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What is Custom Packaging and Why Do You Need It?

Plain cardboard boxes are just so…plain. There’s a reason you find it hard to throw away the box your iPhone came in. It’s beautiful and you enjoyed opening it! Custom packaging bridges the gap between the virtual brand experience and the actual use of the product. It shows your customers that you care about their experience and want them to feel special.

Best of all, it doesn’t have to be difficult to create a beautiful product presentation that excites your customers. Here’s how to make custom packaging work for your business.

Small businesses typically have small marketing budgets. Once you pay for your website, social media graphics, ads, product manufacturing, shipping, etc., it may seem easiest to seal your product in a standard wrapper and send it on its way.

This is a mistake. Even in an increasingly virtual world, people love the tactile experience of opening a new product — so much so that “unboxing” videos are now huge on social media. Custom packaging helps your brand stand out from the crowd with a memorable experience.

What’s Involved in Custom Packaging?

Custom packaging is just what it sounds like: boxes, wrappers, envelopes, cards, labels, and stickers with unique designs that express your brand. includes standard boxes and envelopes printed with your logo or a custom illustration, custom

You can keep it simple, e.g. printing thank-you notes on a custom letterhead and your logo on standard folding boxes, envelopes, or labels. If you’re on a budget, you can enhance the packaging with specially colored tapes, filler material, and padded envelopes. 

You can also print your wrappers and boxes with designs so beautiful that your customers won’t want to throw it away. Look at how on-demand print shop Redbubble features a whimsical illustration from one of its artists on every package.

If you really want to discourage people from tossing your packaging, look into custom packaging can be repurposed! For example, check out LootCrate’s custom-printed boxes, some of which can be re-assembled into a fun mask or figure.

Creating a Branded Experience

Custom packaging may seem frivolous — after all, won’t your customers just toss it anyway? Maybe, but you’re still giving them something special and exciting. It isn’t really about the packaging itself: you’re cultivating an experience that will make them feel good about their purchase. That, in turn, leads to more customer loyalty.

Remember, a brand is more than the sum of your marketing and products. It’s what people think about your company. Custom packaging gives a visual, tactile affirmation of who you are and what you’re all about. A beautifully illustrated box is more than a box: it’s an invitation for customers to engage with your values and feed their senses.

The experience is really about product presentation: is your product shrink-wrapped and dumped in a padded envelope? Or is it nestled in a bed of tissue paper inside a beautiful printed box? Which situation makes a bigger emotional impact? Think about your brand values and goals for your customers. 

For example, if you’re a natural or eco-friendly brand who promises to use sustainable materials, your customers likely won’t be too happy if you ship your products in a mass of plastic that’s impossible to recycle. A recycled-cardboard box filled with crinkle cut paper and printed with a beautiful, nature-inspired illustration would make a better impact.

Luxury cosmetic companies can make their products look special by tying them up with ribbon and placing them in a gold-foil box. And if your brand is sleek and innovative, you probably want to emulate Apple and create a minimalist yet gorgeous packaging design.

But don’t forget, custom packaging is more than the wrapping. The overall product presentation can also include any thank-you notes or swag. For example, the non-alcoholic beer company Athletic Brewing Company always ships free stickers in its packages, which are also printed with the brand’s logo and tagline. This is not only a great way to get customers excited to open the box, but also encourages them to provide free advertising for you!

The Benefits of Custom Packaging

Research shows that customers are more likely to remember a brand with custom packaging — and purchase from them again. That’s because the unboxing experience made them feel special. Let’s be honest: it’s way more exciting to open a new Apple product than a new kitchen appliance. The Apple packaging is beautiful and elegant. It taps into that Christmas-day excitement you had as a kid.

Custom packaging also affirms your brand values and story, both of which are crucial to forging a relationship with your customer. A plain brown envelope or box is just so … plain. It doesn’t express your brand’s personality or help customers imagine life with your product. Until they use it, they aren’t engaging with your brand.

By contrast, imagine that you have decided to treat yourself with a nighttime eye cream. Rather than arriving in a simple wrapper, it comes nestled in a beautiful velour-covered box with a satin liner and a custom illustration of sheep leaping over a crescent moon. Now you can’t wait to go to sleep and use the cream!

Wrapping Up (pun intended) 

If you want your customers to remember your brand and not think of your product as just another thing they bought online, you need custom packaging. It’s a powerful way to create an amazing experience and cultivate a lasting customer relationship. Humans are visual, tactile creatures. Don’t miss your chance to tap into that and forge a strong brand connection with your customers! 

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