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How To Develop A Packaging Strategy For Your Brand

how-to-develop-a-packaging-strategy-for-your-brand

Choosing the right custom packaging strategy for your business doesn’t come easy. 

Besides the fact that you have to worry about your budget, you also need to make sure you don’t get carried away with making a nice and snug design.

Custom packaging is much more than creating a visually appealing box. Aesthetics is only one aspect of custom packaging. There is functionality, and marketing too.

In this article, we are going to show you how to choose a balanced custom packaging strategy. One that is not too focused on aesthetics at the expense of other factors.

What is custom packaging?

Custom packaging is a unique crafted packaging design specifically tailored around a company’s product.

It is usually customized with the company’s logo, pictures, colors, and anything the company wants to include.

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Photo Credit: Subscription packaging on Arka.com

This would represent the product with a strong branding message as well as making it visually appealing to customers.

Packaging most times needs to go through a professional, prototype, and testing process to ensure a perfect outcome.

How To Develop A Custom Packaging Strategy

Most businesses are too quick to choose their custom packaging strategy. The truth is, you don’t have to be like them.

Because there’s a custom packaging trend in the market, or because an expert in custom packaging says something doesn’t mean you should try it.

In 2010 GAP, launched a new logo design, removing a logo that had served them for 20 years without any prior notice. It didn’t take long before GAP realized that the public didn’t like the new design.

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Photo Credit: 10 rebranding failures on Canny.com

The new logo was brought down after 6 days, the money and time invested in it, all gone.

Before developing your custom packaging strategy, you must make certain considerations and ask necessary questions so you don’t miss the need of your target market.

Remember custom packaging is all about designing, branding, and creating with your customers in mind. Here’s a list of questions to guide you in making the right choice.

  • What is important in my product packaging 
  • What is trending in the market
  • Which technologies are relevant for you in the long run
  • Do your customers expect or need a new packaging design
  • Will a new packaging design impact your market share
  • To what extent is your design unique or innovative from a market perspective

By answering these questions, you’ll have had a clear picture of what you need. 

What To Consider Before Choosing A Custom Packaging Strategy

Here are some of the things to consider before choosing a custom packaging strategy.

1. What Is The Shape of Your Product

The way your product is shaped determines what will be the right combination of sizes, shapes, and security of boxes you’ll use for it.

I know you want your packaging to be visually appealing but there is no point in using a custom box where a poly mailer is perfect.

Ensure that your choice of packaging materials and design is built with the shape of the product in mind. If your package does not fit the shape of the product, there is a chance that the product will be affected in transit.

2. How Fragile is Your Product

As much as we want our product packaging to look nice and snug, no customer wants to receive a damaged product.

The fragility of a product is another factor to consider when choosing a custom packaging strategy. Your product packaging should be able to provide the needed security for your product.

How fragile your product is determines the type and size of its primary, secondary, and tertiary packaging. For instance, you may want to use additional cushioning such as air-fill for packaging fragile items.

You don’t have to spend so much on additional cushioning. Crinkle papers, air-fill, or bubble wrap are all economical options.

3. How Packaging Materials are Sourced

Don’t build a custom strategy around materials that are neither recyclable nor eco-friendly. Do not incorporate custom packaging if your packaging materials are not environmentally friendly.

Custom packaging designs are not just about looks and colors. It should also reveal a brand’s corporate social responsibility.

Companies must source their packaging materials responsibly. If you are going to be using a 3pl firm, make sure their products are FSC certified.

Brands that source their packaging materials in the right way tend to make more sales than others. 

According to new research by Trivium Packaging, nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of consumers say they are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging.

You don’t want to choose a packaging strategy that will not guarantee sales or a packaging that will put a dent in your brand’s public image.

4. Budget

Budget is crucial in choosing the right custom packaging strategy. You have to find out how much it will cost to finish a new project.

There is no need to use premium packaging when you cannot afford it. You can still create a sleek packaging design without spending a fortune.

Take time to do a market survey. Find out what your suppliers and their competitors are offering. You may also want to find out how many hands you’ll need. 

5. Brand Message

Good custom packaging tells your brand’s story. You have to capture what your business stands for in the clearest possible way.

According to Victoria Green, a packaging expert that works with BrandPackaging.com, the way a product is packaged can create a dynamic, engaging story about your brand.

For instance, when Divine Chocolate decided to use their opulent gold script logo and different symbols on their product wrapper, they were certain that customers would get the message.

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Photo Credit: custom packaging on divinechocolates.com

The symbols which were derived from Ghana, where the chocolate is farmed, represent each of the brand’s values.

What To Include In Your Custom Packaging

Not everything should matter when you are designing your product packaging. Something’s should be left out completely.

Here’s a list of things you may include in your product’s custom packaging.

1. Printed Logo

A product packaging that does not include the logo of the business is a waste of money and time. Your custom packaging is incomplete without a printed logo on it.

To get the best out of your logo, you’ll need the help of a designer.

2. Promo Materials or Business Cards

Adding promo materials to your packaging is an effective way to give it a unique look. For example, when Haus sends packaging inserts, such as newsletters, in shipments, intend to deepen the relationship between their customers and the product.

3. Packing Slip

A packing slip serves as a receipt in your product’s custom packaging. You can print, design, or write beautiful content on the slip to improve customer experience.

4. Custom Note

A personalized note is never a bad idea. Always tell your customers how important they are to you. This will make them forget the fact that they pay anytime they buy from you. 

5. Tissue Papers

Tissue papers are becoming one of the commonest inserts you’ll find in custom packaging. These papers can come in different colors to make the inside of your custom box beautiful.

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Photo Credit: Custom Tissue Paper on Arka.com

6. Fillers

Custom packing requires inserts like fillers. Although they are not necessary, they can give your product packaging the balance it needs to protect your product.

7. Stickers

Stickers can do many things for you. From additional color to telling a message, they can be a short piece of everything in your packaging.

8. FSC Certification Seal

Customers are not going to call to ask if your product packaging is FSC certified, you have to show them.

With the certification seal on your custom box, customers are not only going to be informed but also persuaded to buy your products.

4 Advantages of Using Smart Packaging For Your Ecommerce Business

Custom packaging is everywhere but you know what, not all packaging trends or ideas are good for you. It is a lot more advantageous to use an e-commerce packaging strategy that soothes your business. 

Here are some of the advantages of using the right custom packaging strategy.

1. Strengthens Brand Value

Custom packaging boxes are part of a brand’s public image. An attractive package does not only catch attention, it retains it.

For instance, the triangular-shaped baby star shoe box used to hold baby-sized Chuck Taylor All-Stars is packaging that also gives kids the chance to try out tying their laces with the lace-up box.

This packaging does not only create the wow experience that customers want. It provides an opportunity for parents to engage their kids in something worthwhile.

A product packaging should be to increase your brand value and perception of the brand to the customers.

When a packaging box is customized with the combination of the right colors, designs, and materials, it results in a perfect piece. For instance, we can all imagine what a bottle of Coca-Cola looks like without having a picture at hand.

The agitated red, the dynamic contour wave, the iconic bottle shape, and the logo typography used by Coca-Cola sticks to the memory. You can’t think of Coca-Cola without them.

By strengthening a brand value through better-customized packaging and a great product, the customers will establish an emotional connection with the brand.

This connection is a key requisite for ensuring long-lasting success for the brand as well as repeat customers.

2. Creates a Better Customer’s Experience

Receiving a package is exciting, but receiving a customized package that’s attractive and visually appealing is more exciting.

Customers want to be swept off their feet by your product packaging, and they are willing to pay more for it. 

A 2013 study revealed that attractive packaging stimulates the reward-seeking areas of the brain. The net effect of this is that most people will purchase a product because of the way it is presented (packaged).

Custom packages create more feelings of satisfaction in customers the regular packages do. It establishes a positive brand experience.

Custom packaging helps to establish a good impression in the mind of the customers because the first impression is always the last.

3. Drives Customers Loyalty

Business can only thrive when you have customers. Sadly, a lot of businesses are focused on pursuing new customers at the expense of the old ones.

If there is anything that’s going to drive customer loyalty, it is attractive packaging. I am not just talking about just any attractive container or box.

Custom packaging is designed with your customers in mind. What it does is that it produces a balance between customer’s expectations and reality.

According to a study, 61 percent of shoppers said that premium packaging makes a brand seem more upscale.  

This makes a whole lot of sense when you consider the fact that over 49 percent of shoppers report that they are excited about a brand that delivers a product with nice packaging.

With the right custom packaging, you may address the need for social media campaigns. Your customers will be willing and excited to make a video with your customized box for free.

4. Make Your First Contact Your Persuasive Power 

A lot of businesses are still not aware that the first transaction with a customer might be the last time the customer would buy from them.

There are many reasons why this can happen. The customer might relocate, or they may cut down their budget for the month. Well, all these are rarely the case.

The truth is that most customers are not going to buy from you again if you make a bad first impression. For instance, selling a product worth $1,000 in a bland corrugated box is a terrible choice.

Custom packaging will not only help you make a great first impression, but it also ensures that the customer returns a second time.

Conclusion

Custom packaging is crucial in modern-day business. However, it can be the reason why your business may fail when it is not done right.

It requires time, money, and a lot of attention compared to standard packaging. We have provided all you need in choosing the right custom packaging strategy for your business, and we are certain that it will work for you.

Special thanks to our friends at ShopPad for their insights on this topic.

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA, starting in the early days of online commerce when he achieved Power Seller status through his eBay store. This propelled him to become a co-founder of VisionPros.com, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. With a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify Plus, where he helps identify, navigate, and accelerate growth in the complex world of commerce.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the eCommerce Fastlane Podcast and Shopify Founder Stories, a top-rated twice-weekly podcast where he interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands improve efficiencies, grow revenue, profit, and lifetime customer loyalty.

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