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10 Creative Packaging Solutions To Elevate Small Business Brands

Phuc Le
February 20, 2024

Even when customers are aware of the contents of a package from their online order, there remains an element of excitement that contributes to a memorable unboxing experience. This is attributed to the ability of small business owners to incorporate distinctive and thoughtfully designed packaging materials, such as layers of logo-branded tissue paper or brand-aligned colored packing tape on the seams of a cardboard box, to enhance brand recognition. The choice of cardboard, typeface, and inserts by a business can convey crucial packing information, influence sales, and function as a powerful marketing tool.

Effective packaging not only adds value to the product but also entices retailers to showcase your products on their shelves. If you're uncertain about the type of packaging that would best 

introduce your small business to customers, here are some creative ideas to consider.

10 SMALL BUSINESS PACKAGING IDEAS

1. Personalized Bags and Boxes:

Even if your product could be securely shipped in a simple mailer, adding a personal touch with customized bags and boxes can elevate your packaging game. Whether featuring your branded logo, a catchy slogan, or your company's name, incorporating these elements  on your shipping materials instantly sets your packaging apart from the competition. Explore design and customization options with platforms like Hero to create a unique packaging identity for your small business.

2. Environmentally Friendly Inserts:

While custom stickers, samples, and coupons are fun, some customers may view them as less eco-friendly. Consider using compostable or recyclable inserts made from natural materials to align with environmentally conscious consumer preferences. This not only helps protect the planet but also communicates your brand's commitment to sustainability.

3. Minimal Packaging:

Simplify your packaging strategy by opting for minimal packaging. Ever received a box within a box within another box? Streamline your packaging by eliminating unnecessary layers and shipping your product within a single layer of a cardboard box. Rothy's, a notable shoe brand, successfully adopts this approach, shipping its products exclusively in shoeboxes, reducing waste and supporting sustainability.

4. Special Instructions:

Enhance the customer experience by providing clear and stress-free instructions for products that require specific steps. Inkbox, a retailer of semi-permanent tattoos, includes detailed instructions on how to apply the chosen print to the skin. This thoughtful approach not only simplifies the customer experience but also aligns with the brand's commitment to using more recyclable materials in its packaging.

5. Community-Centered Artwork:

Infuse your package design with community spirit by tapping into artistic talent connected to your brand. Consider running online contests via social media to source crowdsourced art that aligns with your brand's identity. This not only fosters deeper connections with your customer base but also showcases their talents, creating a unique and engaging packaging experience.

6. Physical Newsletters:

Go beyond the digital realm by including exclusive content in your packages, such as printed newsletters, postcards featuring recent photo campaigns, and behind-the-scenes stories. Farewell Frances, for instance, enhances its brand image by providing customers with postcards of recent photo campaigns, offering a tangible and unique addition to the branded packaging experience.

7. Tape Options:

Packing tape doesn't have to be plain and drab. Use tape as an opportunity to add a signature touch to your packaging. Whether it's a fluorescent neon stripe, a logo image, or stickers, incorporating signature colors or imagery can reinforce your brand identity. Aligning tape options with other materials inside the package, like inserts and tissue paper, creates a cohesive and visually appealing packaging concept.

8. Custom Notes:

A handwritten thank-you note is a personal touch that goes a long way in building a positive brand experience. Take inspiration from Journ, a beauty products maker, by adding personalized information, customer names, or product inspiration to express gratitude for their support. While scaling this approach may present challenges, it remains a powerful way to connect with customers on a personal level.

9. Highlighting Artisans and Creators:

If the identity of your goods' creators is integral to your brand, incorporate graphics, photographs, or notes that tell the story of how your products are made. Public Myth, a sustainable clothing brand, exemplifies this by showcasing the ethical and on-site production of its apparel, fostering a deeper human connection with the brand and emphasizing social and environmental responsibility.

10. Tissue Paper:

Tissue paper is a key element in the unboxing experience. Incorporate signature brand colors by opting for customized or bold tissue paper. Alternatively, consider using off-the-beaten-path craft paper to wrap products securely during shipment. Platforms like Digiwrap offer digital printing resources to help you create unique and eye-catching tissue paper designs that represent your brand effectively.

EXPLORING 3 ESSENTIAL TYPES OF PACKAGING

The right packaging not only protects your items during shipping but also contributes to a positive customer experience. Let's delve into three essential types of packaging options that can enhance the shipping process for your ecommerce business.

1. Corrugated Cardboard Boxes:

Corrugated cardboard boxes stand as the stalwart guardians of your products in transit. Known for their durability and strength, these boxes provide a robust shield against external forces, ensuring that your items arrive at their destination in pristine condition. Their versatility allows for easy customization, making it possible to tailor the size and design according to the specific needs of your products. Corrugated cardboard is not only a reliable choice but also eco-friendly, as it is recyclable and can be sourced from sustainable materials.

2. Padded Mailers:

When it comes to combining protection with flexibility, padded mailers take center stage. These lightweight yet resilient packaging solutions offer a cushioned layer of protection, ideal for safeguarding delicate or smaller items. Padded mailers are available in various sizes, accommodating a wide range of products. The cushioning material, often composed of bubble wrap or padded foam, absorbs shocks and impacts during transit, preventing damage to your merchandise. Their slim profile also helps reduce shipping costs, making them an efficient choice for businesses mindful of both product safety and cost-effectiveness.

3. Bags and Mailers:

For a more streamlined and space-efficient packaging solution, bags and mailers are an excellent option. These options are particularly suitable for clothing, accessories, and lightweight items. Poly mailers, for example, are made from durable materials that resist tearing and moisture, providing basic protection while offering a cost-effective shipping solution. Additionally, these options are available in various colors and can be customized with your branding, adding a touch of professionalism to your packages. Their flexibility also allows for easy storage, an important consideration for businesses with limited space.

PRINCIPLES FOR CHOOSING CUSTOM PRODUCT PACKAGING

The assortment of custom packaging options varies based on the nature of the product being sold. Before honing in on specific packaging choices, the primary step involves a thoughtful consideration of your business, where you identify your brand values and the messaging you intend to convey. Among the values that play a pivotal role in shaping custom packaging decisions are:

1. Sustainability:

For businesses committed to sustainable practices, packaging choices must align with environmental values. Opting for recycled, organic, or handmade materials showcases a commitment to eco-friendly practices. Additionally, environmentally conscious small business owners may explore options such as compostable materials, shipping in smaller-sized packages to minimize waste, and purchasing carbon-neutral credits to offset the environmental impact of shipping.

2. Social Responsibility:

A business's social impact initiatives influence not only the products offered but also how they are made and packaged. For instance, if your mission involves supporting independent artists, uplifting artisans, or contributing a portion of sales to a social cause, these social responsibility efforts can be reflected in packaging. Incorporating graphics, inserts, colors, and design elements can tell a broader story and emphasize the brand's commitment to social causes.

3. Cost Efficiency:

For businesses prioritizing cost efficiency, the goal may be to keep expenses at a minimum to offer better value to customers. This approach entails using streamlined, simple, and inexpensive packaging without unnecessary frills. The focus is on delivering quality products while maintaining a cost-effective packaging strategy, allowing the business to pass on savings to both existing and new customers.

By understanding and aligning with these core values sustainability, social responsibility, and cost efficiency—you can make informed decisions about your custom packaging that not only protect your products but also resonate with your target audience and contribute to the overall success of your business.

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