Small businesses, even home-based businesses, can use customized shipping boxes to leverage their marketing in a big way. Branding boxes is an often overlooked but powerful way of increasing advertising in a cost-effective way.
To illustrate this point, imagine the following scenario:
You come home from a hard-day of work. You are tired, cold, and grumpy from driving through streets of snow or black ice. Then, you notice a box in your driveway. You recognize it at once. It has a smile illustrated on it. You recognize your order from Amazon.com has arrived. As soon as you get it into the house, you tear it open and pull out your much anticipated video game.
So what just happened?
Amazon made you feel special, like you were receiving a Christmas present, because you immediately recognized who it was from. They grabbed your attention and lifted up your mood by the way they branded their box. It elicited memories of the excitement you had when ordering the video game and then it created a sense of satisfaction when you recognized that what you had desired had finally arrived.
Now imagine the same scenario without the clever brand name and branding strategy. Imagine a plain box with a boring label. You would not have had that sense of glee. At the most, you may have experienced a mild sense of satisfaction when you finally figured out why a box was lying in your driveway.
A box that is enticingly customized looks much more interesting than the same merchandise delivered in a drab way. The magic is all in the wrapping. That same magic is responsible for customer loyalty. Customers buy more from merchants who make them feel good. A simple lesson in psychology, perhaps, but it works.
Although Amazon was one of the first eCommerce merchants to distinguish themselves with the speed, quality, and presentation of their drop shipped services, the idea is not difficult to model. In fact, many businesses, including home-based or small businesses, have adopted this idea of using something as unassuming as a cardboard box to create emotion-arousing brand identity. People like to know what’s waiting for them on their front doorstep. They view anonymous boxes with suspicion. Then when they discover that the box is something they ordered, they have a feeling of relief. Smart online retailers, sophisticated subscription service companies, and other marketing-savvy merchants who deliver packages to homes or offices recognize that shipping box stylesare good for their business.
What about the Cost?
Online retailers who resist the idea of using custom shipped boxes in a way that delight their customers often fret over the petty notion that the cost of using custom shipped boxes may not be cost-effective. After all, they argue, one way to improve the bottom line is by simply trimming operating expenses. In actual fact, the cost of printing only has a small impact on the cost. This applies to boxes of any size. Costs are affordable because a flexographic process prints on the cardboard before the box is made. This method does not affect pricing factors like stock or size.
7 Branding Tips to Wow Customers
There are at least 7 ways that you can improve how you brand your boxes:
- Choose a nifty design. It can be something simple, but it will help you distinguish your company as a cut above the competition. Customers will view your company as chic and upscale.
- Select only a few box sizes for your merchandise. This makes it easier for the shipper to fulfill your order, simpler for the customer to recognize it, and easier, possibly even cheaper, for you to figure out and deploy your branding strategy.
- If you are already shipping out custom-sized boxes, then it is only a small leap to add some evocative branding elements.
- As a merchant, your job is not to deliver something that someone has ordered from you. Your job is to provide your customers with a delightful experience. This is a subtle, but important distinction to bear in mind when thinking about how to go about branding your box.
- Besides attention-getting printing, boxes can be further branded by doing some other simple things. For instance, the side or back of the box could have a QR code. When customers check it out with their smartphone, it leads to a contest that you are hosting on your website. If you are offering a subscription service, it could be a clue to a game you have running on your website that will result in a big prize.
- When customers open their box, you could have a welcome note. It could be instructions on how to use the merchandise or a list of benefits of using the product.
- Another idea is to have a letter in the box that asks customers to share photos or videos of themselves before they used the product and after they used it. You could offer a prize for online winners who shared the most interesting picture, video, or results.
You’re already selling an excellent product. Why not add to the excitement by adding branding elements to your packaging?