Making It Shine: Getting Customers to Stick with Packaging

January 21 2018, 7:09am

When you receive a package or present addressed to you, especially an unexpected one, you get a little warm inside. Even if you know what it is, the unknown fills you with glee. You feel special. You feel at ease.

It’s this moment of heightened emotion that many marketers seem to look over. It’s this moment though that can turn the average consumer into an advocate.

First let’s take a step back.

So much of marketing is focused on numbers and the digital space. Nothing is wrong with pay per click or content marketing—I’ve personally realized much success with them. What is missing is intent.

Just because everyone is lining up for the hottest brunch place doesn’t mean it’s good.

People have different tastes and preference.

Following the crowd is lining up just because others are doing so. Intent is saying I’m going to go to this restaurant to have brunch because I want to be able to judge it against the other brunch options available in the city.

A similar sentiment can be shared for marketing. So much money is spent because platforms are just thought of as ones to go to. Some of the best return on investment can be realized though when thinking more critically about customers.

Is your customer online? If so, where would they spend most of their time. What are they interested in?

Asking these questions, like an anteater overturning a rock covering an ant hive, I was able to find a veritable nest of real estate clients on Facebook. All I had to do, with intent, was follow where agents customer’s might spend a lot of time.

Going back to packages and presents, product packaging represents a missed opportunity to capture the imagination of customers. For anyone who does ecommerce, this type of marketing can be a great way of developing one-time customers into repeat customers (or even evangelists). At the very least, while most other companies are chasing the next untapped marketing outlet this one remains largely explored.

There are more considerations that go into packaging than can be covered in a single post, but one of the biggest considerations should be the experience that it creates.

I recently received a rather odd shaped package. In it, I found Bears vs. Babies. Even though I had supported Elan and Matt’s Kickstarter, I was still filled with excitement as I opened the package. This excitement was amplified as I discovered a box covered in fur and bright letters.

box covered in fur

A box covered in fur—that’s strange enough, but wait, there’s more!

thank you note

Opening the box, I found a personalized thank you note. I felt super special.

thank you card

Although I tend to favor more strategic games, I wouldn’t hesitate to support and recommend this company now because of the experience they provided in this moment.

Not everyone can take advantage of a personalized thank you within their box (as I imagine the cost for this to be pretty high), but one can at least improve on their unboxing experience. Perhaps this simply includes a little business card that acts as a thank you. Adding a personal touch, however small, can go a long way in keeping customers around.

fooled note

I actually received a package from eBay at the same time as Bears vs. Babies and found this card. I felt a sense of delight that quickly made me realize I was the wrong audience.

back of fooled note

There are, quite possibly, ways to do packaging wrong.

With the right combination of creativity and intent, you can turn the experience of first using the product into one that will continue to boost the bottom line for months to come.

What are your thoughts on unboxing and packaging? What companies have hit this out of the park?