4 custom packaging tips that work

If you are in consumer or B2B marketing, you already know that standing out from the competition is increasingly difficult. We are deluged with brands’ messages and images daily – sometimes multiple times a day through various (mostly digital) channels. The noise is deafening, and sometimes we just want to see something that makes us say “Hmm….” That’s where custom packaging solutions have found their niche.

From cartons and product containers to sales and marketing collateral kits, businesses and organizations are increasingly using custom packaging to make their brands stand out, because a strategically designed and produced package can increase product awareness, enhance customer loyalty, and facilitate increased confidence in your sales team, leading to more revenue.

Custom packaging solutions are also scalable and fully integrate with the print and digital communication strategies that are staples of today’s marketing objectives. Consider these tips to help get your packaging project off the ground and into your customers’ and prospects’ hands.

 

Identify your goal

In other words, determine why you need the package and what it is supposed to accomplish.

Is it a retail box or point-of-sale display package? Consider the visual impact of the package on your brand (think Apple and its iconic product boxes) or counter space it will need to occupy.

Will the package be mailed to prospects, clients or consumers and contain your product or a promotional item with your branding? Factor in postage costs, design elements and ability to protect fragile items, if applicable.

If the package will serve as a sales kit or leave behind for your sales team, inspect your various sales and marketing collateral. Determine which pieces should be included (don’t forget about interchangeable pieces for vertical market or buyer targeting) and design your package accordingly.

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Design for practicality, but don’t forget first impressions

Think of your package as an extension of your brand, and possibly even the first exposure a consumer or B2B prospect will have with your products and services. You want the package to have a level of practicality, creativity and originality that can really make your brand stand out. However, if brand recognition is already strong you may be able to focus more on certain aspects of the package presentation than others.

For example, let’s go back to Apple and the packaging concepts they use for their devices. Their product containers are sleek, compact and practical to safely hold a highly desirable product. Apple doesn’t need to add anything more than their logo and the name of the device inside – and that’s the key. People want what’s inside the box more than they need to be blown away by the presentation to be persuaded to purchase the product.

If your product or brand is lesser known, a more dynamic design may be needed to stand out. Consider unique designs or folds that require die-cutting, specialty coatings or finishes, and messaging that grabs attention – just make sure your copy is succinct and to the point.

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Set one-time and ongoing packaging budgets

Budgeting a packaging solution goes beyond the typical one-time costs, such as design time or services, printing and distribution. Unless you’re only planning to use a specific package for one campaign or product run, your budget needs to include quoted costs from your packaging print vendor for re-runs.

Even if your custom packaging project is a one-off, consider costs like setup, shrink wrapping, kitting, mailing and distribution, warehousing, and expedited production or shipping. Any of these add-ons can influence final cost, to varying degrees.

 

Don’t cut corners

You’ve invested heavily in your branding, products and services, and now is not the time to squeeze budgets. Work with experienced, reputable vendors who can help you throughout the process, from concept and design to printing and assembly of the package. The value of producing a package at a level of quality that reflects well on your brand cannot be underestimated.

 

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