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5 steps to creating packaging your customers can’t wait to open

Click Coffee unboxing

It’s official – we’re obsessed with unboxing. According to Google, the amount of time people have spent watching unboxing videos – just on their phones! – is the equivalent of watching Love Actually more than 20 million times.

While many businesses are competing for people’s interest in the digital space, a tangible, in-person experience can capture your customer’s full attention. But a plain brown shipping box isn’t going to cut it. Instead, it pays to craft custom packaging that will boost engagement, build brand loyalty and drive sales.

Not sure where to start? Below, our friends at sustainable packaging brand noissue break down how to create a one-of-a-kind packaging experience in five easy steps (with examples!)

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1. Start with the end in mind

First, get clear on what you want your packaging to accomplish.

Do you want to communicate what your business stands for, educate customers about your products or inspire them to share on social media?

For example, linen apron makers Enrich and Endure (above) include an inspirational custom card with each order to show customers the ethos behind their company. Meanwhile dog food brand Sundays (below) publishes a newspaper featuring interviews with their canine-loving community and customers can’t resist snapping a photo of their pups with it.

Sundays for Dogs newspaper

2. Create your look

A great packaging experience will showcase your brand’s personality loud and clear. Think about the story you want to tell and how your design choices will support this.

playa yaya

Play Yaya (above) is an online party shop that makes their orders as fun and celebratory as possible through the use of custom tissue paper and a card.

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Pacific Tote Company (above), which makes canvas bags inspired by the colours and culture of California, sends orders wrapped in a newspaper printed with their own playful riff on Sunday comics. “It's a small detail, but a high impact one that really adds to our first impression,” they say.

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3. Choose the right tools to tell your story

There are many creative print options to choose from when it comes to your packaging, from custom mailers, tissue paper, a custom newspaper, stickers or tape.

Otto and Berk (above) is a stationery brand that pairs custom tissue paper and with a custom card to showcase its feminine, beautiful designs.

daisy jewellery newspaper

Photo via @coffeelikeagilmore

Some design touches, like a stamp or custom tape, are more subtle. Others provide a a greater canvas to tell your brand’s story, like tissue paper where a logo can take centre stage or a newspaper like the one from Daisy Jewellery (above), which the brand uses to share interviews and behind-the-scenes images from their new collections.

Or you can follow the path of coffee subscription One Click Coffee (below), which uses both custom tissue and a custom newspaper for an extra-special unboxing each month.

click coffee

Top tip: Keep in mind that you’ll want to update elements of your packaging to keep it fresh, so pick a provider that offers low minimum order quantities (MOQ) so you’re not left working through excess stock.

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4. Get personal

Customers love experiences that feel unique and tailored to them, so it pays to go the extra mile to really personalize this moment.

EmillieFerris (above) is an embroidery designer who has included a custom card with the message ‘You’re magic!’ to form a personal connection with her customers.

Think about how you can add an extra touch. Great options include a free sample product, discount code or a personalized card with the customers’ name.

It’s all about reminding them there’s a human on the other end of this exchange adding a thoughtful detail, rather than them feeling like the product they’ve received has come straight off a production line.

clean-market-packaging

5. Go green

Packaging can be one of the worst contributors to waste. Poly (plastic) mailers, which are often used for e-commerce orders, take hundreds of years to decompose and produce harmful chemicals in the process. If you’re an environmentally focused company, your customers will notice if your packaging doesn’t align with your values.

The Clean Market (above) is a plastic-free online shop that ships its orders in compostable mailers, showing customers it is thinking about its impact on the environment.

All of our packaging products at noissue are either compostable, recyclable or reusable. We also use eco-friendly, soy-based ink and our paper products are FSC certified.

Who Gives A Crap newspaper

Newspaper Club’s papers are all either recycled or sourced from sustainably managed forests, its printing press is powered by solar panels and the newsprint is completely recyclable.

Oui the People newspaper unboxing

6. Bonus! Pick the right partner

One final tip: it pays to pick the right packaging company, because this is a key business relationship you’re building. Choose a vendor that is easy to use and look closely at their design capabilities, transparency around their sustainability practices, turnaround time, costs and customer support.

If something does go awry, you want to be working with a business that’s responsive and reliable, so do your research before you make it official.

We hope this advice helps you on your journey to creating an unforgettable packaging experience! What will you create?


Elly Strang is digital editor at noissue, which provides custom, sustainable packaging at low minimum order quantities. Learn more about their personalizable packaging options here.

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