Updated: Aug 11
In eCommerce, The Store Is The Shelf
For eCommerce product brands, the first tangible impression of your brand is when your customer receives an item from the courier. Unlike a store where you can control the wider brand experience with the store environment and employee experience, the product package is your primary means to surprise-and-delight your customer. If someone has bought your product, they are likely convinced that they want your product, but will they stay convinced? Humans prioritize first and last impressions, and your package is paramount to creating an enduring impression.
Remember that Humans Think in Colour
Especially in a world of boring brown boxes with dull markings on the outside, we humans are drawn to bright, pretty, or unconventional things. From our evolutionary bases, we evolved to be drawn to colourful things. In a world of brown boxes, custom packaging enables you to ‘peacock’ like the best of them. Colour conveys mood, emotion and offers an opportunity to create commonality with your customer. While bright and bold are great, and stick out, one must also temper such intensity with the core of one’s brand promise.
Create Direct Connection
Scaling human connection is hard. In bricks-and-mortar retail, the best brands scale human connection by engendering customer connection deeply in their corporate culture. But how do you do this if you are an eCommerce company. This is surely easier for small craft companies where a connection may have been established in the design or transaction process directly between the owner and the customer. But many ask, can that connection be scaled in the same way? What about directly printing your customer’s name on the box? Think of how special you feel if you go to a coffee shop or bar and the person knows your name, or what you are going to order. That's personalization. That’s connection!
Brand It So Your Customer Remembers
There's a reason companies spend billions of dollars plastering their logo on billboards, TVs and anywhere they can. Partly, because every other company does (haha!). Humans forget, and we forget especially when things don’t cut through the noise. Your brand is your origin story. What’s the boldest manifestation of your brand? Use the package to tell that story, either through text, imagery or other graphics.
Let Your Package Can Be Your Sales Force
In a world of Instagram, brands grow virally. The 'unboxing' trend is growing and the better and more beautiful the process is, the more likely you are to create a tribe around your brand. Map out by minute how one will unbox your product. What will it look like if posted on TikTok? What shape will the package be in if your customer takes a post-open pic? While it’s desirable for your customers to automatically be your brand champion, don’t hesitate to ask them to help you.
For Those Of Us With Kids, Remember Packaging is the Ultimate Toy!
While this one is kind of a joke, it’s not really. The best packages don’t necessarily find their way to the recycling bin. They become part of your customer’s house, whether it be a knick-knack on the mantle piece or a toy for their child. The longer the package remains in the house, the more enduring your branding impression can be to your customer, their family and their friends.