The box has become the modern billboard?
This publication looks at why there has been an increase in branded packaging and will offer useful tips to help business owners and designers gain a more measured and informed approach to the best and most economical way to brand packaging.
A new approach
More packaging than ever before is now being opened and recycled in the home environment, partly due to the fall of the high street and the boom in the E-Retail industry. As a consequence of this, marketers have identified packaging as a platform to be more playful, creative and galvanise customer loyalty.
With such vast amounts of online consumerism, packaging without the presence of branding can represent a missed opportunity. The chances are if your not doing it, your competitors probably are. The humble box, padded envelope of plastic bag are now being used as a marketing opportunity, a mini billboard for your brand.
Scroll down to see 5 branding tips
Who does this well?
The power of branded packaging was illustrated to me first hand recently when a package arrived in the office from Amazon, this particular box was printed with an advert for the long awaited TV show ‘The Grand Tour’.
The advert shows Clarkson, May and Hammond (the hamster) looking dazed and shocked after some kind of experiment has gone badly wrong. The box has been mocked-up to look like it has gone through some crazy task that has been cooked up by the presenters and arrived a bit roughed-up but intact. This branded box does such a good job because it takes the customer on a journey.
After seeing this, my colleague and I spent the next few minutes discussing the show, lamenting Chris Evans doomed take-over of Top Gear and how it's never a good idea to take a swing at your boss (allegedly).
The packaging (advert) had obviously produced the desired effect because we were now discussing the show.
This is undoubtedly great marketing from Amazon Prime and it is not the first time they have done it (see minions image below) and to some extent they could be quite collectible, they could possibly be the new cinema posters of the future?
Eye-catching and creative packaging that leans towards sustainable material unsurprisingly scores points with consumers so it is more important than ever that the quality of the product and your company message is communicated clearly through the packaging.
Okay so you don't have the same budget as possibly the biggest online shopping site and a TV station in the world, but the good news is you can be creative get your brand and packaging working well together without a bottomless pit of money.
So what must a business consider when taking a step into the printed branded packaging direction?
5 ideas to get you thinking
1. Branded packing tape
Why not have branded packing tape produced, this allows the packer the flexibility of adding the branding once the package size is established. Branded tape can be produced for a minimum order of 72 rolls (usually 2 boxes depending on a standard roll width of 48mm) and can be produced on gummed paper tape or traditional polythene tape.
Also... Bespoke branded tape can also be a major deterrent to packaged products being tampered with or stolen. Sadly, parcels using only plain tape are a lot more likely to have contents stolen from them in transit.
2. Consider brand positioning if using printed cartons (boxes)
Branding positioned close to the bottom of the carton is generally a good approach if you have a range of products that vary in sizes.
If the box needs to be trimmed down it doesn't affect or infringe on your branding.
Vari-depth cartons are a great example of flexible packing and the last thing you want a packaging operative to do is use an over sized box because they do not want to disrupt the branding.
A product delivered that has been over packaged not only impacts on your profit margin, it can often leave a customer with a negative open box experience, extra packaging to recycle, and potential problems if the item needs to be returned.
Learn more about Vari-depth cartons. Click Here.
3. Brand patterns Inside or outside?
Patterns can be a very powerful way to promote brand awareness. Your packaging can make the product attractive and gain attention from potential customers. Read more.
Branding printed on the inside of a box can enhance the open box experience and create a luxury feel.
A branded pattern on the outside of a box can add perceived quality which has been identified as one of the main factors that consumers are seeking in a product. So if you add creative flair and well designed patterns can only enforce your branding recognition in a positive way.
4. Rubber Stamps can be a economical way to apply branding
Give your brand a touch of class with, rubber stamps and embossers which will give your packaging a hand crafted feel. This approach can give you a certain amount of flexibility with how you position your logo or message. Applying your branding in such a way has a certain feel and aesthetic so it works form some types of company and not for others.
On the downside, packaging items in this way can be quite labour intensive, and the use of ink as part of your packaging production means that you have to be extra careful not to damage goods before they have left your location. A good idea would be to apply your branding to the packaging in batches at an earlier stage allowing the ink dry before coming in contact with goods.
5. Consider the size of your operation when choosing your brand direction
Printed cartons can have long lead times of between 10-14 days when ordering, this means that you will have to order your packaging in bulk on a monthly basis. If you have a small storage facility, speak to your packaging supplier/manufacturer to see if they offer a consignment stock agreement, this under the correct conditions can be an excellent arrangement where your packaging supplier will store your branded packaging and drip-feed to your requirements.
Alternatively the branded tape route allows you the flexibility of purchasing your cartons from a number of packaging companies which could be critical to keeping your operation going like a well oiled machine and allowing you to pay competitive prices. On top of that, branded tape will take up less storage space.
We have only just explored the tip of the iceberg in how to best approach your branded packaging, and how it can engage your customers/potential customers.
A good balance between what is creative, fits your customers values and how that can function in a realistic, profitable business model is tricky. Customer expectations have moved to another level in recent times and the challenge is to gain long term customer loyalty which can undoubtbly be acheived with well designed, sustainable branded packaging.
We hope that our tips have been thought provoking and you can take away some points to consider. We will be publishing more branding related blogs in 2017.
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