3 Ways to Incorporate Branding in Your Packaging
Before your company turns to the dark arts of marketing, it’s worth considering an often underutilized space: branded packaging.
Consumers expect more from brands today than ever before. Not only does your company have to be accessible and inclusive, but it also has to be sustainable, support good causes, and help folks from all walks of life lead better, more fulfilled lifestyles.
Meeting today’s expectations is a tall order and it’s little wonder that some brands have turned to deceitful tactics like greenwashing in an attempt to stand out from the crowd.
However, before your company turns to the dark arts of marketing, it’s worth considering an often underutilized space: packaging.
Benefits of Branded Packaging
Branded packaging can strengthen your company’s brand image and improve customer loyalty. Customers have already decided to buy from you, and, in doing so, have effectively invited your brand into their homes.
You can take advantage of this unique position by including thank you notes, freebies, and distinctly sustainable packaging, which may set your parcels apart from others. These tactics leave a lasting impression on consumers and ensure that the next time they are thinking about buying protein powder or a new t-shirt, they will remember your business and purchase from you again.
Branding your packaging also gives you a chance to get your product in front of additional eyes. There’s nothing better than jealous neighbors eyeing up your company’s packaging, and seeing advertising material in the “real world” often stands out more than digital marketing materials. This works in your favor and is a great way to boost your company’s branding.
Being sustainable is top among many consumers’ priorities at the moment. However, as tempting as it may be, you should avoid greenwashing — a term used to falsely advertise or oversell your commitment to climate change. Inevitably, your audience will discover your true intentions and run from your business.
A great way to prove your commitment to sustainability is to align with a packaging supplier that is authentically green and uses recycled materials for your boxing, taping, and insulation.
Beyond using recycled materials, you can also design your packaging to be carbon neutral. Carbon neutral packaging might sound a little odd at first, but you can greatly reduce the carbon emissions needed for shipping and packaging by:
- Use the correct dimensions for each product in your package (cubes, telescopic, multi-height, etc.).
- Utilize sustainable raw materials like cardboards over plastics.
- Partner with like-minded eco-friendly brands.
- Remove excess layers from your packaging.
- Try to recycle carbon-neutral packaging for future filler and tertiary packaging.
By using recycled, carbon-neutral packaging, you show your consumers that your commitment to sustainability is authentic and a part of your entire corporate culture. This will help your climate-conscious consumers feel better about your brand the next time they’re tearing open boxes and will almost always reflect your business positively.
Thank You Cards
Although you should avoid filling your packaging with excess material, branded thank you cards go a long way toward improving your company’s image in the hearts and minds of your consumers.
If you do wish to send a short “thank you” note to your consumers, it’s worth cutting out most/all of the promotional materials you usually send in packages. Not only will this reduce paper waste, but your “thank you” note won’t get lost amongst other advertising materials.
When designing a business thank you card, try to focus on simplicity and style. Your thank you card should neatly align with your overall brand identity and should do little more than offer an authentic-sounding “thank you.” If you want, you can slip in a promotional code for future purchases to gain repeat customers, but be sure to complete a break-even analysis before you start taking a chunk out of your profit margin.
Have you ever wondered why protein powder companies send freebies like t-shirts, shakers, and towels with their fitness product? Well, in effect, these extra goodies are free advertising and usually strengthen the company’s brand identity when worn by consumers.
Even if your business isn’t in the fitness industry, you can still use freebies to strengthen your brand image and create greater loyalty amongst your customer base.
The exact mechanics of how you offer freebies is largely dependent on context. You’ll need to complete a detailed cost analysis before you start shipping off expensive goods for free, and should try to target customers who are most likely to resonate with your brand image.
Let’s stick with the fitness industry as an example of how you might use freebies: If you sell supplements but notice that few of your customers buy your protein bars, then it may be worth packaging a free sample in every order you receive that is over $50. This approach has a few benefits. Folks who were at $48 or $49 will likely find another product to get their free protein bar, and you are more likely to sell additional products to consumers who already buy more expensive items from your business.
This approach can work in almost any business model where you sell more than one product and is sure to get the attention of consumers.
So, what did we learn here? We learned that packaging is often regarded as an afterthought amongst marketers and small business owners. But it shouldn’t be. Branded packaging offers an ideal advertising venue that will strengthen your brand identity and produce more repeat customers. Just remember to adjust your break-even analysis if you do go all-in on branded packaging, as you don’t want thank you cards and freebies to cut into your overall profit margin
Noah Rue is a journalist and content writer, fascinated with the intersection between global health, personal wellness, and modern technology. When he isn’t searching out his next great writing opportunity, Noah likes to shut off his devices and head to the mountains to disconnect.