Everyone loves a pretty package. Unwrapping, opening, unfolding – customers enjoy the experience of receiving a package almost as much as the product itself. Your product packaging is your best way to make sure that your customer’s first impression of your business is a good one.
Packaging helps vendors sell
One of my favorite stores is Anthropologie – I can spend hours there. I spend half my time just admiring the packaging, and I often buy something purely for the pretty box or packet that it comes in! So, not only can packaging create a great first impression, it can influence purchasing decisions.
Another store I love is the Etsy store Field & Sea. My first impression was wonderful. Owner Jennifer Taylor Paravantes had packaged each of her products so beautifully, I delayed opening them just so I could enjoy the package a little longer. Jennifer told me that when she receives a package, she delights in the details, and wanted to make sure that her customers had that same experience. She says that she feels that products look “a little more polished” when they carry the brand throughout, and that customers notice when extra effort has been put into presentation. Here's an example of Field & Sea packaging:
Where to find inspiration for great packaging
The great thing about packaging is that the sky is the limit when it comes to choosing your materials, theme, shape and size. There are sites specifically dedicated to showcasing gorgeous packaging on the web, like Lovely Package, the Nice Package Flickr group, and a site that Jennifer just introduced me to – The Dieline. These resources will help jump-start your packaging ideas.
Keep it simple
Jennifer’s Field & Sea packaging was inspired by materials that she had on hand when she first opened her store. She had Kraft Paper lying around and, just by crumpling it a little, she was able to create a soft, organic look that was wonderfully appropriate for her product line (pictured below). A handmade sticker completed the simple look, and the whole thing was a compliment to the Field and Sea branding.
Throw in little surprises
A duo who certainly know a thing or two about packaging are Ez and Marichelle from the store Nice Package. Nice Package is outfitted with all sorts of packaging materials, from bakers' twine to garlands, and even items that aren’t typically used for packaging – such as doilies.
These packaging experts say that product packaging “doesn’t need to be over-the-top to be fantastic. Sometimes the simplest packaging is the most effective. Let your product speak to you.” (Check out the simple pink box from Nice Package above.) By considering the mood you want to create when someone looks at your packaged product, you can really make an impact on the customer, but you need to make sure that your packaging accurately reflects its contents. You don’t want to be packaging lovely white lace towels in heavy chrome materials. You need to maintain your branding and mood throughout, and that will make an impression that will remain long after the package has been opened (another example from Nice Package is shown below).
Try handmade touches
It's fitting for businesses that sell handmade items to include handmade elements in their packaging. Ez and Marichelle believe that a package says a lot about the thought and care that goes into creating a product, and is a great way to make your business stand out from all the others. What about adding a handmade element to show your customer that you appreciate their business? There are lots of stores that you can look to for materials such as Nice Package, Speckled Egg, Hooray Design Shop, Paper Source, and Creative Gift Packaging.
So, as you can see, the possibilities for your packaging are endless! Make sure that your first impression is a good one, and stay true to your brand. I hope to see your packaging some day!