The definition of branding is: The promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design.
Branding is all about the style and culture your business represents. Building a brand from scratch involves considering many details about your culture, design themes, and your products or services. When you start a business you want to create branding that ‘sticks’ in the mind of your customers, and leaves a lasting positive impression. Custom packaging is a great way to utilize your branding to enhance your advertising and marketing efforts.
Why is Branded Custom Packaging Important?
According to a packaging study by Westrock, 81% of consumers have tried something new because the packaging caught their eye. 63% have purchased a product again because of the appearance or aesthetics of the packaging, and 52% changed brands because of new packaging. The research makes it clear that branded packaging is an important way to market your business and gain new customers. In fact, between 2013-2018, packaging aesthetics as a driver of overall customer satisfaction increased 125%.
Your packaging is usually not the first impression someone gets of your brand, but it could be the last. Especially if it doesn’t meet a customer’s expectations. If you’re a business owner who sells products or services, the purchasing journey is not about you, it’s about your customer. Your customer deserves to receive everything they expect and more when they spend money at your business. Especially if your branding represents a high level of quality or prestige.
If a customer purchases a $3,000 pair of earrings at your boutique only to be given a plain jewelry box and a plastic bag to carry it out the door, do you think they will still think highly of your brand? It’s a harsh reality, but your packaging matters a lot when it comes to representing your brand and the value of your products.
Now imagine a customer buying luxe jewelry from your store and at checkout you place their jewelry in a custom branded box with a soft-touch finish and velvet interior. Your logo is foil stamped onto the top of the box to add dimensional shine. Then you place that box into a eurotote bag made from thick, glossy paper with soft loop handles and a sturdy, flat bottom. The bag also is foil stamped with your logo to match your boxes and other packaging items. Your customer walks out of the store ecstatic about their purchase because they feel the quality of the experience matches the price they paid.
This is not to say that every business needs luxury packaging; but every business needs branded packaging that fits their aesthetic and represents the value of their products. This can be achieved at all levels of budgeting and sales volume.
Building Your Unique Brand
Your brand may start with an idea, a product, a service, or even a logo or design that represents who you are. Building your brand involves adding and creating layers to your business’s overall design and aesthetics until you have a complete picture.
To create your visual brand, start with a logo or a design that you feel represents your brand perfectly. You may also want to choose a signature color or colors that will be seen throughout your branding. Then you can design variations of this initial design that all share the common theme. These variations of design can be used for your different marketing materials and packaging items to create a unique but cohesive look.
If you have a retail location or website, incorporate your brand’s core elements throughout your design. From there you can expand your branding to multiple channels, such as your social media pages and your marketing materials. Building your brand around a common design theme is important for overall cohesiveness of your business. Consistency is a crucial element of creating a memorable image that your customers will get excited about.
Designing Your Custom Packaging
There are a lot of details that need to be considered when designing your custom branded packaging. First, you’ll need to decide what packaging you want to have branded with your logo or custom designs. Some packaging items are more cost-effective to purchase plain (unprinted) while you want to make a big impact with the items you do customize.
Many businesses that have physical storefronts choose to custom print their shopping bags, which can be either paper, plastic, or reusable styles. You can also customize specialty packaging like apparel and gift boxes, tissue paper, or jewelry boxes. If you sell clothing you may want to custom print your hangtags as well. If you have an e-commerce business you may want to custom print your mailing boxes, shipping bags, or tissue paper. Businesses on a tight budget can custom print inexpensive labels to be placed anywhere extra branding is needed.
Next, decide what type of branding you want on your packaging. You can choose to custom print your packaging with your simple logo, in ink or foil. Or you may choose a more creative and expansive design that wraps around your packaging with photographic images or unique graphic designs. There are a lot of custom printing options available, and a packaging consultant can talk you through your best options based on your budget and timelines.
When you customize your packaging from scratch, you can print anywhere on your packaging, even inside or on the bottom of bags and boxes. For businesses with a tight budget, semi-custom printed packaging can help you personalize your packaging for less.
Utilizing Your Brand Throughout the Buying Experience
42% of shoppers admit that they base their opinion of a shop on its overall design. Branding doesn’t stop at your logo and packaging design, it’s important throughout your customer’s entire buying journey. The buying experience starts when your customer first learns of your brand, and continues in the shopping and comparison stages, and through the purchasing and post-purchasing stages.
Your brand should be intertwined with your shopping spaces (retail store, website, app) and your marketing materials. You want to make it clear to your customer who you are as a business and reinforce what attracted them to you in the first place. When your store design matches your logo and signature colors, along with your packaging and your website, customers can see your dedication to your branding design.
If you sell any of your products online, your e-commerce packaging should also be consistent with your branding and your in-store presentations. The “unboxing” experience of online shopping is an important way to create satisfied customers that share the word with friends and family. A Dotcom Distribution study showed that 39% of respondents have shared a picture or video of a new product on social media after receiving it. Also 60% of respondents said they would be more likely to share a product image on social media if it came in gift-like box rather than in a traditional brown box.
Gaining Loyal Customers Through Branding
Keeping customers coming back to your business in invaluable. Acquiring new customers can cost five times more than retaining existing customers. While every business is always looking to gain new customers, that doesn’t mean you should focus on it exclusively. To be successful, you should focus on how you can keep your customers coming back time and time again. Your loyal repeat customers are also more likely to advocate and spread awareness of your brand (free advertisement!).
Your business’s signature touches are what will keep customers coming back to make repeat purchases. Ensure that you offer products and/or services that are uniquely yours and create an experience that your customer won’t forget. Whether it’s stellar customer service, personalized touches, or luxury packaging presentations, there are always methods of standing out among the rest.