’re collaborating with, or whether they’re using online electronic signature software, but what they’re doing with their packaging specifically.
While you want your packaging to stand out from that of your competitors, there are certain packaging trends that you might wish to follow. Customers expect to see certain types of packaging for certain types of products, so deviating too much from the norm may mean that your product is overlooked as customers can’t immediately identify it at a glance.
Investigating the packaging used by your competitors will reveal any trends to you that you may need to follow, while giving you a good idea of what you can do to stand out from the crowd. If you have employees working across the world, consider asking them what similar products look like in their part of the world, to gain a truly worldwide view.
- Learn more about the technical side of creating custom packaging
While you don’t need to know about all the technical aspects of actually producing your custom packaging, having at least a basic understanding about the processes involved can help you when you’re planning what your packaging should look like.
Knowing about the benefits of the different options available to you, and the costs involved, will help you make a more informed choice about what is right for your product, and what fits your budget. Printing and coating are just a couple of the more technical areas of creating packaging that it’s worth reading up on.
Just as there are different ways to store data, such as RDD meaning resilient distributed dataset, or Dataframe, each featuring their own pros and cons, there are several different printing styles that you can consider, each with their own benefits and drawbacks.
Lithography printing is great if you’re producing a single design that is going to be used repeatedly, but the initial setup costs can be expensive – especially if you intend to attach a QR code PRF to the packaging.
High speed digital printing allows you to print a wider range of designs more easily, and change them as necessary on the fly. Some would say, however, that it’s a less suitable alternative when producing large volumes of packaging.
Flexography printing is typically less costly than other methods of printing as the tools involved are cheaper, but the print quality is noticeably lower when compared to lithographic and digital printing.
Other technical aspects to read up on could include the types of coating to use on your packaging, or whether or not to apply a finish.
- Consider distribution and retail
Finally, when designing custom retail packaging, it can be all too easy to focus on only what will appeal to your customers. While this is an important factor, you should also be mindful of how your packaging will affect the distribution, and retailing, of your products.
When it comes to distribution, your main concerns should be how many of your products can you ship at once, and how much will it cost you to do so. Minimizing the size of your packaging will help you ship as many units as possible, as efficiently as possible.
It’s also worth considering the environmental impact that your packaging will have on distribution. Smaller packaging means a smaller carbon footprint, and there is a benefit to being seen as a more sustainable brand.
Customers from all demographics report being more concerned with the sustainability of a product than its brand name, so being able to sell yourself as a sustainable brand will pay dividends for your sales in the long term.
It’s also worth considering the needs of the retailers that will be stocking your products, and how your packaging will affect them. Retail ready packaging and shelf ready packaging make it easy for retailers to display your products, and will therefore make them more attractive prospects to have stocked, saving you from having lots of lines appearing on your inventory aging report.
Time to Start Using Custom Retail Packaging
Now that you’ve seen the benefits that custom retail packaging can have, I’m sure you’re considering putting it to good use for your products. It can be just as effective at selling your products as an omnichannel call center is at revolutionizing your customer service.
Remember to design packaging that accurately reflects your product, while making it stand out from your competitors products. Infuse it with what makes your company unique, and make sure it tells your customers everything they need to know.
Acquaint yourself with the more technical side of the packaging process, and make decisions that not only benefit you and your customers, but your distribution and retail partners, too.
Business Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Media and Digital marketing sector, Passionate about innovation and bringing the future into new business solutions.