The power of product branding can completely transform the marketing efforts of a business. For many businesses the packaging of products is as important as the product itself. Sometimes it’s the first opportunity to communicate to a customer. The most successful businesses use custom branded packaging to promote a lifestyle or create an emotional connection with a product.
One such company that has nailed this is Harley Davidson, who needs little introduction. It could be argued that there is nothing louder than a Harley Davidson motorbike and nothing prouder than someone riding one.
Now, you're probably thinking that the Harley brand must be the product of a very costly marketing team and highly expensive media campaign over a number of years?
Think again. It is true that the company is over 100 years old, but that hasn't been without it's bumps in the road, namely its association with terrifying biker gangs. In reality, for the last 4 years running, Harley Davidson has spent just 15% of it's marketing budget on traditional media.
Identify your audience
Here’s the thing, Harley Davidson isn’t selling motorbikes, they’re selling a lifestyle, an emotional attachment to the freeing and liberating experience of an open road. That’s what they’re marketing to. Bike sales are the byproduct.
John Russell, former MD of Harley Davidson Europe, once said:
“Harley Davidson sells to 43-year-old accountants the ability to dress in leather, ride through small towns and have people be afraid of them.”
No mention of engines, brakes, or steering. This is the emotional connection that the company nurtures. The very idea of Harley Davidson, its riders and community transcends way beyond the concept of an automotive manufacturer.
It’s important to recognise who are your customers and ask yourself who you are marketing to? Know their identity and embrace it, represent them and define them through your brand and your packaging.
Make your mark
Once you’ve identified your customer, you can focus your efforts on being noticed. Harley riders know that you don’t just ride a Harley Davidson, you need to dress the part as well, and naturally, only Harley leathers would do. You don’t need to own or even ride a bike to wear a jacket, fashion is open to anyone.
In this way, the brand became iconic.
Consumers form a community and loyalty soon follows. Harley riders embrace the culture as their way of life with wearers of their clothes turning into brand-advocates. How many companies can claim as many branded tattoos as Harley Davidson? If you make your mark, so will your customers.
Find a stage
A captive audience is great. A loyal following is even better. A passionate fan-base who spread their experiences by word-of- mouth, is the pinnacle of brand strength. In order to get to this stage your followers need to have a platform from which to shout to the masses and sing your praises. Harley Davidson recognised this and wanted to channel all the adulation and enjoyment of the Harley lifestyle. In doing so they created the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.), connecting customers and expanding the network.
In order to fuel the effects of the platform and inspire greater loyalty, the H.O.G. is free to join for the first year and members are offered special promotions.
Crowd source your ideasHarley Davidson has built such a strong following and trusts their fan-base so much so that they invite their customers to share and create their own stories via a "Fan Machine" app on the company's Facebook page. This is how they source their creative ideas, and by doing so, they have eradicated the need for a lead agency. What's more, the customers couldn't be happier that they can engage with the brand on such a direct and personal level.
Harley does use agencies for media and digital projects, but continues to rely on customers for creative ad ideas. As a result the company actually invests less than a million dollars on advertising each year.
Invest in your marketing
Harley Davidson realised that if they focus on their brand and their customers then new business leads would be generated organically. They would also be high quality and founded on a taste for kinsmanship, community, and becoming a feared 43-year- old accountant.
It’s all about understanding the full value of a lifetime customer. Imagine you run a business where the lifetime customer value is £15,000 then you could buy a lead for £4,500.
The cost of the lead might seem high, but you still make lots of money. That’s the mentality of marketing as an investment, not an expense. Teaching yourself to make this shift will help you to evaluate the high return that your investment could achieve.
Remember, the Harley Owners Group is free to join for the first year, so consider the cost of running this self-sustaining network against the potential revenue in motorbike sales. Consider also the cost of producing Harley Davidson leather jackets and associated apparel – a sellable product and a marketing tool.
Get in touch today to find out how could you invest in your marketing to make your brand and packaging work harder for you, for less.
Want to invest in your brand’s packaging? Contact us today for friendly and expert advice.
On the fifth day of Christmas, Packaging Supplies gave to me - Loosefill
Not all products will fit snugly into your square or rectangular packing box, and if you have void space, the box could become crushed and the product invariably damaged. Quickly fill your void space with our biodegradable packing chips. The packing chips will cushion and protect your items in transit by absorbing impact or juddering. We can supply our loosefill in a polythene bag or boxed for storing more easily – order here for next day delivery.
On the fourth day of Christmas, Packaging Supplies gave to me – Stretch Wrap
Stretch-wrap is essential for all palletised loads or for binding together more than one parcel. The water-resistant material will protect your consignments from the elements and make your loads safer to ship. We have clear or black hand applied pallet wrap available today for next day delivery.
On the third day of Christmas, Packaging Supplies gave to me – Double Wall Boxes
We have a huge range of double wall boxes suitable for all kinds of products. All double wall boxes are designed to be suitable for storage and transportation. With 100’s of sizes of cardboard box available for next day delivery – browse our stock lines now.
Amazon just can’t seem to get their packaging quite right, and it’s no wonder really, with over 480 million different products to pack and an average of over 608 million packages to ship each year . . .
Although a very active organisation in trying to improve their carbon foot print, the retail giant has come under fire in recent years for packing small items in needlessly large boxes, but now the tables have turned, they are in the spotlight in the run up to this Christmas for using too little packaging!
Amazon work with manufacturers to box products in Certified "Frustration-Free Packaging", which reduces the overall amount of packing material used. Amazon have claimed that their sustainable packaging initiatives have, to date, eliminated 181,000 tons of packaging material and 307 million shipping boxes, which is pretty remarkable.
However, Amazon’s packaging approach, seems to have caused quite a stir and they have come under fire on social media for not using enough or in some cases, any packaging at all. Christmas presents are not being delivered in the usual brown Amazon box, but instead with just a delivery note attached to the original manufacturers packaging. It has been reported that one customer was ‘absolutely fuming’ after the person who was meant to receive the item as a present, saw what it was upon delivery. She then went on to accuse the company of ‘ruining Christmas”. It seems this lady is not alone, as we see images of Amazon’s lack of packaging shared across social media.
On Amazon’s website they state that their certified Frustration-Free Packages are recyclable and come without excess packaging materials. The product inside is the same, and everything included in the Certified Frustration-Free Packaging is what would have been in the original, manufacturer's packaging.
The website also states that these packages are usually dispatched directly to the consumer, in the original packaging, and to keep the contents of the packaging a surprise, a gift option can be selected during the checkout.
We understand Amazon’s struggle, as will many product manufacturers and online retailers. If you need help to streamline your packaging, please get in touch with us. We will be happy to visit or call you for a full packaging consultation.
On the second day of Christmas, Packaging Supplies gave to me – Book Wrap Boxes
Our corrugated book-wraps are such a great way to send books, CD’s or DVD’s through the post. With variable depth creasing each book-wrap box can be adjusted to suit different depths or even multiple numbers of books. With the peel and seal closure, they couldn’t be easier to use or quicker to pack. Order in packs of 25 for next day delivery.
On the first day of Christmas, Packaging Supplies gave to me - Postal & Mailing Boxes
Postal & mailing boxes are perfect for sending parcels through the post or courier system. These are sturdy and secure boxes, ready for posting, just add some tape or a personalised sticker to make them tamper evident and they are good to go.
We have a great range of postal boxes available in brown or white. Delivery is next day, so don’t delay and order them from us today.
The Brief: Our customer wanted a single solution to enable them to send out all of their beverages, with zero breakages. We were asked to come up with a design solution for a fitting that could securely hold several beer bottles, of differing sizes, or cans in place. This fitting, along with an outer shipping box had to withstand being sent via courier network and effectively protect all of the contents.
The end goals would enable the company to grow their online presence with great customer reviews, whilst finding a solution that was also cost-effective.
The Twist: This one fitting needed to hold different sizes of bottles or cans, holding in place each one, regardless of its size.
The Solution: Our design team came up with a concept, whereby part of the fitting can be folded over and used for smaller bottles or left standing for larger ones. This one cardboard fitting can hold 330ml, 500ml or 600ml bottles or cans.
The fitting itself is supplied flat, for ease of storage and then made up just before use. The cardboard fitting folds into itself to make a sturdy platform structure, ready for bottles or cans to be inserted into the pre-cut apertures.
The Boxes: We also supply a range of custom sized double walled cardboard boxes specifically for these fittings. The boxes can be branded or supplied plain. The shipping boxes can hold a different number of fittings so that individual orders can be fulfilled. Either 1 fitting of 6 bottles, 2 fittings of 12 bottles or 4 fittings with a total of 24 bottles.
This innovative design is great for wholesalers, niche breweries and any online business selling drinks. All of our cardboard boxes are also supplied flat to save on storage.
The Result: Our customer now gets better protection for their goods. Minimal breakages mean reduced costs and more importantly happy customers. With happy customers the business is now able to grow their online presence via positive customer reviews.
Get in touch: Whatever packaging challenge you are facing, why not get in touch with Packaging Supplies. Just send us your brief and we’ll do the rest. We have a knowledgeable design team and a speedy sampling service to ensure you get the packaging your products need.
The Unboxing Experience
Packaging is becoming a lot more than just a means to keep your products safe during transit. Creating a lasting impression with the unboxing experience, is an important marketing tool and is becoming increasingly popular across many sectors.
The mobile phone market is a good example of this. They have really utilised the power of packaging, and over the years we have seen an increase in design complexity, as well as the overall quality and finish.
Why is the Unboxing Experience so important?
For ecommerce companies, the first physical point of contact you make with your customer is when the package arrives with them. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to give a good first impression of your brand or product, and a positive lasting impression, through well designed and well-presented packaging.
A co-founder of Innocent Smoothies commented at a business funding show that he believed Packaging is the most important aspect of marketing, particularly for a Fast-Moving Consumer Goods range. He has been quoted saying “I think realistically, for most FMCG products, the packaging is more important than the product. It is how you get noticed and create desire, inputting what you stand for”.
How does the Unboxing Experience Work?
In a nutshell, it’s all about adding perceived value to your product. When a customer receives their goods in packaging that gives a sense of quality, they feel its good value for money, it makes people happy and keen to tell their friends, often through social media.
A study by dotcom distribution revealed that 1 in 10 young adults will share a photo of an online order, if the packaging stood out to them, and you only have to look at YouTube to see the numerous videos showing personal unboxing experiences.
The same study by dotcom, proved that a customer is more likely to make repeat purchases from a provider they deem to have premium packaging.
How can I improve my packaging quality and design?
If you would like to improve your customer's unboxing experience, through quality product packaging and good quality printing, please get in touch with us.
We can guide you on the packaging materials and print process that most suits your individual requirements.