Build a Better Sales Kit

Your sales kit should be generating more sales for your organization.

It sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, as the saying goes, common sense isn’t all that common. Too often, a sales kit becomes flooded with materials that aren’t doing the job.  As organizations try to save money in marketing by making materials more general, sometimes they can lose relevance as well.

A sales kit should…

  • Tell customers who your company is
    How do you introduce yourself to someone you want to impress? Apply those same principles to your organization’s introduction. Take the time to write a customized letter to the recipient. Write it like you would write a cover letter for a job application (for more information on the how and why of doing this, see Business Know How).If you don’t have the time or resources to do that, create different versions of a document.  Take something versatile, like company brochures, and provide targeted information for different industries.  Incorporate branding through letterhead or by purchasing custom packaging for these materials.
  • Tell customers what you docustom presentation kits, thermoformed trays, sales kit
    What documents best convey not only your company’s successes and business, but also give a sense for *how* you do it? Give potential new clients an idea for what they can expect from you. Chances are they can find similar services and/or products elsewhere. But if they’re looking for premier customer service or another aspect which your organization can provide, highlight that in your sales kit.An ideal way to convey this is through a custom turned edge binder or a catalog binder. Using higher quality materials increases the chances of the recipient keeping and examining the materials.  People are less likely to throw something away if they think it’s expensive.
  • Show customers why they should care
    This is the hook for customers. Presentation packaging for your sales kit can make the positive first impression you need to secure the sale. It can also leave a lasting impression as the client returns to the materials inside. It also helps convey a sense of the way in which you do business, as well as your company’s aesthetic and reinforce branding.Custom sales kit packaging can take various shapes and forms, but there are many ways to show your values. Committed to sustainability? Use recycled materials. Looking to make an impression from the first touch? Ask about our finishing options or enhanced options like magnetic closures.

Additional content ideas for sales kits

sales kit, custom pad packaging, branding, luxury packaging, high quality packaging

Sales sheets, catalogs, and brochures are all expected items in a sales kit. Consider incorporating more traditionally-oriented marketing collateral. Bark Creative has a great list of suggestions which includes things like:

  • Recent press releases on your company
  • News stories about recent awards or industry honors/mentions for your company
  • Client testimonials

All of the above can add a kind of narrative to your sales kit.  Adding presentation packaging that reflects branding and core values leaves a positive impression. If you are concerned about space or overwhelming the recipient, there’s always the option to save these types of content on a USB drive. The main advantages?  Even more customization by using press releases or testimonials from clients in similar industries. And it will be easier to update on the fly!

What’s the most effective part of your sales kit?

 

What is a Designer Box?

Let’s start with what a designer box isn’t: plain cardboard.

Medela-OpenedIf you’re shipping out blouses, candy, promotional material, or whatever in uninspired packaging, you might as well be replace the word FRAGILE with DON’T BOTHER OPENING.

But why? A box is a box is a box, right? False. If that were true, everything you ever ordered online would arrive as though it were homemade cookies from your great aunt: cardboard, duct tape, and a scribbled address. But companies don’t spend all this time and money on cultivating top-tier products just to have them look like something you bought from somebody on eBay. Sure, there’s lots to love about corrugated. It’s cheap, padded, and disposable…but are those really words you want associated with your product?

Even e-retailers are being told to “ditch the brown box” by experts. Frankly, it’s a little on the boring side. Not to mention, it’s hard to establish brand identity with a box that looks like everyone else’s. Which brings us to the designer box.

Like designer anything, a designer box has features. It could be a unique opening, something outside the standard top flaps. Maybe it’s shiny foil trim, gold or silver. Perhaps it’s embossed handwriting, magnetic clasps, or a flocked interior. Maybe it’s all of the above.

gate_fold_designer_box_minnesota_vikings

One place to start is packaging that is rigid. This means the walls of the box are assembled using chipboard, a condensed form of cardboard that mimics the stiffness of thin particleboard. You might have experienced this type of packaging in smartphone packaging, or even with high-end board games. The result is more durability and, ultimately, reusability. That’s another designer difference: boxes can be eco-friendly as the day is long, but reusable packaging is smart packaging. It’s multifunctional, and therefore valuable. Pop quiz. What’s the better choice for bagging your groceries–paper or plastic? The answer is actual secret option C, a reusable bag. No matter the material, disposable products still contribute to waste.

As with most things, it’s important to remember your audience. Or maybe, recipients in this case. If your product is an all-organic, environmentally-minded soap, you might not want to include all the bells and whistles on your packaging. (You might not want to have packaging at all, but good luck with that at retail.) In this case, you might want to opt for the cardboard box. But that doesn’t mean you can’t spruce it up–even eBay knows that. And it’s totally possible with soy-based inks and water-based coatings. But for items with a higher price tag (think: electronics, tools, clothing), don’t you want packaging that matches the quality of your product? More than that, don’t you want the security and storage that comes along with designer packaging?

Upgrade Your Box

turned edge hinge box

What do you think of when you think of box packaging? A plain cube? 6 equal sides? A brown cardboard brick? Seems uninspired. But there’s so much more. So let’s talk about a…

Packaging Upgrade

 

If you’ve looked through our gallery then, spoiler alert, you know we’ve already thrown the idea of a ‘boring box’ out the window. The days of basic are over when it comes to retail and promotional packaging. A box needs to be salesperson, showcasing a product or organization when nobody else can. Let’s go over a few packaging upgrades that can give a box a standout presence.

Magnets

The slickest, coolest, most secure upgrade, magnets make the difference. Whether you opt for hidden magnetic tabs that snap lids shut with invisible power, or an ornate clasp straight from a castle gate, this element adds a sophistication that is the difference between post-consumer waste and reusable heirloom.

Handles

Not only does a handle turn a box into a stylish makeshift briefcase, it also adds a lot of functionality. A presentation kit that can be transported easier, is something worth keeping around. Something memorable. A custom handle box shows that you care about the end-user.

Windows

You’ve heard that eyes are the window to the soul, right? Well, flip it back on them! Put a window on your custom box for some all-around product transparency. Perhaps a stylish opening to show off a textured material, a clear plastic that offers a glimpse, or a thermoformed blister for including a sample.

Foil Stamping

Shiny! Embossing your logo into a rigid setup box already adds some dimension, but why not go all in on a foil stamp. This little upgrade adds a metallic sheen to your impression. Used tastefully, it’s the perfect complement and carries that look of richness.

Textures

The breakthroughs in textured wraps for packaging will blow you away. From suede to snakeskin, your box can tap into that tactile appeal that makes or breaks products in the marketplace. If you have a box that can’t be put down, that’s half the battle right there.

Pockets

An oldie-but-goodie. Pockets are awesome. Functional. A little sleeve for a business card, or an industrial pocket for literature and instructions. These hidden accessories set projects apart, bringing your clients back for more. Pro tip: sleeves are cool, but if you need to include a compact disc, consider adding adhesive disc hubs to turn a binder or box into an instant DVD case.

Foam

Stop thinking bubble bath, are start thinking contoured support. Die-cut foam inserts inside your custom marketing kit are the pinnacle of professionalism. Clean, crisp, and cut to the exact specifications of your product, a foam insert not only stores securely, it displays elegantly.

Tech (of the Future)

As electronics become more and more inconspicuous, the easier they can be added to custom packaging products. RFID tags embedded in a box can either be used for instant package tracking, or give your clients an almost magical link to your website (think: reordering) or social media account (think: likes!). The day is fast approaching that super thin video screens could allow you to present that Super Bowl-quality commercial upon opening.


 

These are just a few of the packaging upgrades available through Sunrise Packaging. Request a Quote for a quick and easy one-on-one with our experts! The only thing between you and getting noticed is a mouse click!

Award-Winning Packaging

It’s not impossible to find award-winning packaging.

There’s the Dieline Awards, the Luxury Packaging Awards…but packaging that wins a Grammy? That’s huge.

You might not know this, but there’s a category for the Grammy Awards that doesn’t get aired during the live telecast. Probably because the title is so long-winded, it would get cut short by the play-off music. The category is Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package and, since its inception in 1995, it’s usually presented at a ceremony preceding the awards show. And usually it’s given for some specialty artwork or cool inclusive. But this year’s BBSLEP–woof–Grammy Award-winning packaging was really a showstopper.

The award was given to a trio consisting of Susan Archie, Dean Blackwood, and–no big deal–Jack White! That’s right, the talented musician, famous for bands like the Dead Weather and the White Stripes, has now picked up his 11th Grammy–but this time it’s for packaging! (Actually, his 10th was too, but we’ll get to that in a minute.)

grammy_award_winning_packaging_by_third_man_recordsWhite’s Third Man Records put out a monster collection titled The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Volume Two (1928-32), featuring prolific hits from the early 20th century. To truly showcase this collection, White and his team opted for the luxury packaging route. The cool contents notwithstanding, the packaging is a stainless steel and polished aluminum case designed to evoke the art deco era of early radio. (Check out the video above!)

The packaging isn’t the most practical (the website claims that each case is handmade and it could take up to a month to ship) but with a $400 price tag, the final product better be a little better than a cardboard box.

You don’t have to package your product in a metal suitcase, but you have to respect the idea behind it. The flash, the majesty, the shelf presence of presentation packaging draws a crowd. And, in some cases, draws a famous award too.

Oh, by the way, last year’s Grammy in this category? Also went to Jack White for The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Volume One. Check out that award-winning packaging, plus all the other winners here.

Image: Third Man Store

5 Things to Put on Your Podcast Flash Drive

podcast_flash_drive

“Podcast” is a polarizing term. If you know what it is, there’s probably a few you can’t live without–don’t commute without one, in my opinion–or you have no clue what I’m talking about. If you’re of the latter category, I envy you. You’re about to discover specialized, personalized internet radio shows for the first time. But if you’re already an avid podcast downloader, then perhaps you’ve thought about starting your own.

Perhaps you already have.

Not even a decade ago, if you started a podcast, you could probably rank #1 in searches. But now as the internet has given birth to you YouTube stars, podcasts have become the cat’s pajamas. Everybody and their brother has one. I have one. And once you have one, the addiction becomes sort of like tattoos–you just have to have another.

My podcast was more for pleasure than for business. Local fame and a few loyal listeners was plenty for my ego. But if you’re looking to make a name for yourself in the medium, you already know you’ll have some competition. Even if you’re hosting the most niche podcast–Crust-First Pizza Reviews on Horseback, for example–the ease of creating your own show means you’ll still probably be buried. If you want to give your podcast some notoriety, I suggest going analog.

Creating a podcast flash drive for your show is just good business. A USB drive acts as a gift, stores nearly-unlimited data, and lives up to its name when it comes to flash. Once you have them made, simply hit up the convention of your choice (preferably one relevant to your topic) and let the SWAG flow!

Before you hit the trade show floor however, consider this a checklist for what to include on your podcast flash drive. Here are 5 that cannot be missed.

Your Podcast (duh)

Too sassy? Look, even the smartest people leave the house with only one shoe. Sometimes the obvious stuff is the easiest to forget. When loading up your drive with digital goodies, this one is a biggie. But don’t just pick any episode, choose the best episode. Or the episode that is most intriguing. Maybe you have a two-parter with a great cliffhanger. Or make a shortened sample of an episode to give your potential listeners just a taste. Then they’ll want to find your show on their own. Which reminds me…

Link It Up!

While giving your listeners a sample, don’t forget to set them on the path to finding your show online. That’s the beauty of a flash drive—digital content. Easily create a shortcut to your show’s website, or any social media that you update. Be bold–send them right to the subscription sign-up! Or maybe you have a Kickstarter or Patreon that needs some traffic.

Behind-The-Scenes Footage

Right now, some of you amateur ‘casters are thinking “Hey, I have a face for radio, that’s why I started a podcast in the first place!” Tough! Images, especially video, can set your podcast apart. People loving putting a name to a voice too. Include a compressed video of some behind the scenes action on your podcast flash drive. At the very least, it’ll make the viewer feel like they’re on the ground floor of something big!

Logo or No Go

When I said “on” I didn’t just mean digital contents. Let’s not forget the exterior of the flash drive. One of the most thrilling parts of starting your own podcast is creating a compelling logo. If you haven’t done that, well…that’s Step 1. But Step 1.5 should be to show off that logo on your custom USB.

A Bottle Opener?

8GB_flash_drive_bottle_opener_thinkgeekThis one might be a little more specific to me. As the cohost of a beer review podcast, I think this bottle opener flash drive would be the perfect promotional gift to my listeners. What would yours be? Choosing a flash drive that represents what your show is about is not only charming and clever, but it makes an already practical gift even cooler. And with so many different-shaped flash drives out there, finding one that’s the right fit for you is even easier than hitting the record button.

As a bonus, package your podcast flash drive in one of our signature FlashPads™. The smooth hardcover presentation will leave your competition in the dust. Make the perfect modern mixtape to find your listeners. Show off even more visuals, cleanly store your preloaded USB drive, even use an NFC tag for more interactivity.

Above all, when getting your podcast off the ground, it’s important to think outside the box. And outside the internet. Don’t wait for people to search for your show, give your show to them!

For more info check out the USB Packaging blog!

Images: ThinkGeek

Packaging That Ignites the Senses

InVitamin_facial_careYou already know that presentation packaging is a big deal. As a protective vessel, as the first thing a customer sees, as a storage device, now more than ever, a box is more than a box. Luxury packaging has its own voice. Maybe it screams from the shelf, or maybe it whispers. Either way, it is the draw of the proverbial “cover” that reals consumers in.

Artwork is the most basic step. Breathtaking visuals can draw the eye, while the simplicity of an elegant font can breathe value into a product simply by exuding charm. But if you’re looking to go one step further, the next logical step is tactile. A unique cover material can make all the difference. As simple as a silky soft-touch lamination or as complex as as textured snakeskin, an exotic wrap material is hard to put down. When a customer actually gets a product into their hands, that’s a good chunk of the battle. And if there’s something that feels soothing to the touch, well, that battle turns that much more in your favor.

But what’s the next step after that? The next evolution? We have touch and sight covered, what about the other 3 senses?

Marketing experts already know the key to selling is engaging as many senses as possible. You see this in every commercial and print ad. But now it seems the marketing world is taking things one step further. Targeting the consumer in the store, at the moment of decision, with multi-sensory triggers. Infant supply aisles that waft of baby powder, beach-scented swim trunk sections. Some of these innovations are already in play–but if you can’t control a particular stores marketing trends, then will the future of packaging include these extra sensory upgrades?

Imagine it. Wine packaging laced with the buttery notes of a fine cabernet. A tree-trimmer that smells like fresh-cut grass, or the air before a summer storm. With presentation packaging, these experiences aren’t far off. Packaging is all about innovation, and nothing is more innovative than an engaging, interactive experience.

Digital Print Trends 2016

Digital print for promotional packaging

Custom packaging is a pretty broad topic. Does it mean a cardboard box, a plastic wrapper, or a metal briefcase? When designing packaging for a product, the one major element to hit is to choose a design that complements the product itself. Form follows function, at the end of the day.

One way to keep a box customized while also the right fit for the job is to utilize digital printing.

 

What is digital print?

It is what you think it is: a process by which a digitally-stored image is printed directly onto the medium. This shouldn’t sound revolutionary. You might assume most images seen on packaging are digitally-printed. However, when it comes to boxes, t-shirts, or anything printed in large amounts, screen printing is still a more practical process in bulk.

A new press release, however, shows the beauty of going digital. David Luttenberger, global packaging director for the Mintel Group, has made a list of packaging trends for 2016--and right at the top? A focus on digital print.

Luttenberger calls the rise of this technique an evolution, not revolution. Which is true: experts have been predicting a digital boom as far back as 2013. But what digital printing offers is far more versatile than the endless, one-shot screen print process. Screen printing cannot be manipulated on the fly like digital can. With digital printing, you can change ingredients, logos, and instructions with a few changes to the digital source. This allows for smaller runs, or preliminary press versions of product packaging. Luttenberger draws attention to the successful Coca-Cola campaign of including names on their labels. This imaginative marketing would not have been plausible with screen printing.

Digital also allows you to include smaller details for higher-definition. Screen printing works for simple logos, but if you need to include lifelike imagery, digital is the only way to go.

In a nutshell, digital printing gives businesses more freedom. Freedom to try a new look, a new campaign, or a new marketing strategy, without committing to the asset creation or monotony of screen printing.

Will digital finally see it’s boom in 2016? Only time will tell.

The Evolution of Smart Packaging

evolution_of_smart_packaging

The evolution of smart Packaging has progressed very quickly. Just a few years ago, smart packaging meant a label on a box with a tracking number, or even more advanced: a barcode readable by a laser scanner. In more recent years, the QR Code, short for Quick Response, became so popular that it was hard to find an advertisement without one. Scannable by a smartphone, a QR code would bring an interested user to a website, tutorial video, or social media account. They became almost fashionable. Websites spawned to generate and track QR codes for the purposes of trend following. It looked like the new wave in online marketing strategy.

And yet, today, if you were to Google ‘smart packaging’ QR codes would be the farthest from. While they are still an easy, worthwhile asset, smart or intelligent packaging has moved into an almost science-fiction-like state. Slim microchips that detect if food is rotting is included in packaging to help specify ‘sell by’ dates. One step further, nano-technology in packaging may actually inhibit mold and microbe growth.

Where once packaging was meant to be kept secular from the product inside, it’s now directly linked to it. That is an evolution in packaging in general. Boxes that are more than just a vessel of delivery, but actually sustain the contents. Support it and promote it.

So while the distinction is smart packaging is splintering–active packaging, intelligent packaging, etc–the rate at which innovation is being made is exponential across the board. Slim micro-screens and app interaction have teamed up to make “virtual mirrors” for cosmetic products. The eerie sounding “augmented human” trend could let consumers try on makeup at the store without ever putting anything on their skin.

In some ways, the future of packaging is in flux. There’s always a call for less wasteful packaging, but with the technologies listed above, paired with anti-theft measures, marketing tactics, and procedural instructions, one could argue packaging is more important than ever.

More:

Packaging Digest

Mintel

Medgadget

Image: Packaging Digest

WestPack is Back

Forget Winter…WestPack is Coming!

westpack_convention_floorIt’s back and once again in sunny California. WestPack 2016 Anaheim represents one of the biggest packaging conventions in the States. The 3-day event (Feb. 9 – 11) promises expert presentations and unparalleled networking opportunities for vendors, promoters, and those in need of product packaging.

Beautiful setting aside, this is a unique convention in that it puts packaging aficionados and knowledgeable experts under one roof. In addition to a more traditional convention floor setting (which is massive), the expo also hosts keynote speakers and panels ranging in topic from marketing strategy to the up-and-coming materials and textiles. It also features “speed networking” sessions. Like speed dating, but for business purposes. Fun and practical!

unique_networking_opportunity_westpack

westpack_keynote_speaker_panelSunrise Packaging will be holding down Booth 5451, representing Minnesota in the luxury packaging industry. We will be premiering our new 2016 catalog, introducing our new Mag Box family, as well as showing off some of our wares. If you need an impromptu vacation, please come see us in sunny Anaheim California!

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