Updated: December 17th, 2015
We all know by now that, for many brands, the packaging is as important as the product. A visually appealing package speaks to both the content and quality of the product inside.
More often than not it’s the appearance that product managers focus on to stand out from the crowd. That’s a competitive criteria where it can be tough to stand out though (trust us, we have a hand in creating a lot of great packages each and every day!)
If that’s true of your product category, it might be time to add “tactility” to the list of qualities that your higher-end product packaging should exhibit.
The Gift of Great Packaging
Attractive packaging is undoubtedly a gift to your customers at any time of the year. The holidays make for an ideal time to reap the rewards of product presentation that looks and feels like the brand it represents, creating an intangible sense of satisfaction that keeps customers coming back for more.
A particularly popular option for value-added fulfillment at the moment is gift presentation, without which many purchases and subscription-based services would not happen.
The time-honored tradition of hand wrapping items can be cost-prohibitive, but there are automated solutions if you ship large quantities of wrapped items. Ecommerce has generally set expectations that fitted/branded boxes, pre-tied bows, and other items are acceptable, as are printed gift notes. However, you can always opt for the ‘over-the-top’ option, and offer everything from handwritten gift notes to hand-wrapped (or apparently hand-wrapped) products.
Ecommerce has set expectations that fitted/branded boxes, pre-tied bows, and other items are acceptable, as are printed gift notes.
Of course, with the right fulfillment partner there are always more options. For example, you can opt for the ‘over-the-top’ option, and offer everything from handwritten gift notes to hand-wrapped – or seemingly hand-wrapped – products.
“Having distinctive, well thought-out packaging is an extension of the brand itself and is a huge opportunity to positively impact your brand image.”
Chief Strategy Officer at Capacity
Pleasing to the Eye, Pleasant to the Touch
Our senses work in tandem, so it only makes sense to align touch and sight when you want to convey luxury, quality, or any other attribute that goes beyond basic cheap packaging. That’s why high-end brands have focused on tactility for so long; multi-sensory packaging is an extension of their branding.
But luxury goods makers don’t need to set the bar for your business. With the right mix of materials, design and attention to detail, smaller companies in more mainstream CPG categories can leverage the branding advantages offered by packaging that looks and feels high-end.
For example, monthly subscription services like Birchbox and Taste Trunk have been successful in elevating product samples to a highly desirable product category by curating collections and wrapping them up in a way that attracts those who love the product. The collection element is certainly crucial, but never underestimate the allure of receiving an attractive package!
Here are some starting points to elevate your own product packaging and improve brand value:
- Follow Your Product: What makes the product itself appealing to customers? Take the brand values that set your product apart from others and bake them into the container, box, wrapping and other packaging elements.
- Get Hands On: Test out different packing materials to secure items within the product box. Think about how they feel and what that touch sensation communicates to the consumer. Don’t skimp on product safety, but keep in mind that even the smallest tactile sensations can make a difference to how your product is perceived. (And recall our time-honored rule: no packing peanuts!)
- Stay Sustainable: eco-friendly packaging saves more than the environment, it can save you money as well. Many sustainable materials that attract positive customer reviews are also very affordable. These include clean, new recycled corrugate and crumpled recycled packing paper, recyclable air pillows, and other packaging materials with a low environmental impact.
- Compare the Competition: Look at what others are doing in your product category and try to steer clear of similarities. Search for a packaging style that stands out from the crowd while sticking within your budget. A good designer is well worth the initial investment here.
- Work with a 3PL: When you work in our industry for as long as we have, you learn a thing or two about what makes a great package. Third-party logistics providers with a knowledge of your niche are in the perfect position to offer a pragmatic view of what works. Combined with a great designer, you have a partnership that checks all the boxes for effective product packaging. Here’s what to ask a 3PL to make sure you pick the right provider for you.
As we touched upon with our mention of Micara Trading last week, sometimes adding value to your product occurs at the last possible point before it makes its way to your customer.
If that’s a major part of your business, make sure that there’s someone in your corner for that final mile who cares about your business and knows what it takes to knock the socks off your customer!
Click to learn more about Capacity’s extensive range of value-added services and repackaging options.