How Custom Packaging Drives Repeat and New Business

June 18, 2019 by Erin Behan

If you're still shipping your product in a generic shipping box, you're missing out on two prime marketing opportunities: the chance to reinforce your brand identity with your existing customers and the chance to market your brand to new customers with custom packaging.

Fab Fit Fun
Fab Fit Fun custom box
Image by Obsessed by Portia

The payoffs can be big. A whopping 52 percent of consumers said they were likely to make repeat purchases from an e-retailer that delivers orders in premium packaging in a Dotcom Distribution survey. The same survey found that among 18 to 25 year-olds, 74 percent are likely to share a product on social media based on its packaging.

Custom packaging that's unique to your business is an easy way to make your brand and product stand out in an ocean of brown delivery boxes. Think of it as marketing spend that's guaranteed to reach your target (people who already like or are willing to try your product), as well as one that can reach beyond.

Your box will be seen and read by many people from the time it leaves your facility to when it lands on your customer's doorstep or desk, and that includes your customers' friends, family, colleagues, delivery driver, snoopy neighbor, and random strangers who see the custom box along its journey. And if your box is worthy of Instagram or a "haul" or "unboxing" video? The eyes on your brand start to multiply fast.

Custom packaging for your business should do two things. First, it should reinforce to your current customer that they've made the right decision by buying a product from your company. Your customers should feel good about your product and company when they open their box. Second, custom packaging should get people who are less familiar with your brand interested in what's inside that box.

We've rounded up four companies that are doing exciting things with custom packaging. After you've soaked up some inspiration, click through to resources for creating your own custom boxes online.

Rockets of Awesome
Rock of Awesome custom box
Image by Lay Baby Lay

The folks at Rockets of Awesome, a kids apparel subscription box company, know how to please both kids and parents. Parents like the easy-to-customize boxes of never-boring kids clothing that show up on their doorstep like clockwork, and kids like the fun of unboxing their new purchases. The company uses a bold sky blue for its packaging, and it launched with a box that had an imaginative city scene printed on its inside lid—artwork that was just begging to be colored in by its most petite customers.

Birchbox custom box
Image by Birchbox

If there's ever a subscription company that knows how important the "look" of package design is to a company's success, it's Birchbox. The beauty and grooming subscription service has a different eye-catching and youthful, yet also elegant, box design each month, and the boxes get Instagramed so often that the company features recent users’ Instagram posts on its website. In addition to the monthly boxes, Birchbox also offers themed, limited edition boxes that are as much about the design on the outside of the box as the products on the inside.

Warby Parker
Warby Parker custom box
Image by Warby Parker

At Warby Parker, your glasses come in a case, but they also come in a box. It's this box — an extra sturdy rectangle tastefully imprinted with the company name — that the brand played with to excellent effect for the recent holidays. To what's normally a sturdy and minimalist dark blue box, the company added quirky, colorful artwork of people (yes, with some in glasses) by Swedish artist Andreas Samuelsson. His artwork appeared on several other items, like a lens cleaning cloth, and the collaboration had the Warby Parker Instagram community buzzing.

Daily Harvest
Daily Harvest custom box
Image by Daily Harvest

The company mails frozen, nutrient-rich ingredients for smoothies, soups, harvest bowls, and more for a quick breakfast, lunch, or snack. The foolproof bundles come in their own Daily Harvest branded cups, but it’s the outer box — simple in black and white, with the company name and clear description, “Superfoods. Super Fast.” right on the box — that does everything a custom box should, advertising the brand in a sophisticated way that will reinforce to customers that they’ve made a good purchase decision and incite interest from those who haven’t yet made the leap to a weekly or monthly delivery.

To create your own custom boxes, choose a digital print for packaging company such as Distinct Packaging. This custom packaging company has particular benefits for small- and medium-sized businesses including an easy-to-use online tool that makes package design a snap, low minimum orders, and straightforward pricing. For more on branding your shipping, including how to use customized interior boxes and interior wrapping in every shipment, plus whether custom tape might be right for you, check out 5 Ways to Brand Your Shipping.

Many people assume that fully custom packaging will blow their budget, but when you consider the marketing benefits of fully customized packaging and compare it with the costs of more time-intensive methods of box personalization such as stamping or stickers, you might be surprised by just how economical it can be. For more on that, read our primer on How Much Does Custom Packaging Cost.

Once you're ready to try custom packaging for yourself, head over to Distinct Packaging to create your own easy, economical, and beautiful custom boxes.
Erin Behan

Written by Erin Behan

Erin Behan is an L.A.-based writer and editor who considers fine paper one of life's little pleasures.


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