If you ship your product, packaging is a necessary part of the process. It’s required to keep the items protected and safe during transit, but it also presents enormous opportunity to influence consumer perception.
Let’s say you’ve just purchased the same product from two different sellers. One comes in a plain brown padded envelope and the other comes in a customized box. Inside that customized box, your item has been delicately wrapped in colorful tissue with a branded sticker sealing it up. You carefully unseal the sticker and discover a thank-you note from the owner along with a 20% off coupon for your next purchase. There’s also a small sample of a different product tucked inside.
In both cases, the item you purchased is exactly the same but the unboxing experience is very different.
Attractive and thoughtful packaging can have powerful implications for your brand.
Tell your Brand Story
For one, a great unboxing experience can help tell the story of how you got started and where you’re going as a brand.
Are you a sustainable company devoted to environmentally friendly products? Use compostable boxes made of mushroom filament or compressed fibers.
Perhaps you sell modern tech products – your packaging should appear sleek and “techy” too.
The main tenants of your mission should be an obvious part of your packaging strategy.
A great unboxing experience can speak volumes about your brand, and it can cement a lasting consumer-brand relationship.
Secondly, unboxing provides an opportunity to be “salesy” without coming across as pushy.
You’ve already completed the sale, so anything extra you give them is ‘value-added’– including coupons toward future items, samples, thank you notes, testimonials and free gifts.
Brand loyalty isn’t built on quality products alone – or even exceptional customer service.
It’s also about what sets you apart from your competitors (who may also have great products and exceptional service).
According to a study by Bain & Company, between 60% to 80% of customers don’t return to the same company from a product or service, even if they were previously satisfied.
So how do you stand out from your competitors? What gives you the edge?
A memorable unboxing experience gives the customer just that, an experience. The rush and excitement of opening a beautifully curated box may be enough to keep your customer coming back time and time again.
Unfortunately, ‘wow factors’ often don’t come cheap, and packaging is no exception, but what if your packaging was so special, beautiful, unique and mesmerizing that your customers couldn’t help but take photos and videos of it to share with their friends?
If your packaging could go viral, would it make the expense worth it?
‘Unboxing’ has become its own category of YouTube videos and has a strong following on sites like Facebook and Instagram.
The potential virality of a good unboxing experience is great fodder for influencers, and influencers can be a vital weapon in your marketing arsenal.
As consumers have become increasingly mistrustful of traditional advertising techniques, the popularity of influencer marketing (which is more likely to appear authentic and trustworthy) has grown.
Millennials, the largest living consumer population, are especially sensitive to impersonal and company-focused messaging marketing. Conversely, they are drawn to personalized experiences and customer-focused messaging.
This means they’re unlikely to endorse a product that they don’t believe in.
Now that you know why it’s important to create a memorable unboxing experience, let’s explore how you do it.
The Shipping Container
This is the most obvious and important part of creating an unboxing experience. Depending on the size of your item, you may need an envelope, a box, a bag, or a temperature-controlled container. Some flat-rate boxes or corrugated packages are appealing because they are inexpensive, but they may not create the experience you’re looking for.
You have to weigh the cost of the shipping container against the experience you’re aiming to achieve.
Tissue paper & Filler
Tissue paper adds an extra layer to the unboxing experience. It taps into the childhood nostalgia of Christmas morning with all of its anticipation and delight. Consider having tissue custom-printed with your logo, a colorful pattern or a fun quote that reflects your brand story.
Additional filler is sometimes a necessary evil. Consider an eco-friendly packing filler over traditional bubble wrap like colored crinkle paper or wood fibers.
Branded tickers are not only useful for sealing tissue paper, they also make an inexpensive giveaway item. Include a few extra in your package along with a personal thank-you note from the owner.
Educational and Promotional Materials
In addition to explicit “how-to” manuals and instructions, consider adding a flyer that illustrates additional uses for your product. You can also include a copy of your company newsletter or a coupon for future purchases.
Samples and Small Gifts
Introduce your customer to new products by including a sample in their order. For example, if they purchased perfume from you, consider including a sample of hand lotion. If they purchased your best-selling barbecue sauce, consider throwing in a spice packet for free.
When it comes to packaging, it’s important to think “inside the box!”
Product packaging is the last point of contact that you will have with your customer, and you want to make it memorable.
This doesn’t mean you can get lazy at the beginning of the sales cycle – you’ll still need to make a great first impression, but ‘last’ impressions are just as important.