Software Packaging Case Study

Software packaging can be an ambiguous term. It might refer to how files and resources are digitally packaged together, or a suite of applications, like Microsoft Office. As a packaging company, you can probably infer that we mean it in the most literal sense. However, we do take inspiration from the other meanings of "software packaging."

When it comes to creating packaging for software, Sunrise usually turns to the FlashPad. It's a hybrid style of packaging that brings together multiple elements. It can work as a display kit, a pamphlet, an advertising piece, and of course, a container for products. The small, compact size lends itself well to custom USB drives, key fobs, business cards, anything that can fit within the parameters. 

Sunrise Packaging recently worked with Psychology Software Tools to create packaging for their E-Prime 3.0. Here's how they made the FlashPad their own.

Software Packaging for Your Business

In this example, Psychology Software Tools already had a designer on hand to create the design. Note that if you don't, we're happy to help!

We worked with their designer to get the right specifications and share best practices. Once the design was proofed and finalized, Sunrise got to work assembling the custom packaging solution.

After printing the wrap, we laminate it to give it a shiny finish. Other options include a matte finish, or a soft touch finish.  

The pieces are then cut and wrapped around the FlashPad hard backing, providing support and security to the products. Then the liner, or the inside of the packaging, and the foam. Finally, the product is boxed up and shipped!

As you can see from the video, these FlashPads are fully customizable in almost every way. We've created these as marketing pieces for organizations ranging from colleges to real estate brokers. They're a versatile packaging style that we create with love in Blaine, Minnesota!

FlashPad Love

Check out more examples of one of our favorite packaging styles, the FlashPad. And when you're ready, contact us to create a customized software packaging solution for your organization!

Custom Gift Boxes for All Occasions

While the holidays draw near, anyone tasked with gifting turns their mind toward packaging at some point. While wrapping paper still reigns supreme, there's another option available. A more eco-friendly option, we might add. Gift boxes, especially unique boxes, can be all the decoration a gift needs this holiday season.

Custom gift boxes aren't a new idea, but they've long been the domain of luxury packaging. Think of Tiffany's jewelry, for example. Sparkly diamonds might come to mind, but so does their iconic robin-egg blue box and white ribbon.  In that example, their brand is clear. So much so that a Pinterest marketing effort proclaims, "There is no color quite like this."

 

Customized Gift Boxes

When A/Z Corporation approached us to create custom gift boxes for them, we knew it was an opportunity to build something great. As a company that markets itself as an innovative leader in their field, it was important to match that flair. To match the clean aesthetic of the organization, the set-up box style was chosen. Two piece set-up boxes are often used for high-end electronics, like smartphones and tablets, so there is an implied sense of luxury for the user. 

To enhance the rigid box, we wrapped it in a black ultima. This cover material is rich and gives both depth and contrast when used. Particularly with finishing elements that set it off, like silver foil stamp crowning the package with A/Z Corporation's logo.  Watch the video to get a sense of the unboxing elements.  Minnesota-made packaging at its finest.

While we love this project, there are more things that could enhance it further. A thermoformed insert, or custom foam insert, could add additional protection. And while the rigid two piece setup box is fairly well protected, adding a sleeve to the box adds more real estate for marketing content without ruining the sleek, clean look.  But that's just us working toward perfection.

Custom Gift Box Styles

While the setup box style was perfect for this project, there are many, many other styles of custom boxes that you can peruse to find the perfect one for your product and organization. While you might not initially think of your product as a gift to customers, using a little bit of that aesthetic could bring a new dimension to your brand. Sunrise Packaging creates boxes that can be used as keepsakes.  

It's the time of year when generosity is infectious; give your customers a thank-you that's stylish and attractive. Contact us today for a quote!

 

Nostalgic Packaging: Throwback or Throwaway?

Nostalgia sells, and nostalgic packaging plays a big role in that. 

Utilizing elements from popular design trends of the past is a powerful tool on its own. Certain fonts and colors, image stylings, and more can evoke strong emotions in people. It's becoming increasing popular for products ranging from shoes to soft drinks to market throwback styles or recipes. These tactics allow former customers to re-engage with a product while allowing a new generation to discover it.  In our image-saturated world, something that can grab and hold attention--especially if it's due to resonating with the viewer--is a win for marketers.

As more and more brands jump on the throwback bandwagon, it becomes clear that execution plays a big part in how well a product is received. Fast Company detailed how different brands are optimizing product launches with success or...less than success.

How Nostalgic Packaging Can Bring in Bucks

First off, we love nostalgia in the USA. 

The Journal of Consumer Research reports that we're more to spend money when we're feeling nostalgic:

“We found that when people have higher levels of social connectedness and feel that their wants and needs can be achieved through the help of others, their ability to prioritize and keep control over their money becomes less pressing.”

A post shared by Lisa Frank (@lisa_frank) on

Which explains why adults might love to shell out money for shoes they always wanted as a child, like the Adidas relaunch of Stan Smiths. But why do millenials and Gen Z seek out retro designs and references? Turns out, it's just part of an ongoing cycle. 

Generations are constantly rediscovering past generations. Resurrecting past trends starts with groups creating demand for products that are generally hard. And from there others learn about it and want to recreate the experience. The demand for vinyl, or records, in the past few years is proof of this. While it's infinitely more convenient to stream a curated playlist from a smartphone, people crave the experience that goes with listening to an album from start to finish, reading liner notes, viewing album art. The resurgence of Polaroid and Fujifilm instant photos is another example. 

Products and nostalgic packaging that can tap into the collective cultural memory are the most effective. So much so that some organizations have taken to hiring a kind of 'chief memory officer.' Their primary task? Sorting through company history and culture to reference for product and campaign launches.

When it comes what not to do, the answer is easy: don't force a trend. It's can be risky to bring back an old packaging style without an existing desire for it. But when it comes to custom packaging design, there are plenty of elements to implement to match a design from days of yore.

Ready to dig into the past and find a style of nostalgic packaging that works for you? Contact Sunrise today!

Custom Pads in Action

This time of year seems to bring out the best in people. We're inspired by the holiday season to give more, volunteer more, and appreciate what we have a little more. And when we get to create custom pads for an organization that literally embodies these sentiments, like the Salvation Army, it drives that point home even more. 

For an organization with the relatively simply tagline of 'Doing the most good,' the Salvation Army as an organization is anything but simple. Pursuing a mission of meeting human need without discrimination since 1865, they're done a lot of amazing work: 

  • Assisting around 25 million Americans every year
  • Serving 128 countries around the world
  • Comprising of over 1.5 million members (officers, soldiers, and adherents)

You've undoubtedly encountered a Salvation Army volunteer or two ringing bells outside businesses to get donations. But donating your spare change while hurrying out of the grocery store isn't the only way to help the organization. Planned giving is a major source of funding. To attract new donors in this digital age, the Salvation Army knew they had to move past the analog style of a brochure. Custom pads are the perfect option.

Custom Pads for a New Age

Sunrise Packaging custom pads are sleek, booklike boxes. We use a heavy chipboard for extra impact, and a custom foam insert to hold contents in place. They're the perfect option for a variety of products, from loyalty cards to medical devices to flash drives. 

When it comes to the Salvation Army project, their needs are focused on marketing to planned giving donors. The tailormade foam cavities can hold a pen and a USB drive. The drive contains necessary information on how to make planned gifts from different parts of a donor's financial plan, like:

  • Cash
  • Real estate
  • Stocks
  • Bonds

And whatever might be part of the financial plan of the donor. Additionally, a clear vinyl sleeve was added to the custom pads. This will hold a brochure, postcard, and a business card. 

Custom Pads Drive Campaigns

Custom pads are a great accompaniment to marketing campaigns. They can appeal to those who like to physically handle materials while offering an alternative for those who want to interact through technology. Not to mention that the personalized USB drives can cleanly transfer documents necessary for giving campaigns. 

Additionally, custom pads can even come with a creative sleeve for mailing. Learn more about options for design and finishing by reaching out to our sales team today!

Car Marketing with Key Fob Packaging

Buying a car is, for most people, a process. From the financial considerations to what options are most important, it’s a decision-laden process. Not to mention stressful. At the end of the road, customers want to feel confident in the decisions they’ve made. As they drive off the lot, car dealerships should recognize that there is always another opportunity for car marketing. Key fob packaging and car marketing

Key Fob Packaging & Car Marketing

Key fobs are practically a standard in vehicles today. The use of the fob might vary, from just unlocking the car to starting it remotely, but there’s usually two identical fobs. One on the keys, and a spare. The spare is usually handed over, fairly unceremoniously, in an envelope. Which may or may not feature the brand. 

Sunrise Marketing (Blaine, Minnesota) recently started working with car dealership marketing teams to create a kind of welcome kit for customers. This kit affirms that they’ve made a great choice not only in their vehicle, but choosing the dealership as well. It boosts confidence and makes customers feel secure. 

These presentation packaging pieces, or FobPads, feature the best in our design department. In the examples pictured for Sunrise Auto Family, you can see several elements at work: 

  • Construction: these pads utilize custom thermoformed foam inserts to keep the fob and business card firmly in place. They’re also tied together in the customer’s mind. The pad construction, mimicking our FlashPads, is sturdy like a hardbound book. 
  • Design: car marketing is all about impressions and prestige. We’ve designed a packaging solution that’s intuitive and attractive. Sunrise can design with your brand in mind, and take your vision to the next level. 
  • Content: from the visuals to the words, there’s a message here. It’s adventure on the open road. It’s a warm handshake. A possible future referral for your dealership. Keep it simple, but significant.

Custom packaging for car marketingAdditionally, these FobPads are keepsakes for the customer. The fob is safe in a recognizable space, ensuring that it’ll be kept in the house for a long time. 

Continue Selling After the Car Leaves the Lot

New cars come out all the time. Dealerships exist in nearly every town in America. What makes your dealership stand out?

We know pricing and financing are one thing, but it really comes down to dealership and car marketing. As a family welcomes a new car into their life, so can a dealership welcome them to their family.

Be one of the early adopters in this exciting new opportunity. Contact Sunrise today to start!

 

The Appeal of Throwback Packaging via “Stranger Things”

Sunrise Packaging is proud to be a Minnesota company. We take pride not only in the work that we produce, but the work that’s done around us in “L’Etoile du Nord.”  That includes projects that inspire nostalgia, like any good throwback packaging. 

So it was with no small amount of excitement that, when one of the lead characters of Netflix’s series “Stranger Things” appeared on screen wearing a hooded sweatshirt from none other than our local Science Museum of Minnesota, we were pumped to hear that the sweatshirt would be recreated. 

And it seems that we were not the only ones. The Science Museum of Minnesota’s online store crashed upon the timed release. However, as the social media accounts for the museum reiterated, there was an unlimited supply. All told, it’s rumoured they sold over 80,000 pieces of ‘Thunder Lizard’ apparel in one day. 

If that doesn’t speak to the buying power of nostalgia, I’m not sure what does. 

How Nostalgia Can Inspire Throwback Packagingthrowback packaging

“Stranger Things” is a massive hit for Netflix. Any promotion that can tie back to it–directly or indirectly–is bound to have a leg up in the bid for capitalizing on consumer nostalgia. But it’s not the only example. At the height of AMC’s “Mad Men” popularity, brown liquor (whiskey, brandy, etc) outsold vodka and *clear* liquors for the first time in decades. The ad folk’s penchant for Old Fashioneds, as well as 60’s fashion, influenced a wide variety of industries. 

Don Draper of “Mad Men” fame gave a stirring pitch in season one based on nostalgia, calling it delicate, but potent. When it comes to your business, helping customers connect with your brand is key. This is where nostalgia becomes a powerful tool.

NCR Silver lists some of the ways in which we can learn from the response to shows like these. 

Throwback Packaging Allows Customers to Embrace Something Familiar

Familiarity is one of the most important factors in creating throwback packaging. It might link customers’ back to their childhoods or something else in their minds. This doesn’t have to be a literal recreation, like with the examples above. Taking inspiration within the culture and finding relevant themes can achieve the same effect. 

Look for Opportunities to Blend Old and New

Like we said above, throwback packaging doesn’t have to be an exact recreation. Board games are one example. While games like Clue and Monopoly have been played for decades, they’ve found new ways to entice buyers. Game makers are resurrecting old packaging styles and typefaces, inspiring memories in customers.  However, they’re also adding modern, interactive features that appeal to today’s audience. 

Attract Brand Advocates with Throwback Packaging 

Creating brand advocates isn’t an easy thing for most industries. But from what we’ve seen, nostalgic packaging is one way there. Make sure to include hashtags, social channel handles, and other information is included on custom packaging. Not only does this generate more buzz, but allows you track more clearly as well!

Collectors Boxes: Creating Demand for Products

Collectors boxes have been around for a while, but what makes a good collectors box is less well-defined. 

If we take a trip back down memory lane, let's consider some of the retail packaging crazes within recent memory. Funko pop dolls come to mind. Minecraft. Pokemon. Beanie Babies. In the cosmetic packaging world, Urban Decay's special palettes sell out within hours; Kylie Jenner lip kits within minutes. Even cereal boxes, like the limited edition old school monster designs. And one of the most popular and omnipresent campaigns in recent history: the Share A Coke campaign, where individual custom labels entice customers to "share a Coke with... [insert name here]."

What do all of these have in common?

Collectors Boxes: What Sets Them Apart?

The easy answer? Put 'limited edition' in front of any custom packaging, and it will increase demand. But the success of these craze-inducing campaigns goes deeper than that. 

Sunrise recently partnered with Solid Ink to create unique collector's packaging. This project utilized a turned edge design with four color printing and matte lamination. Created for their unique Chris Garver and Horitomo collections, the project specifications demand that these custom box sets reflect the brand as well as the inspiration.

Overall, it works as a great case study of what goes into a successful design and creation of deluxe box sets.  In short, it's tapping into what your audience already knows and desires, tying it into your brand, and limiting access.

Create Demand

Solid Ink created these limited edition boxes with the intent of creating demand. It's econ 101: supply affects demand. With these boxes in limited supply, and only available in certain places, it increases the demand. It might seem like a strange analogy, but the Beanie Baby craze of the 1990's is the poster child for this kind of strategy. As a particular Beanie Baby became more popular, the company would conscientiously pull it from the line up, creating--all together now--demand (and price inflation, but that's another story).

Create Something Original

It takes time, skill, and no small amount of luck to create something that captures the collective conscience and enters the zeitgeist. Most importantly, it has to have elements of originality. Even if something similar exists, or another version didn't quite succeed, taking time to find out what the missing element is could be the difference between a generic mobile app and Flappy Bird.

Create Brand Tie Ins

The tattoo industry is all about originality and body modification as an art form. It makes sense that the stars of that subculture are held in high regard. Their name lends authenticity to products, and enhances the sense of uniqueness around a collectors boxes set. When your target audience recognizes someone they admire as part of a brand, it creates an instant resonance. 

Let the Design Support Your Product

Sunrise Packaging has a practiced hand at creating limited edition packaging and collectors boxes. We worked with Prince on album packaging, numerous sports teams on gifts for season ticket holders, and other types of deluxe boxes. Bring us your ideas, and we'll bring them into reality. 

Casino Packaging for High Rollers

Some rules of marketing apply to all sectors, but when it comes to niche industries, like casinos, the rules are different. While a health organization has no problem promoting health, casinos typically don’t  promote excessive gambling. It leads to creative angles that tap into different areas of the subconscious. One area in which this is evident is in casino packaging options. 

The goal of any casino is to bring in players. It’s no coincidence that many casinos use magnetic cards to run… Well, everything. These cards make it easy to move around the space, from checking in to rooms to paying for meals to gambling. They also enable casinos to know exactly where you are and what you’re spending. Casinos are pros when it comes to using data to inform marketing decisions. And if you’re a major spender or high roller, there’s an incentive to keep you on the premises. And to get you to return ASAP.

Casino Packaging for High Rollerscasino packaging

From those handy magnetic cards and other resources, casinos know a lot about their clientele: 

  • Visit frequency
  • Room and meal preferences
  • Gaming and entertainment habits
  • Betting amounts
  • Stores you visit and items you buy

And that’s the tip of the iceberg. Savvy casinos are using this mountain of data to market to their desired client base to draw them in for special events, offers and more. It’s about meeting their needs before they know they need or want something. 

In the image to the right, the project we completed for Harrah’s Reno Hotel plays on a few marketing tropes specific to casino packaging. To engage high rollers and provide them with something unique, we created personalized packaging to hold limited edition poker chips. These custom pads utilize luxury packaging detailing. They flip open, evoking an exciting hardcover story book, revealing a present designed to appeal to high rollers. Casino packaging like this can be customized with die cuts to hold loyalty or membership cards, keys, poker chips, or other souvenirs. 

Branded with your organization’s colors and logos, this style of customized packaging is designed to enhance the customer experience. 

The Best Investment Is In Your Customers

All industries want to keep and retain their customers. But for casinos, the payoff from customer loyalty is what drives the bottom line. Finding ways to please and delight them–and create incentives that keep them coming back–is the best way to earn their loyalty.

Contact Sunrise today to learn more about designing effective casino packaging!

Artisan Liquor Packaging

As you peruse the shelves of your local liquor establishment, you might notice a series of words used frequently in marketing materials. Handmade. Small batch. Craft. Artisanal.  What's it all about, and why is it on my liquor packaging?

In short, it means that these liquids don't come from a mass-produced factory, churning out jugs of alcohol by the tons. It gives buyers a sense of place, a connection to a product, to know that it's rare, or local, or simply imbued with something a little extra special. 

Some might tie it to the general farm-to-table movement; we just see it as taking pride in what you consume. 

Unique liquor packaging

Liquor Packaging Showcases Craft & Company

As a Minnesota local company, we love living in a land that takes pride in everything from turbulent weather to the range of homegrown distilleries, breweries, and wineries in the region. Every one of these alcohol artisans has a story and a mission for what they create. We work to design packaging that showcases their unique perspectives. 

Unique liquor packaging

In the example to the left, the gin company manages to avoid the ubiquitous terms we listed above by using a quirky, funny tone. We embellished their strategy--literally--with deep, rich colors that offset each other. It's a blue tower that's sure to stand out on any product shelf. 

When it comes to box construction, we used rigid chipboard to keep the bottle safe on both shelf and in shipment. You can even add custom foam inserts or thermoformed trays to add additional protection and presentation packaging elements. With the users in mind, they can slip the magnetized flap open to check out the product inside. It's not tricky, it's not dramatic. It's just great design. 

Serving a Growing Market

Great products sometimes have a hard time finding their audience, and this the case sometimes when it comes to liquor. When a consumer is faced with a shelf of vodka or whiskey, it can be overwhelming to choose one. However, one of the most common reasons customers cite for trying something new is that they liked the packaging (no lie). 

Ready to invest in liquor packaging that helps your product stand out without resting on tired marketing cliches? Contact us today!

Recycling Thermoformed Packaging

For good reason, retailers and companies are increasingly concerned with the re-usability of packaging. Using materials that can be recycled and reused is not only good for the environment, but a selling point to eco-conscious customers. Recycling thermoformed packaging is one reason Sunrise Packaging loves promoting our thermoforming processes, but not the only one.

We turned to the current industry analysis and trends on industrial thermoform packaging material market to find out why this style of customized inserts and packaging is rapidly increasing in popularity.

Reasons to Love Recycling Thermoformed Packaging

It’s good for the globe.

Recycling plastic leads to a robust second life for a variety of products (see what kinds of plastics can be recycled). With the majority of thermoformed materials meeting the requirements for recycling initiatives, it allows consumers to buy with confidence. On a grander scale, it reduces greenhouse gasses and pollution, as well as the waste filling up dumps and natural environments. 

It’s good for the consumer.

And in more ways than you might think. It takes less energy to make products from recycled plastic than it does using virgin materials. It saves on oil, which in turn makes more oil available for heating homes and other uses. That’s just one example of how recycling thermoformed packaging helps the collective and not just individuals.

It’s good for your organization.

Thermoforming has a lot of advantages. It’s ligthweight but solid. It’s environmentally-friendly while providing stiff storage for products. Additionally, more and more products require the versatility offered by custom plastic packaging. Wood and glass can’t promise a moisture-free, odor-free environment that also blocks light. Oh, and while keeping weight and shipping costs down. 

Upcycling For The Greater Good

Upcycling‘ is becoming an increasingly popular term to further clarify recycling. It means taking a product and reusing it for a new purpose. But in such a way that creates a product of higher quality or value. It’s not exactly a new idea–there must have been some inventive upcycling going on through the Great Depression, right?–but it’s gained traction in our eco-friendly society. 

Choosing packaging that can be re-purposed is more than just a fiscal decision. As people become more educated about making choices, trends show that the demand for recyclable packaging will grow. Get ahead of the game by working with Sunrise Packaging to create recyclable thermoformed packaging!