Building Brands with Specialist Packaging Design


Packaging is usually the last element of the product cycle, and it is often an afterthought. You’ve done all the hard work designing the product, building it and marketing it, so now you can just pop it in any old packaging and send it to the customer, right? Wrong. Here’s why you need a specialist packaging design.

The packaging design you choose is a crucial part of your overall business. When your goods arrive at the customer’s house, the packaging is the very first impression they have of your brand. That first impression is vital to repeat custom. Don’t believe us? Here are the facts:

  • 72% of consumers say their purchases are influenced by packaging design (Ipsos).
  • 61% say they are more likely to repeat purchase a luxury product if it came in premium packaging.
  • 35% admit they have viewed unboxing videos online.
  • 55% who watch unboxing videos say they influence them to buy a product.
  • 40% share pictures of brand packaging via their social media if it was unique or branded.
  • 50% would recommend your business if their product was received in a unique or branded package.
  • 72% prefer paper and cardboard packaging (Ipsos).
  • 49% will pay a little extra for great packaging (Ipsos).

Ok, so unique and branded packaging is important to customers, and in an ever-growing and competitive eCommerce landscape, your business needs to stand out from the crowd. 

In this post, we look at how to build your brand using specialist packaging that’s unique to your business. 

Top Tips for Using Specialist Packaging Design

Start Small 

You don’t need to immediately switch all your packaging to some radical new custom packaging design (unless you really want to). You can start small. Even the slightest touch of branding to your existing packaging will up your game and impress customers.

Branding is often overlooked by companies, usually because they’re too concerned or busy with the actual operations of the business, but this is a huge mistake you should not make. Branding — when done correctly and no matter how small — has a significant impact on the performance of your business. Branding has the ability to:

  • Create trust.
  • Improve recognition.
  • Support other marketing efforts.
  • Motivate employees.
  • Generate new revenue.

Don’t sleep on branding. It’s always better to have some branding that’s consistent throughout your business, rather than no branding at all. You want customers to recognise your brand from a mile away and associate it with a warm and positive feeling — like when people see a Coca-Cola truck on the M6.   

Be Unique

Coming up with unique packaging design is not easy. Take some time to think about your brand, the image you want to convey and the story you want to tell. The image and story you decide on will need to be reflected in everything you do, so make sure that it’s something you and your customers will enjoy and relate to.

It’s vital that you understand your customers before designing any packaging. Ask questions like:

  • What do they value (eco-friendliness, luxury, innovation, humour, etc.)?
  • What will gain their interest (smart design, simple design, minimal design, etc.)?
  • What will blow them away (creative imagery, detailed inserts, complex box structure, etc.)?
  • What will make them order again (discount codes, free gifts, loyalty cards, etc.)?

You can also be unique with your choice of packaging — you don’t have to stick to cardboard and paper. Think outside “the box”. Some of the most popular packaging designs are those that do something totally different with several types of materials.

Consider the Different Elements

There’s much more to your packaging than a cardboard box. You can also utilise tissue paper, postcards, printed art, business cards, stickers, ribbons, logo stamps, handwritten notes and much more. 

All of these elements can enhance your overall packaging design, but you must find a balance and choose the right elements for your product and customer needs. If you operate within the eco-friendly market, your customers won’t appreciate mountains of tissue paper with their order. Conversely, luxury customers may feel hard done by if they don’t receive tissue paper wrapped around their goods.

Discover what is important to your customers and what aligns with your company values to make the best choice. It’s worth considering that minimising the amount of packaging has become an incredibly important factor for most modern consumers. Even high-end luxury brands are getting in on joining the green revolution.

Don’t be tempted to add lots of elements in a bid to impress your customers. Often, keeping things simple but well done leaves a much better impression on people. 

Go Custom

Custom packaging costs a little extra, no doubt. But, you must consider the return on investment (ROI) of custom packaging to discover the real cost and value. Custom packaging is more impactful than standard packaging. It’s what makes people want to create videos of themselves opening your packaging and upload it to their social media accounts (ahem, free advertising).

Custom packaging can build anticipation and excitement for your products, creating an enhanced user experience. A great example of this is Apple, with its ultra-sleek minimal box packaging that holds its latest iPhone or iPad. It’s iconic, and people get giddy when they lift that box to reveal their latest Apple device glistening away inside.

Here are some things to consider for those that are considering custom packaging for their products:

What Are Your Needs?

First thing’s first, what is your goal with this custom-designed product packaging? Custom packaging is the marriage of practicality and aesthetics. Don’t forget one or the other during your planning process. You must remember that the best packaging design is the method of transporting your goods, building a brand and delivering on a marketing strategy, all rolled into one.

Don’t rush your custom packaging planning, and seek professional advice from a packaging company before you go ahead with anything. They will be able to spot hurdles and opportunities that you never could.  

What Channels Will You Use? 

There are multiple channels of distribution nowadays, and all have slightly different requirements. You will need to factor in the level of protection you will need, the weight, the average shipping distance and sizes required. All of these factors will affect the cost of producing packaging and delivering it.

If you’re an eCommerce business, the above factors are even more crucial to the success of rolling out your custom packaging. Work closely with your packaging company to make the best decisions and avoid any unnecessary issues and costs further down the line. 

What Products Are You Packing? 

What’s going inside is just as important as the packaging. In fact, you must design the custom packaging around what’s inside to create the best-suited packaging for the particular product. 

Considering the type of product you’re packaging is essential. For example, if you sell clothes from an online store, you will have a lot of freedom in design, as the majority of products are soft and flexible. If you sell heavy or fragile items like glass, you will need to think much harder about the type of custom design you use. 

What Brand Values Do You Want to Convey? 

What could a package possibly say about a business? Turns out, quite a lot, and it’s critical to get this part right. Your brand is incredibly important, and your packaging represents your brand. All the design elements should be consistent with the branding elsewhere in your business. 

Packaging that’s eco-friendly, protective, simple to open and innovative in design is likely to be appreciated by the customer. A huge box full of plastic and paper containing a small product that’s difficult to open because it’s got 70 layers of duct tape on it will not impress anyone. Believe us. 

Think hard about what you want your packaging to say about your company.

What Makes You Different?  

It can be so tempting to lift other brands packaging designs that you like, but that’s them and not you. Think about what design elements will let you stand out and make you different from your competition and other brands. 

By all means, get some inspiration, but never copy unique designs that have already been done by others. Be original to gain the most interest from your customers. 

Consider How You Will Retain Customers

Ok, so you’ve got the perfect product and the ideal custom packaging, it’s job done, right? Not quite. The companies that have the most success with their packaging are the ones that offer something exciting to get customers to keep coming back for more. 

Depending on the customer, they’re likely to be at different stages of the buyer’s journey. A first-time buyer is easy, just offer them a discount on their next purchase or ask them to join a loyalty program full of rewards. 

Repeat customers are a little trickier and are likely to be enticed by exclusive discounts, preferential access to new products and ensuring you come right on your loyalty program. 

Once your package arrives at your customer’s house, the whole sales process starts again. Give yourself a head start by encouraging customers to buy again with something exciting and exclusive just for them. 

Packaging is Branding

And don’t forget it! Packaging design is a powerful branding and marketing tool. It shouldn’t be just an afterthought. Creating unique and beautiful packaging can enhance customer experience, win new customers, tell a story, go viral and pay in dividends for years to come. It’s well worth that extra time and money!

Do you want to buy or create custom-designed packaging? Packaging Supplies specialises in custom brand packaging with eco-friendly alternatives that help protect the planet. Check out our custom packaging offers and other eco-friendly packaging alternatives, and start building your brand and enhancing your customer’s experience today.