Traditionally, stores have a broad variety of ways to connect with customers and give them a memorable experience. As ecommerce becomes more prevalent, however, many retailers are finding that they no longer have all of the options they used to. Absent well-branded displays, personal interaction between customers and employees, and customers actually leaving their homes to shop, there are simply fewer touch points allowing stores to connect with their customer base.
In this light, it becomes startling that so many businesses are ignoring the unboxing experiences of their customers. Every company out there ships merchandise in the same boring cardboard boxes sealed with clear tape. These boxes do the job, but customers are highly unlikely to remember opening them because everyone uses them.
TrunkClub provides an illustrative example of the benefits of ditching traditional packaging. The company ships products in a custom-printed box with a handle that looks like a trunk instead, matching their brand to their shipping containers. This gives every order a unique feeling, as customers cannot wait to dive in and see what is in the trunk box this time.
The box itself is not the only way to individualize a company’s products. For example, every order from TrunkClub includes a handwritten note from a personal stylist, explaining why each included item was chosen. This creates a connection akin to that felt when a customer interacts with an employee at a traditional store, putting a face on the brand name and enticing them to go back.
Just because branded packaging is possible does not mean it should be done, so what benefit does TrunkClub derive from doing this? The answer is marketing. Sustainable brands depend on an established customer base placing multiple orders, as it is much cheaper to get prior customers to reorder than finding new customers every time. A recent survey conducted by Dotcom Distribution found that 52 percent of consumers are more likely to make repeat orders from an online merchant with unique packaging. Therefore, branded packaging increases sales.
In addition, Dotcom also discovered that consumers enjoy sharing unique unboxing experiences on social media sites such as YouTube and Facebook. This gives the company with unique packaging free positive publicity through the social network of every customer. For instance, a search for “TrunkClub unboxing” reveals thousands of blogs, images, and videos. Every one of these helps get TrunkClub’s name out there while also providing valuable back links that improve the company’s SEO performance.
At this point the benefits of a unique branded packaging experience should be obvious, but how to create one may be less so. Below are some of the most common elements of a successful branded packaging marketing campaign. You do not need to incorporate every item on this list, but it gives you somewhere to start in trying to determine what elements provide the best complement to your overall marketing strategy.
The box is the single most obvious element of a branded packaging experience. A custom box will stand out in the sea of white and brown boxes customers expect, but this is also one of the more expensive items to customize. Colored tape is a cheaper option that can have a similar effect if done correctly.
Tissue paper draws your customer into the unboxing experience by adding a layer of mystery to the process. You can further customize the experience with printed or colored paper, adding something beyond the standard paper employed by other firms.
Fillers such as Styrofoam packing peanuts, air pillows, foam inserts, and bubble wrap serve a vital protection function, but do little aesthetically and even less to promote your brand. Less common fillers such as excelsior and colored crinkle paper can make your packaging unique and memorable for the buyer.
Stickers are among the most versatile of the branded packaging elements. A branded sticker is a great way to seal tissue paper in a manner that reinforces your brand’s messaging, or it can be placed directly on the box to provide the benefits of a custom printed package for a fraction of the cost. These inexpensive items are a great way to ease into branded packaging.
Promotional materials, such as a business card granting a discount on a customer’s next order, are also a cheaper way to brand your packaging. Alternatively, the promotion could be intended for a friend of the current customer, encouraging him or her to spread your company by word of mouth.
Handwritten notes like those utilized by TrunkClub also work well by lending that personal touch that is often absent from ecommerce. Larger businesses may have a hard time scaling this method, but new start-ups can benefit greatly from it.
Every order generally includes a receipt, but that does not mean yours cannot stand out. Higher end restaurants often give you your receipt in an elegant folder to heighten your dining experience, for example.
Finally, an unexpected free gift or sample can inspire customers to sing your praises to their entire social circle, giving you business above and beyond your repeat customer. Whichever of these works best for you, you will find that branded packaging will increase your sales.
If you’re looking to improve your branding, improve customer perception of your product, and increase marketing, contact Packaging Source Inc for free quote. You can call 214-808-7664 or you can fill out our contact form by clicking here.