How to make your packaging stand out
Studies show the average Brit spends close to £2,000 online every year - about £600 more than the Australians occupying second place. It seems the convenience is too considerable for consumers to overlook. This is great news for retail business owners, who have a consistently fruitful outlet through which to sell their products.
Research like this tells us that people receive packages to their properties pretty regularly, but it's fair to say that most of them look the same: dull, brown cardboard boxes, decorated only by parcel tape and address labels. Simply put, retailers are missing a trick.
An opportunity too good to miss
First and foremost, the way in which your items are packaged says a lot about your brand; tattiness suggests a lack of care, for instance, while scribbled addresses tend to scream 'unprofessional'. More than this, your packaging should be seen as another marketing opportunity; a chance to keep your business in the minds of your customers.
With this in mind, here are a few tips on how to make your packaging stand out.
We've touched on it already but brown boxes are pretty boring aren't they? We've come to expect everything we order to arrive in these dull and thoughtless cardboard containers. Brown is the natural colour of paper and card before it has been dyed or bleached, so the obsession is easily explained, but there's nothing to say you have to fit the mould.
Instead, try using colours that fit with your branding. If your website is orange, for example, use an orange box, or just some coloured tape. This extends to the inside of your parcel too - colourful foam peanuts and bubble wrap can make a world of difference.
Sticking with the theme of branding, be sure to include some clear indicators of where the package originated. Assuming the contents aren't of a sensitive nature, logos and stylised company names should be present on the front of the box. You could dot a few around the sides, too, ensuring it can be recognised at all times.
While your recipient will more than likely be aware of your business already, the item could well end up in a neighbour's house if nobody's home to sign for it at the time of delivery. In this instance, the inclusion of branding, and ideally a web address, could well gain you an extra customer or two. The delivery driver might be convinced to take a look as well!
Plain white labels are as boring as brown cardboard boxes, and handwritten ones are even worse. Put a bit of effort into your labels by using a slightly different font, or framing each one with some brand-friendly colours. You may want to include your logo and web details here too, for the extra exposure.
Obviously it's vital that everything remains clear, so don't try to be too fancy - just make sure your design has a little more to it than basic black text on white background.
People value sustainability these days, but not all businesses capitalise on the appreciation. All too often, major retailers will send out tiny products in huge packages, for example. Some are even happy to send their items out separately, adding to the materials needed.
Take the opportunity to stand above your competitors by prioritising the environment. Start by using recycled materials, and make it clear that you're doing so. Once again, this goes beyond the exterior to include everything inside the box as well.
Next, make sure you're not using any more than you need. It helps to have a wide range of boxes at the ready so you're not forced into making do with something way too big just to meet a delivery deadline.
Last but not least, go out of your way to make your own packaging reusable. Refrain from using too much tape on your bubble wrap, for instance, as this can cause tears during opening. Also, add a little note encouraging recycling - your recipient may not have thought about it, or if they have then a gentle reminder could help them on the way.
Depending on what you're selling, it may be possible - or even sensible - to stray from the conventional in favour of something a little more interesting. If you're sending a poster, for example, it's best to use a tube, but you could do the same for other things too. A tube might also work well for a bottle of wine or even some rolled-up clothing.
A circular or hexagonal design would be ideal if you're sending a hat, but could also be used to house a collection of smaller items - like sweets. If it's close to Valentine's Day, why not use a heart-shaped box? The possibilities are endless.
There are so many ways to make your packaging stand out from the countless others arriving at your customers' doors every month. Make the effort to be a little different and you'll be sure to remain on their minds next time they go to order something.
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