How to leverage the power of custom packaging to build your brand, boost customer loyalty, reduce overheads, and drive sales
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Custom boxes: upgrade your packaging solutions
If your business ships goods to customers by courier or by mail, and you’re not using branded packaging and custom printed boxes, then you’re missing out on a fantastic and cost-effective way to enhance the customer experience, make your brand more memorable, and generate repeat sales. Don’t think of custom boxing as an ‘added extra’ because, in fact, it’s a vital investment in your business success. A box can become — for relatively little outlay — so much more than just a way to transport goods safely to their destination.
What is customized packaging?
Custom packaging is any container — although typically we’re talking mailing boxes — which serves two purposes simultaneously:
- It protects the goods inside perfectly because it’s not just any old stock box but one that’s been purposely designed for a specific product and often includes inserts and dividers, too
- It’s printed or labelled on the exterior with your business’s logo, colors, slogan, or any other branded messaging so that it’s instantly recognizable and acts as a bold, memorable advertisement for your company at every stage of its journey
Several studies have shown that customized packaging and printed boxes really work. They reduce damage in transit, increase the visibility of your brand, and enhance the customer’s unboxing experience. In other words, they represent not only a high-quality mailing solution but a powerful marketing tool and a traveling miniature billboard all rolled into one.
Custom printed boxes: are they worth it?
Given the returns you get for the minimal extra outlay on customizing your packaging, most successful businesses use custom boxing. Think of iconic brands like Amazon, Nike, Samsung, Home Depot, Barnes & Noble, HP, Tupperware, and hundreds if not thousands more. They all use custom packaging. And it’s not because they’re successful and so they can afford it — that wouldn’t make sound business sense, would it? It’s because they figured out a long time ago that branded packaging gives a high return on investment and makes a huge contribution to their success. So, yes, just look at the world’s most successful enterprises and all the evidence you need that custom printed boxes are worth it is right in front of your eyes.
10 ways custom packaging boosts your business
According to a white paper issued by Packaging Digest, Mitigating Packaging Damage in the Supply Chain, “As much as 11% of unit loads arriving at a distribution center have some level of case damage. On average, the figure is around 2%. On the surface, this number might seem small, but the ramifications can be quite large.” That last phrase seems almost an understatement when you consider the costs to your business — both direct and indirect — of damaged goods reaching the customer:
- You lose the profit on the original sale and the cost of packaging and transit
- You pay out for a refund, or replacement goods, and re-shipping
- You pay out on the costs of handling customer complaints, insurance claims, and associated time and office expenses
- If the damaged goods are potentially re-salable, you pay out again for testing and repair
- You pay for storing the damaged goods until they can be repaired, returned, or disposed
- You may lose consumer trust and damage your brand reputation
- You shoulder the environmental cost of disposal, recycling, or adding to landfill
So, when goods are damaged in transit, your business ends up hemorrhaging money. It’s not just the lost percentage of profit on the original sale. But this is where custom packaging comes in. More than a pretty box, a custom printed box is made to fit your goods and may also be filled using inserts rather than void-fillers. What that means is a sturdier, more robust packaging solution and a significant reduction in damage during transit, which will save you a ton of lost revenue.
Love at first sight
A primary benefit — and it’s a classic win-win scenario — is the effect of custom packaging on the consumer experience. Especially if you trade solely online, the package delivered to the customer may be the first real contact they’ve had with your brand. The difference a beautiful, custom-made box makes to that first experience can’t be over-estimated. Give your customer a positive emotional experience and they are far more likely to remember you, give you positive reviews, and buy from you again in the future.
Reduced shipping costs
As you probably know, most couriers don’t calculate shipping cost on the basis of weight but volume. Custom packaging — because each box is designed to house a specific product or range — reduces the overall size of boxes. The result? Less volume, less to pay.
A custom printed box is more than a protective container. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get your brand seen by potentially hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Optimize the marketing potential of your boxing. Splash your logo and slogan right across in bold style. And if you think about it, with a printed box, you have at least 12 surfaces — up to 16 if you include flaps! — on which to add your branding and marketing messages.
Advertise your ecological credentials
A recent McKinsey report showed that US consumers overwhelmingly prefer to buy from companies with a clear and open commitment to sustainability and environmentally responsible practices. They choose brands with recycled and recyclable packaging, for example, over those who use exclusively plastic or non-biodegradable materials. A custom box gives you the chance not only to choose the most eco-friendly materials and inks, but to advertise the fact to customers, too.
Buy more and spend less
Once you’ve ‘road-tested’ your custom printed boxes, it makes sense to bulk order. Why? Two reasons: first, it means you will be assured of consistent branding and marketing messaging with every product that leaves the depot; second, you will make considerable savings per-unit compared to buying only small runs at a time. This is one of the great advantages of offset printing services. The more you buy, the less you spend!
Enhance consumer perception
A printed box is all about communication. A custom box makes the package an integral aspect of your company’s image — not just a throwaway item. A beautiful box — whether the look is funky, shabby chic, luxurious, high-tech, or anything else — makes a powerful impression on the buyer and guides how they perceive your brand. By customizing your packaging, you can elevate your customers’ perception of your business.
We’ve already noted how custom boxes reduce waste and damage-in-transit. But a box tailored to the product also upgrades the product’s presentation. It speaks volumes about how much you believe in your products and the value you ascribe to them.
Encourage brand advocacy
Have you ever seen an unboxing video online or had a friend share a new product on their social media? That’s a lot of free publicity for the business behind the product. And nothing encourages new customers more effectively than a word-of-mouth recommendation. A beautiful box with a lovingly presented product makes it much more likely that customers will share the experience, leave reviews, and recommend your brand to their friends, family, and colleagues.
Stand out from the crowd
Any enhancement of your packaging — from adding a branded label to a standard box to creating a fully customized, full-color printed box with custom inserts and design — gives your business the edge over any of your competitors who hasn’t yet realized the value of customized packaging. The marketplace has never been more competitive. Custom printed boxes help your business stand out, stand up, and be seen above the crowd.
How to make perfect custom printed boxes
Deciding to take advantage of all the business benefits of customized packaging solutions is only the first step. You’ll need to do market research to help define the ideal customer so that you can make sure your colors, branding, messaging, and other design factors fit both your product and your customers perfectly. Then you’ll need to get in touch with your printer and designer to collaborate on the best graphics, text, layout, and materials to meet your marketing objectives. Finally, your printer will give you a prototype box for approval before you commit to an order, ready to distribute your products.
Need to know more?
If you’d like to find out more about all the custom packaging solutions we have to offer, we’d be delighted to hear from you for a no-obligation informal chat. We have decades of experience helping businesses just like yours to produce a custom printed box solution perfect for your needs. Just get in touch and our dedicated, expert staff will be delighted to guide you through the process with knowledge and experience every step of the way.