If you could offer your promotional products customers something to make their product giveaways even more memorable, would you be interested? And what if it put more money in your pocket and made you a hero in the eyes of your customer?
Welcome to the world of packaging, something most distributors know about, but never consider offering their customers. From simple ideas to more complicated packaging concepts, packaging helps your customers keep their promo products on message and spreading the voice of their brand.
Many suppliers in our industry offer packaging ideas for their products making it easy to offer options to your customers. From the simplicity of a velvet pouch to a printed box or metal tin, you can spice up the way your customers present their gifts to customers and make a lasting impression.
If you don’t consider yourself creative, simply stroll down the aisle of a grocery store or big box store to see how retail companies use packaging. Studies show the way a product is packaged highly influences purchasing decisions. The trends below highlight the hottest ideas in packaging and show how you can up the game for your customers:
Simplicity: If you buy an Apple product, chances are it’s in a white cardboard box with the Apple logo. Or purchase a piece of jewelry at Tiffany’s and it will be put inside their iconic blue box adorned with their logo in black and a white ribbon. Packaging can be as easy as a box that ties in with your customer’s color scheme or a tasteful gift bag with a logo and colored tissue paper. Packaging keeps the product inside a surprise and creates a memorable unpacking experience for the end user.
Make It Useful: In creating our business, Marvelous Moosey Adventures, my wife and I knew we wanted more than just a plain box to package the plush Moosey and his book inside. So we created an interactive box we call his Moosecase™ that looks like an old-time suitcase with Moosey travel stickers on the outside and games to play on the inside. The box can be used for traveling or storage long after the plush and book have been removed. Non-woven bags can be printed to tell a story and then used for many years after to carry groceries home. Velvet or faux velvet gift bags can be repurposed to store jewelry and other valuables after the original gift has been removed. And a bonus for your customer is their logo remains visible to the recipient as a reminder of the original product they were gifted with orginally.
QR Codes: At one point, QR codes seemed to be on the brink of extinction, but have come back with a vengeance. Think of all the restaurants you go to using QR codes to pull up the menu on your phone vs. the nasty, unsanitary printed menus of days gone by. On packaging, they give unboxing a whole new twist. Dynamic QR codes are editable, meaning on the back end you can change where the QR code leads or offer instructional videos, PDF’s or a link to for feedback. You can also have them take customers to your social media channels where they can take a picture of your product and share it. By designing a Dynamic QR code into your packaging, whatever it may be, you’re adding value to your promotional giveaway and creating an experience that will leave a lasting impression.
Make It Sustainable: With increased environmental awareness, especially among younger generations, making sure your packaging is sustainable and eco-friendly (and there are many definitions for that word!) is important. For this discussion, sustainable means a percentage of or 100% of the packaging material uses recycled materials, is reusable, uses plant-based materials, enviro-friendly inks, or is produced with a process that reduces the manufacturing carbon footprint. It’s important to research and ensure the packaging choices fit with the product being packaged and to partner with companies who can advise on the best options. If 56% of consumers would pay a higher price for recyclable packaging (Gartner Study 2021), shouldn’t you be offering your customers these choices to make them a hero in their end users’ eyes?
Tell A Story: Nothing beats a great story and there’s no reason your customer can’t curate a story on their packaging. Products alone have a hard time telling a story, but using a custom printed box, tin, or gift bag allows your customers to find creative ways to tell their brand story or whatever stories are important to them. Have you ever seen Dr. Bonner’s soap bottles? They have the founder’s Moral ABC’s on the label around the soap. They use every inch of space available and the labels, starting in 1973, have resonated with customers. And don’t stop at just printing the outside of a package. If possible, use the inside to continue the story or for other imaginative printed designs.
While packaging trends continue to change and evolve, the idea of using a package that highlights a company’s values does not. Steve Jobs, the creative founder of Apple once said, “Packaging can be theatre, it can create a story.” Not only that, but a creative and unique package can make a simple promotional product feel like a treasure.
By taking the time to learn about packaging and adding it to your toolbox of ideas, you’ll stand out from your competition while putting some extra money in your pocket. Sounds like a win-win all around!