As you develop the marketing and branding plan for your business, you'll discuss projects like traditional advertising, web marketing, and the design of your retail spaces (if you have a brick & mortar presence). It's essential to consider packaging as another layer where you can utilize creative designs to enhance your business's brand.
For a small business, creative packaging is an effective way to expand marketing campaigns while also providing customers with an essential part of the shopping experience.
Case Study: The Dessert Bag & Tote
Businesses today commonly design bags so that they're sturdy enough for future use as a tote or reusable shopping bag, but how do you accomplish this if you have non-traditional packaging? For example, imagine you own a cupcake business, and your delivery boxes need to remain upright.
A traditional bag – whether it's reusable or not – might not provide enough room to carry a box so that its contents aren't rolled over on the side. One recent innovation at Howard Packaging is a reusable bag that features movable straps. You can carry the bag around like a traditional tote, or you can switch the straps around with some Velcro to carry a box, so it's pointed right-side up.
According to Howard Packaging:
"A lot of people will buy our plain stock boxes here at Howard Packaging… you can use it as-is – and it's a beautiful box – use it for gifts, some people use it for food… what you can do is take the plain box and put your product in it and take this new dessert tote and put it together and deliver it by hand to your customer."
With this functional design, a business can utilize custom printed bags even if the way in which merchandise must be carried requires a little creativity in the way the handles are designed. The bonus is that the customer can use the bag for future shopping trips.
Form and Function Must Guide Packaging Designs
There are simple options for creating custom packaging that don't require too much time for design and implementation. However, investing in a modest amount of creative design and usability may result in a particularly unique and usable packaging product.
For example, one of the concerns for any modern business today is reducing the waste associated with packaging. Some of the ways a business can work sustainably include:
- Employ reusable packaging with a custom printed design on the side.
- Use recycled packaging and packaging that can be recycled in the future.
- Limit excessive or extra packaging and unneeded layers.
- Encourage customers to reuse bags each time they visit a retail location.
How can a business apply these guidelines for sustainability to a creative and functional packaging idea? Is it worth it to go eco-friendly with packaging designs?
According to Tripwire Magazine:
"Nowadays, the most popular practice in packaging design is towards the use of eco-friendly materials. These are the ones that which are biodegradable and also recyclable. Indeed, investing in this kind of packaging is worthwhile as are own very existence is under a threat due to our own disregard of our environment."
One of the simplest ways is to reduce the "matryoshka doll" effect of too many layers of packaging. A matryoshka doll is a nesting doll where rounded, cylindrical dolls fit inside one another. With modern packaging, you'll see this effect when a business uses packaging to house its product and then uses one or two extra boxes to protect the product during transport.
A creative packaging solution to avoid this packaging waste might feature a box that's sturdy enough to protect the contents of a product but is also designed to withstand the rigors of the United States Postal Service.
Packaging Can Make the Sales Difference
Did you know that some consumers decide to buy a product because of the "bonus" packaging feature? Although the graphic design and visual appeal of the package is essential, the concept of multi-use packaging can lure people to buy a product.
The product sold by a small business might be identical to a competitor's product, but the addition of extra packaging features can add value and become a deciding factor in the purchase.
Bonus packaging or multi-use packaging is also a terrific way to improve a customer's opinion of a small business. When they receive an extra benefit from multi-function packaging, the underlying theme of the experience is:
"This company helps me by giving me extras when I buy something. That's a pretty cool company."
A business that chooses sustainable packaging improves itself in the minds of its customers, but that positive opinion can soar even more when you create a likable and relatable business model.
According to Inc.com:
"It is not enough to have a stellar product or service. You have to have the likability factor to stand out in the sea of a million other businesses."
Creative packaging is a simple and valuable way to give your business a boost in likability. While likability is a subjective concept, it's an important feature of any comprehensive branding and marketing campaign.
Bold Ideas and Simple Designs
It's easy to get excited about creative packaging, but it's also easy to make things a little too complicated, particularly when you're looking to make an unforgettable statement about your packaging.
Don't underestimate the impact that a simple graphic placed on a convenient and functional type of packaging can have. Additionally, simple yet effective packaging is also one of the easiest ways to ensure your packaging is sustainable.
According to Smashing Magazine:
"If your logo looks amateurish, then so will your business."
As you look for creative packaging solutions, remember that sustainable and professionally designed graphics are as important as the way the packaging functions.
Looking for Creative Packaging Ideas?
Custom packaging is an incredible tool for marketing your brand, and our custom packaging solutions can help your business thrive in your local community.
If your business is interested in using modern packaging solutions that reduce your company's impact on the environment, let us know! Find out what we can do for your business with our sustainable packaging options. Request a Free Catalog and Sample Kit Today!