The Touchpoint that Matters More than Most: Storytelling with Packaging

November 26, 2018 Brand Packaging, Creative6 Minutes

Maggie Tessier

Not only does your packaging carry a product, but it also delivers an experience, and when it is done right, it can be a great experience. It’s not just a means to an end anymore, it is part of a unique customer narrative that is part of the full marketing and customer experience (CX) strategies.

For most brands, the packaging is the most tangible part of the shopping experience, whether it is ordered digitally or picked off of a shelf in a store. So as e-commerce becomes more prevalent, packaging becomes even more critical. It is a physical manifestation of your brand that you cannot overlook. Packaging should be part of your brand’s narrative–it should tell your story and the story of the product inside. It has become such an excellent way to fully embrace your customer (and they will hug you back).

Unlike physical retail, e-commerce businesses have fewer touchpoints to attract and amaze customers, so it’s essential to use every tangible moment to create a branded experience that sets you apart from competitors. You can have the best product in the world, but if the packaging does not contribute to the bigger picture, it can become a lackluster, and sometimes frustrating, experience.

In a recent study by Dotcom Distribution, they found that 52% of consumers are likely to make repeat purchases from an online business that delivers premium packaging and 4 in 10 consumers would share an image of the packaging on social media if it were unique or aesthetically pleasing.

Here are three sure-fire ways to think about the box and how it can become a part of your brand’s story:

1. External Design

The external packaging should guide consumers into the experience before they ever start to open it. From the moment they see and touch the package, they should understand the story you’re telling. Whatever colors, materials, textures, typography, or copy you use, your external packaging should evoke certain feelings and emotions.

For example, Bee Bright’s creamed honey comes in wax packaging with a wooden lid. Once the product inside is used, the wax packaging can be turned upside down, mounted on the wooden lid, and used as a candle.

Bee Bright

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Such clever uses of colors, textures, and the ability to reuse the packaging beyond its initial purpose creates a beautiful consumer experience every step of the way.

Another original example of packaging design that tells a story is used by Thelma’s bakery. A simply designed box made to look like an oven creates a quirky narrative of freshly delivered cookies straight from the oven.

Thelma’s

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These examples offer simple solutions for branding that packs a serious punch. When the packaging is as coveted as what’s inside, that’s a brand experience!

2. Internal Wrapping and Messaging

Once the box is opened, the experience should continue. More brands are making sure to use every surface outside and inside the box to tell their story. Whether a company uses tissue paper with branded seals, textured ribbon or twine to embellish the products, or an additional message on the inside of an opened box lid (or a combination of all of these), every piece of the internal narrative should be intentional.

A great example of internal branding can be found in a Trunk Club box. Not only does it have sophisticated, well-designed, and pertinent information on the inside of the lid, the clothing in the box is wrapped in a natural-colored, cotton ribbon and there is a handwritten note from the stylist to give the experience a uniquely personal touch.

Trunk Club

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This is a perfect example of how simple touches can make an incredible difference in a brand experience and not break the bank. This is the stuff that creates customer loyalty.

3. Packaging Inserts

Marketing collateral and package inserts are wonderful ways to attach additional messaging, offer future discounts, or announce up-and-coming products. It is a cost-effective and versatile medium for building a solid relationship and keeping them coming back for more. Not only does your brand get another chance at engaging the customer, but it is something the customer can take away for future use. Simply put, a well designed and targeted insert can increase customer loyalty.

Companies like Gale Leather offer aged-looking paper with product information printed in brand-specific typography and treats like Turkish coffee or a tea sample. Something so simple means a lot to a consumer because it makes them feel special.

Galen Leather Co.

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Inserts are always a great way to add a personal touch for very little cost to the business, and the payoff for such small sentiments can be considerable.

Think about how your brand can up the ante on its narrative with packaging. By creating clever, personal, and elegant presentations, you give your customers a full buyer’s experience before they ever get to the end product.

Looking for a solution? We can help.

Headquarters

9211 Corporate Blvd Ste 110
Rockville MD 20850

Satellite Offices

AZ, CA, CO, PA, TX

Email

info@vivaboxsolutions.com

Phone

+1.212.652.2024


The Rising Appeal of Sustainable Packaging: A Win-Win for Businesses.

October 23, 2018 Creative, Sustainability5 Minutes

Maggie Tessier

“Sustainable packaging” is a growing conversation that has been in the primary and secondary packaging industry for a while now, but even more so in the past couple of years with growing commitments from big box stores like Walmart, food providers like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, and technology companies like Dell.

These companies are responding to consumer demand and increasing environmental regulations—and both will only increase shortly. According to a 2016 Research and Markets report, the global sustainable packaging market will reach about $440.3 billion by 2025.

So what does this mean for businesses that have not fully converted to sustainable packaging yet? It means that even though businesses may not have time to find the right packaging that meets company goals, environmental regulations, and consumer demands simultaneously, leaning toward sustainability is inevitable.

Here are a few key points to be aware of when thinking about choosing more sustainable packaging:

1. A common concern is that sustainable packaging will increase the price of the product, and companies try to avoid passing cost increases off onto the consumer. What is interesting is that these increases are not as much of a deterrent for consumers as long as they are getting the guilt-free trade-off.

Even if there is a slight increase, for now, many consumers are finding sustainable packaging is worth the additional cost, as it contributes to the entire consumer experience.

GlobalData’s report, “Innovation Scenarios in Sustainable Packaging Materials,” explains that their research has found that two-thirds of consumers worldwide think living an ethical or sustainable lifestyle is vital to creating a feeling of well-being.

Said another way, this means that your commitment to sustainable packaging now contributes to the strength of your brand and point of difference.

2. Because plastics are a petroleum-based product, as petroleum prices rise (partially in response to current US tariffs, partly due to the rise in sustainable products, and partially due to dwindling petroleum resources), so will the price of plastics.

According to the Australian Academy of Science, who is a large proponent of more sustainable packaging, they explain how “Conventional plastics are manufactured using petroleum, coal or gas—all non-renewal resources susceptible to a volatile market of rising cost and demand, coupled with dwindling reserves.”

Increases will then level the playing field for more sustainable packaging, which helps companies make more cost-effective and conscionable decisions. Not only will companies be on the right side of environmental history by committing to more sustainable packaging options, but they will also be on the right side of pricing–it’s a considerable PR boost while the consumer is watching.

3. Another element of packaging that consumers find imperative is aesthetics. In a 2015 Trending Packaging study, appearance was considered a critical factor in purchase decisions. Consumers look for packaging that has the following:

 Colors

 Appealing graphic design

 Letter type and size (especially for an aging population)

 Overall brightness of the package

 Sustainability, especially with glass containers, reusable and re-sealable packaging, 100% recyclable packaging, and packages with endurance (such as wood).

In a University of South Carolina report, it was explained that researchers found consumers experienced attractive, renewable packaging as a reward.

Similarly, the neural mechanisms in the brain associated with the experience of reward showed increased activation when participants chose aesthetically pleasing and sustainable packaging.

As your business starts to consider the future of your packaging, keep in mind that there are ways to go green, satisfy business needs, keep consumers happy and guilt-free, and increase your brand appeal.

Vivabox can help you design an eco-positive package and supply-chain through our professional design, sourcing and kitting services to meet your eco-commitments and build your brand.

Looking for a solution? We can help.

Headquarters

9211 Corporate Blvd Ste 110
Rockville MD 20850

Satellite Offices

AZ, CA, CO, PA, TX

Email

info@vivaboxsolutions.com

Phone

+1.212.652.2024


In our Digital World, Your Packaging May be the Only Physical Connection You Have with Your Consumers. Three Ways to Make Sure it Counts.

October 15, 2018 Brand Packaging, Retail Kits5 Minutes

Maggie Tessier

The process of opening a new product can be a gift-like experience which embeds itself into the consumer’s psyche and can even be as great as the product itself.

Packaging is a visceral experience, and as our culture becomes continuously more visual, it feeds more than our desire for something to simply be a container. Our packaging has to mean as much as the product inside of it. Whether it has an aesthetic or ecological meaning, we want our packaging to be a reflection of us. There is a reason why brands rely on them so much. Without the right packaging, people will walk right by you, or even worse, not like you.

So here are three things to think about as you move forward with packaging ideas for the holidays and beyond:

1. The Outer Gift

In the best case scenario, we want our customers to be loyal, and packaging can build and maintain loyalty in a very tangible way. For example, think about a Tiffany box—many of us have never seen one in person, but if someone set one in front of us, it would take a lot to hold us back. There is an entire ethos surrounding that simple robin’s-egg-blue-and-white packaging, and it makes what is inside that much more coveted.

These experiences should be at the foreground of every brand’s identity, and packaging tugs at the very foundation of our consumer experience, whether we are aware of it or not.

According to Danielle Sauvé, Director of Customer Insights and Experience at Danaher Product Identification Platform, “Product packaging is often the only physical marketing channel that the consumer physically touches.”

So, customer loyalty is just as grounded in the tactile experience as it is in the visual and digital experience. Every detail is essential to address.

2. Seasonal Packaging

Adjusting packaging during holidays or other seasonal events is also a way to increase brand loyalty. If the packaging changes enough to be seasonal, customers appreciate the effort. However, be careful…adjusting for holidays or other events should only be taken so far. Customers still want to be able to identify the brand easily rather than hunting for it on a shelf.

Tasteful seasonal packaging is difficult to come by, so also think about how measured you want to be when implementing your packaging strategy. For example, as impressive as Christmas may be for many, the red and green combination can be a bit harsh or garish to others. Many who want to be more tastefully understated may go with more natural color combinations or interesting plaids.

3. The Inner Gift

Another layer of packaging that is just as important is the layout. How does it look once it is opened? As convenient as some packaging is, if each piece is bubble wrapped and jumbled in a box, the customer experience declines rapidly. One does not want to go from the elation of opening a beautiful box to cursing under their breath to unwrap multiple items in taped plastic. If the experience turns sour, you can bet that customer loyalty may as well.

Another common complaint is buying a product with the notion that the packaging is sustainable, only to get inside to find unrecyclable plastic materials. No one wants guilt wrapped with a bow.

So what does all of this mean for the brand? The consumer experience should be a pleasant one from the moment one starts looking for a product, through the unwrapping and big reveal, to the moment when they wonder whether they will keep the box or recycle it. It may be easier said than done for many businesses, but it is a necessity to think about every step of the buyer journey if you want to build and maintain consumer loyalty.

Looking for a solution? We can help.

Headquarters

9211 Corporate Blvd Ste 110
Rockville MD 20850

Satellite Offices

AZ, CA, CO, PA, TX

Email

info@vivaboxsolutions.com

Phone

+1.212.652.2024


How to Create the Best Brand Experiences in a Box for ROI, Growth, and Loyalty

September 13, 2018 Brand Packaging, Loyalty4 Minutes

Maggie Tessier

Nearly every client asks us how to build the best box ever made. I’ll tell you. Apply consumer and influencer insights to create a sense of wonder. Why?

When we review performance stats with our clients and brands, we found a commonality among the most successful ones, and it has a lot to do with humanity and our world today. Sounds huge, but it’s manageable, let me explain. It boils down to our complex desire to experience wonder – if only for a moment – in an age when we’re feeling more disconnected and the velocity of life is catapulting us to what’s next quicker than ever. Wonder and tactile, authentic experiences have been stripped away in today’s era of insta-everything. We want to be surprised, but also in the know. We want to feel something and sink into a moment but also curate our response. Filter your consumer insights through this lens to create the highest ROI, best performing “brand experiences in a box,” that’s the secret. B2B, B2C, same application.

In today’s digital, volatile world human nature’s response is to seek self-expression, optimism, purpose, and natural narratives.

Our senses send complex messages to let our brains know what is going on around us.

Our five senses, Smell, Touch, Taste, Vision, and Hearing, work together to explain what our world is. However, when the world’s volatility and human connection rock off their axis, we seek ways to understand why our world is too – and that requires five additional senses to bring everything into focus again. Self-Worth, Saving Time, Feeling Special & Beautiful, Humor, and a Sense of Purpose combine to help us feel valued, present, and

 In a word? We’re all seeking WONDER.

wonder | ˈwəndər | noun a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable: he had stood in front of it, observing the intricacy of the ironwork with the wonder of a child.

• the quality of a person or thing that causes wonder: Athens was a place of wonder and beauty.

• a strange or remarkable person, thing, or event: the electric trolley car was looked upon as the wonder of the age• [as modifier] having remarkable properties or abilities: a wonder drug.

• [in singular] a surprising event or situation: it is a wonder that losses are not much greater.

Humans are seeking wonder, and brands are seeking two things: authenticity and embedded experiences. Think Supreme on the cover of the NY Post – a brand embedded into morning and evening commute times, and it was unexpected. Influencer Marketing promises to deliver both authenticity and embedded access to consumer’s lives. Done well, it can (and frankly, trial, education, discovery, and loyalty kits can too) if you look at them as more than product delivery.

Give your consumers and influencers a way to editorialize with their own voice and style, save them time, be sure they feel important, sometimes a sense of humor can break through, and don’t assume they know what your higher brand purpose is. Show them with an extraordinary narrative they can believe in.

Our minds were not developed to thrive solely on digital experiences. Yes, it’s just a box, but it gives us something we crave. Sensorial, tangible experiences and bite-size trial in a world of overwhelming choice.

What does your kit feel like? Smell like? How does it make someone feel? Can it help them immediately save time or feel better about themselves? Do they know what your brand purpose is? Better yet, can they feel it?

That’s a win, every time.

Looking for a solution? We can help.

Headquarters

9211 Corporate Blvd Ste 110
Rockville MD 20850

Satellite Offices

AZ, CA, CO, PA, TX

Email

info@vivaboxsolutions.com

Phone

+1.212.652.2024


What Influencers Really Want From Marketers

September 13, 2018 Influencer, Retail Kits1 Minutes

Maggie Tessier

We ran surveyed 2,000 US-based influencers in May 2018 to uncover what influencers really want from the marketers they’re working with and all of those boxes they’re receiving.

First some context:

Over 50% of influencers receive 1-6 boxes weekly

Only 47% rate it as a “good” experience.

What Influencers Really Want:

• Creative respect

• Feel special

• Be invited in

• A VIP communication loop

• IG-Friendly packaging

• Paid marketing support

• To get paid. Real money. On time.

• Key dates for the product launch or availability

• Let them know when the box is arriving

• Brand story and origin

• The story behind the product/s, the design, purpose, ingredients and origin story

• A sincere thank you

• Photography gear (micro)

• Extra kits to give way to their audience (micro)

• Help to grow their audience

• A handwritten note, something that makes them feel special

Proprietary Vivabox research of 2,000 micro and macro influencers in the US, May 2018

Looking for a solution? We can help.

Headquarters

9211 Corporate Blvd Ste 110
Rockville MD 20850

Satellite Offices

AZ, CA, CO, PA, TX

Email

info@vivaboxsolutions.com

Phone

+1.212.652.2024


How do I Develop Strong Relationships with Influencers?

August 28, 2018 Influencer, Retail Kits8 Minutes

Maggie Tessier

Ask the Fixer: When it comes to finding the best ambassadors for your brand, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Here we launch the Ask the Fixer series with three experts who offer advice for building mutually beneficial relationships with the right social media influencers.

Melaina Juntti | Jul 27, 2018

Without question, influencer marketing can bring immense value to your burgeoning brand. It can help spread the word about your products, create engaging content and lend credibility to your company, among countless other benefits.

But making this strategy effective takes much more than just getting a long list of “big names” on board. It requires building solid, open, honest and mutually beneficial relationships with the right influencers. By doing so, you get “better content, better product insights, better ROI—plus, genuine community is good for the soul,” says Rachael Shayne, senior director partnerships, sales, and marketing at Vivabox.

Here, Shayne and two other “Fixers” share their best advice for building strong relationships with influencers.

Brand

Choose influencers who truly believe in your brand. We receive several partner requests daily, many of which I disregard immediately because they don’t send personalized emails; I can tell it’s a blanket outreach. The influencers I want to engage with are those who take the time to share with me how they use NOW products as part of their daily routine—those who truly use and trust our brand. On the flip side, we take the time to have actual conversations with them and get to know what’s going on in their lives versus having just a promotional relationship, such as they’ll do X content for X fee. We are a family-owned company, and we truly want to make our partners feel like they are a part of the family.

Start small. When we are considering working with a new influencer, we will often do a “test run” to see how well our partner content performs. We’ll maybe do just a small initiative, such as a one-time Instagram share, for a smaller fee. This also allows us to build a relationship because we can gauge which content will be most meaningful with that influencer and his or her audience and then do more from there.

Bring influencers inside. We host “influencer immersions” at our headquarters a few times a year. We’ll bring in about 20 influencers from across the country for an inside look at NOW. Transparency is so important in this industry, and this really provides them with an “aha” experience because they see the lengths we go to ensure we are bringing safe, quality products to market. It’s also a way to show the influencers that we value their trust and partnership, since this is the ultimate trust-building opportunity.

Alana Horinko, public relations manager at NOW Foods, a leading national brand of dietary supplements and other natural products

Agency

Get personal. When seeking influencers, don’t be a spammer—influencers are people, too, and nothing kills the mood more than a bland, impersonal e-blast. Their inboxes are flooded with opportunities daily, so make sure yours stands out. Call them by name, show interest in their life or brand and intrigue them with more than just the depth of your pockets. Show your personality and build an actual relationship, not just a business transaction.

Be honest and transparent. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Be honest with influencers about the type of partnership you’re interested in and what you’re able to offer. Be flexible in your needs, and it’s likely they will be flexible, too. If you have a good product that is a great fit for the influencer and their audience, chances are you’re going to get more bang for your buck.

Remember: benefits go both ways. No one loves hearing how much someone can help them. Consider how you can make the relationship benefit the influencer as well. Outside of filling their pockets, what other ways can you add value to the deal? Can you give access to your audience, boost their reach or support their cause or event? When you get creative, you can end up with unique, mutually beneficial and often cost-effective partnerships.

 —Denise Lambertson, founder and chief connector at LMS, a boutique entertainment marketing agency specializing in solutions for growth-stage and emerging brands

Marketing

Support successes and nurture creativity. Celebrate your influencers’ personal milestones and successes—and do so genuinely. Be a fan. Also appreciate their creative ideas and influence—isn’t that the reason you’re using an influencer strategy to begin with? Respect their creative abilities and give them ideas to build on versus supplying fully baked content. If they are simply posting your brand imagery, their followers will sniff it out and their reactions won’t help the influencer or your brand grow.

Supply sufficient info. Be sure they know your brand story: why the product is being launched, why you think it will be great, what the ingredient story is, where it can be bought, for what price and when it’s available. You can also share relevant research, information about your category or even influencer marketing reports, and help them understand FTC guidelines for posting if they don’t already. If you have a super kick-ass social media manager, have them offer your influencers classes about how to grow their followers, how to use new video editing tools, how to get the best lighting, etc.

Compensate adequately. This is a business for influencers, so pay them with real money—and on time—not just with products. Beyond dollars, you can also compensate influencers with products, attention, access to your network, referrals, tools and resources. For instance, you can share analytics or a membership to a stock photo site. Also give them credit in product meetings for uncovering new insights, and then tell them how the team reacted to their idea and thank them for helping build your business. Send them unexpected and personal small gifts that aren’t directly brand related, and never forget the power of a handwritten note expressing authentic thanks.

Looking for a solution? We can help.

Headquarters

9211 Corporate Blvd Ste 110
Rockville MD 20850

Satellite Offices

AZ, CA, CO, PA, TX

Email

info@vivaboxsolutions.com

Phone

+1.212.652.2024