Packaging for Millennials & Beyond

It might surprise you to learn that different generations have different effects on the packaging industry. Baby boomers, which have thundered like a herd of elephants through the ages, dominate the pharmaceutical packaging market.  Medical device packaging for them needs to be lightweight, easy to open, and clearly labeled. However, millennials have surpassed the baby booms to become the largest generation in United States history. Representing nearly 25% of the population, it’s clear that packaging for millennials requires a different tone, look and feel than previous generations.

Packaging for Millennials is Different

Millenials are defined as the generation born between the early 1980’s and mid-1990’s.  While singular qualities range, like any generation, millennials are marked by their desire for uniqueness and creativity, and manufacturers are reacting with increasingly innovative and interesting packaging decisions. Their comfort with mobile devices and online shopping means that knowledge and possessions are quickly available at their fingertips. Ranging from their early twenties to late thirties, their purchasing power is primarily what’s driving the changes in packaging to meet their desire for instant gratification.

What Millennials Look For in Packaging

According to Packaging Digest, there are a few common things that millennials look for in choosing brands and, by extension, packaging for millennials:

  1. What does the brand say about me?
    Millennials want to feel a personal connection to brands because brands say something about a person. In part, brands define who a person is and what their values are. As a generation with access to nearly anything, the choices are limitless. To assign meaning to those choices, millennials see their purchases as emblematic of themselves.
  2. How can this brand be customized to me?
    It’s the insult of all insults: BASIC. To call someone basic is essentially to call them uninteresting. Un-extraordinary. Snd worst of all, boring. This is partially a reference to the millennial love for specialty product ingredients but also the packaging. Millennials consistently gravitate toward custom packaging, according to Supermarket News. Think of the Coca-Cola initiative recently, with people’s names on Cokes.
  3. Is it exclusive and high-end packaging?
    Building on the customization factor, millennials love high-end private label branding. Think luxury and exclusive packaging. Or at least packaging that can be perceived like that.
  4. Who else is using it?
    Social media gives everyone a platform to rant or rave about products, and millennials are very adept at picking up what’s hot and what’s not. Creating buzz is key to packaging for millennials. Include QR codes, hashtags, anything that invites interaction with the brand on the package itself.

How Packaging for Generation Z Will Go Even Further

There’s no sign of these trends stopping with millennials. Generation Z is coming up fast behind them, and they promise to wield even more market power. Expect them to want an even MORE personal relationship with their chosen brands.They’ll also expect to use their mobile-first identity to interact with brands constantly.

Contact Sunrise today for tips and ideas on creating packaging that speaks to millennials in their language.

Cosmetic Box News: Matte NAKED Palette!

Makeup fans around the world are so excited (not in a Jessie Spano kind of way). Urban Decay announced earlier this week that a new edition of their popular NAKED palette will be released. NAKED palettes aren't just any old cosmetic box, and Ultimate Basics follows that tradition.

Typically containing 12 shadows of perfectly-packed powder that are universally flattering, these palettes have built up a loyal following. While that's not the case here, this is the first time they've released a solely matte palette. Typically, matte eye shadows are meant to be compliments to other, more sparkly shadows (or at least with more light reflection). They're ideal for daytime wear, and true to the palette name, it's a more naked look. 

Usually retailing upwards of $50, they still tend to sell out quickly (but here are some alternatives if this isn't your price range). Not only are the eye shadows versatile and perfect for everyday wear, but Urban Decay likes to release new colors in palette form, and this one features 12 brand new shades. If this is the only place you can get a new shade, the value increases. By heightening the demand, you know there's no time to waste in picking one up. 

Matte cosmetic box review

A Matte Cosmetic Box

Part of what helps cultivate Urban Decay's devoted fan base is how they interact with consumers. Ultimate Basics was literally born out of their fans' requests for a matte palette.  Appropriately, many fans are flocking to social channels to share their excitement and approval for the latest addition to the NAKED palette family. This type of devotion is typical of Urban Decay fans, but the adulation is well-earned. 

Why Matte? Why Not

As described above, matte eye shadows are best as compliments to shimmer shadows, but can be worn alone for a literal naked or more natural look. However, matte tends to look better in flash photography and has better pigmentation than shimmer shadows so they give the eye more definition. Matte is harder to blend together, but they're the basic of any everyday look. The depth and range of the colors isn't replicated anywhere else. There's no chance you won't use these shades. At less than $5 per shade, it's a no-brainer.

And, of course, the cosmetic box itself is worth it's weight in...well, eye shadow. Sturdy and strong, this cigar style box flips up to reveal the 12 new shades as well as the double-sided makeup brush. There's also a mirror, making it the perfect on-the-go companion. Who else can't wait until September 18?!

Luxury Brand Packaging Tips

Luxury brand packaging is one of those things that's better experienced than described. However, as one of Minnesota's premier producers of high end custom packaging, we're well-situated to take a stab at defining some of the features that make packaging feel luxurious. Custom packaging can make a sizable impression. And it's our job to make sure that it's a positive impression as a result of great design and fine craftsmanship.

The tips below, adapted from TheDieLine, discuss how to appeal to consumers and leave an impression of high-end luxury packaging. It involves appealing to the senses in unexpected--yet pleasing--ways.  It's turning the mundane into the extraordinary. And it's easier than you think.

Tips for High End Custom Packaging

Include micro-interactions
You can guide users through a delayed-gratification type of an experience through micro-interactions. Micro-interactions are unexpected surprises about a package or a box. Utilize materials in unexpected ways (especially materials that convey the luxurious quality you want to convey, like our soft touch lamination). Design points of interplay for the user and the product. Magnet closure, pull tabs, these extras surprise and delight consumers. 

luxury brand packaging

Reduce redundant hand positions
Haptic feedback helps inform luxury packaging. Believe it or not, but according to TheDieLine, redundant hand positions required to open packaging reduce perceived quality. Use one simple criterion: how easy is it to open the package? Could it be opened blindfolded, or would it require tools and complicated handiwork? It's a testament to the classic simplicity and elegance of the cigar box

luxury brand packaging

Contrast finishes
The way light interacts with colors and finishes affects how consumers perceive things. It can make the difference between a high-end box and a cheap one, or at least the perception either way. The finish should be smooth, crisp, consistent, and even. Incorporating foil stamping on a matte material is one of our favorite ways to create this kind of contrast. However, show restraint when it comes to contrasting.  Discretion and minimalism in design define understated luxury.

Gold foil stamp example on luxury brand packaging

Luxury Brand Packaging Value Perception

When all is said and done, creating luxury brand packaging is all about creating a perception of high value. By following the cues discussed, it's possible to trigger the sensory cues that say "high-end." While these are tips that help convey luxury, it's important to remember packaging basics, such as: 

  • Take measures to ensure packaging won't become warped or misshapen due to humidity, poor handling, etc.
  • Incorporate materials and finishes that are pleasing to touch. 
  • Design an opening experience worthy of an unveiling video. 

Consumers want to be thrilled. Discover ways to incorporate these types of interactions and sensations into your packaging to create something they'll love. 

DnD Custom Game Box

If you’re watching Netflix’s Stranger Things, take note: no spoilers appear below, but there is minor discussion on plot points.  The introduction to the main characters features a scene that would convey very different things just a few years ago. They’re sitting around, playing Dungeons & Dragons (or DnD).  Since the show takes place in 1983, it’s clear that they’re being depicted as classic 80’s *nerds,* so to speak. And to drive the message home, they’re also part of the AV Club, get picked on by bullies, and are general outsiders. However, with the relatively recent rise of “geek chic,” these kids are endearing through our 2016 lenses. Also, DnD is experiencing a resurgence of popularity due to all this attention. Since Sunrise Packaging is in the business of boxes, it seems appropriate to turn our attention to making a custom game box for the new wave of DnD-ers.

DnD Needs Assessment

Although online versions exist, this is a game best played in person with a group. It’s a group effort. As the OG of fantasy role playing tabletop games, the custom game box needs to be as iconic as its contents. Color schemes typically fall on the darker end of the spectrum, highlighted with fiery reds, oranges and yellows.

The party of adventurers might always meet at one person’s home, or the set might travel around. This means the box needs to be both durable and easy-to-move. Light, built in handles of some sort, but rigid and strong enough to withstand  transportation. DnD game boards usually fold up, but a custom game board might need more room to lay flat. Some kind of rigid insert might be necessary. Partially for presentation, but also to keep the pieces and dice intact. It’s kind of like using a peg board for tool organization. When they’re outlined, you know exactly which one is missing. Same goes for a custom box insert.

DnD Custom Game Box

So what have we arrived at when it comes to a custom game box, specifically for DnD?

For starters, a custom two-piece setup box is the classic game box style.* The turned edge style is also ideal for the design and strength components. Turned edge boxes are made of chipboard, which is extremely durable. It also lends itself well to a variety of wraps which can best display dynamic DnD graphics and colors. Further custom options can include foil stamped linen or embossed fibers for a slightly Medieval-like feel.

To keep the innards and gaming items in place, the set up box is perfect for multiple types of inserts. Think custom die cut foam, thermoformed tray, insider liners…the options vary as much as DnD gameplay. Add in some sort of handle and you’ve got a party in a box. Literally.

Get in touch with our sales department to start work on your custom game box!

*Did you know Sunrise Packaging has established a reputation for custom game box and game board packaging?

A Mortgage Thank You Can Increase Business

In this booming housing market, the possibility exists for big business for mortgage lenders. The biggest problem is figuring out how to rise above the hundreds of other lenders customers can select. Marketing has changed a lot over the past decade. Interestingly, 2006 is also the last time the housing market was as strong as it is today. Ten years ago, Facebook and Twitter were new territory. Nowadays, a full social media strategy is the minimum for any marketing effort. The impact of other social sites, particularly review sites, has also impacted businesses. The feedback cycle is immediate and unfiltered, and people aren’t afraid to share their experiences with companies. The good and the bad. This is particularly important in industries where relationship building is still the standard for gaining business. You know, like realty and mortgage lending.  A mortgage thank you is a no-brainer. But what kind of thank you?

Designing a Mortgage Thank You

Showing customer appreciation is harder than it seems, right? A company doesn’t want to come off too flippant, too robotic, or inappropriate. But in the interests of time efficiency, you can’t exactly spend a few hours everyday hunting down the perfect piece of artwork to complement a client’s dining room trim.  Split the difference by creating a customized box. Sunrise Packaging, here in Minnesota, can help design something that meets your budget and image.  And from there, come up with some ideas of how to fill it.

  • Thank you noteMortgage thank you box
    Whether you buy a card or use custom stationary, take the time to write out the note longhand. We don’t have to explain why…right? If you don’t know what to write, Google it.
  • Gift certificate for local businesses
    Even if your clients are refinancing or not new to the area, a coupon or gift certificate to a local business is appreciated. Plus you can possibly build a kind of referral exchange with the other business.
  • Local maps of resources
    If they’re new to the area, it would be handy to learn about things that are nearby. Dog parks, microbreweries, escape rooms, whatever they’re particular deal might be. You know a lot about these people, you should have an idea of what they like.
  • A cash card
    It might feel a tad crass, but if we’re being honest, cash is the only universally appreciated gift. It allows the customer to spend it on whatever they want, without feeling obligated in any way. It’s not quite the gift that keeps on giving, but it’s close.

Choosing the Box Options

Believe it or not, but a box isn’t just a box. Take the time to figure out what needs to go *in* it, then we’ll know what types of custom box options it needs.  How to make your branding stand out, what types of insert it needs to protect and preserve the gift, and best of all: how to make that perfect final impression. This is a business of referrals. Your mortgage thank you should have them talking about your company into the next decade.

Influencer Kits & Advocacy Marketing

Influencer marketing, or influence marketing, is a form of marketing that focuses on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole. Think of it as a response to the changing social atmosphere and outlets available to people. Anyone with Wifi and well-utilized device (it doesn't even have to be a computer in this mobile age) can reach millions via Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram, whatever channel they prefer. Savvy businesses are trying to engage with these people in different ways to promote their products. This usually takes the form of influencer kits.

Influencer kits are a new take on a sales kit. Rather than specifically *sell* directly to a consumer, these kits are designed to appeal to a very specific market segment. They should include content that speaks to influencers and, by proxy, their audience.  Construction of the kit should also embody the brand. Typically, a cigar style box is used since it creates a kind of stage for the products. 

Create a Strategy to Maximize Influencer Kits

Research Your Influencers
You can't send out influencer kits without knowing who your influencers are, can you? Brandwatch has a few suggestions for tools you can use to find influencers. At the bare minimum, they need to be involved in your field or have a relationship with your brand.

You subtly enter their sphere by engaging with their content. Comment in a positive way on blog posts and like Instagram pics. Even as a brand, you don't want to come across as robotic or disconnected. That's pretty much the opposite of how to build relationships. 

Cigar boxes make ideal influencer kits

On that note, take the time to consider their likes, dislikes, and personality features. Do they exemplify your brand, and the message you want to get across? Use this information not only to create your influencer list, but to start putting together an influencer kit that speaks to them. Start with a blank slate, a custom cigar style box. The trays inside can be customized to whatever products you choose to share. The flip-up top (which can be magnetized for extra oomph) is the perfect spot for instructions, tips, ideas, hashtags, any extra information. 

TL;DR

  1. Research to find influencers within your market segment 

  2. Contact potential influencers to gauge their interest, any fees, etc.

  3. Send influencer kits to your carefully-selected list

  4. Continue to cultivate the relationship and monitor ROI

Contact Your Influencers
Connect with them where they are for the first contact. As users and email filtering have become more sophisticated, it's less and less likely that they'll respond to an email sent out of the blue. It's like cold-calling: no one likes it, and it's more annoying than anything. If they're primarily active on Instagram, send a DM; LinkedIn, send InMail, and so on. If they're interested, they'll let you know. 

This is also a good time to figure out how much you're going to spend on influencers. Some can demand a pretty penny for a post featuring your product--see the Kardashians' promo posts, which are rumored to cost somewhere into six figures--and others might do it for the products alone. Take it all into consideration when putting together the product part of the kit. Be honest with your intentions, too. 

 Cigar box presentation kits can be customized with a few different kinds of inserts, so products are guaranteed not to shift or break in transit. Precise, diecut foam inserts are elegant and recommended for more fragile products. Thermoformed trays provide a frictionless fit and ideal accompaniment for electronics and inserts. 

Send Out Influencer Kits
By this point, you know what makes your influencers tick and built a positive relationship with them.  Now's the time to deliver--literally--and the impress the pants off of them. Your products should speak for themselves, but you can delight them from the second they receive the influencer kits with some added luxury customization. Cigar boxes can withstand a lot of our custom options, including embossing, foil stamping, silkscreen printing, and more. Check out Sunrise's gallery for more ideas

Post-Influencer Kit Relationship

Like any relationship, no one wants to feel used and abused. Continue to cultivate the relationship and show that you value them as consumers, and by extension, their followers as well. It boils down to creating mutual respect. Even if you don't plan on sending out more influencer kits (to the same people, at least), find other creative ways to engage with them. 

And, of course, the important part of any marketing initiative...calculating return on investment.  Compared with pre-influencer kits numbers, how have things changed? Is brand awareness up? Are you connecting with a broader audience? Are sales up? Compile the metrics you use to measure success, and plan from there. And for help creating your influencer kits, contact a Sunrise representative today!

Design a Conference Badge that Doesn’t Suck

Conference organizers always try to find ways to make their events unique and memorable, but there are some things which should be standard. Attendees, particularly those who might have had to deal with unpredictable flights or transportation/hotel issues, will always appreciate a streamlined check in process. It's a process where Occam's Razor is well-applied: the simpler, the better. This definitely goes for conference materials, like the conference badge. 

Some conference materials are necessary evils: the plethora of paper collateral from sponsors, the (usually) hideous conference bag, and sometimes a conference tee designated to become bottom-drawer filler. Or, if you attend a lot of technology conferences like I do, it's worn daily by some of the less hygienic attendees for the conference duration. All things considered, most of these materials are expendable. It makes sense to refocus on the one thing that attendees will use and reuse: the conference badge, or name badge. Here are some tips to create a badge worth its salt. Or at least worth the irritation of remembering it daily. And, when the conference is over and the badge has served its purpose, Sunrise Packaging conference name badges are eco-friendly and completely biodegradable!

What Do Attendees Want in a Conference Badge

Choosing the style of a conference name badge can depend by industry. Tech conferences, which tend to be slightly more informal, typically use lanyards with the badge hanging around the midsection. If this is the route you want to go, be considerate of the variety of shapes your attendees come in (male, female, proportions, etc). Choose a lanyard with adjustable sizes so they can choose where it should sit. 

If the conference is an industry which tends to be more formal, consider a simpler conference badge that's more of  a traditional name tag with magnetic backing. There's little more annoying than putting holes in an expensive blouse or suit. Not to mention that it might hurt the fabric. Name tags also tend to be a little more discreet and elegant. 

Design Around Attendee's First Names

What's the purpose of a conference badge? To identify the attendee as an attendee and to share their name/affiliation with folks. If space is at a premium, consider cutting last names. Some attendees also might not feel comfortable sharing their full name with rooms of strangers (networking aside). Access Event Solutions recommends the following hierarchy: 

First Name (largest font)
Last Name (slightly smaller font than first name)
Company name/title (slightly smaller font than last name)
Other information (you get the drift)

What Else Might Attendees Want in a Conference Badge

If you go the magnetic, name tag route, you're probably maxed out on space after the above. However, if you go the lanyard route, the back of the conference badge is a great spot for additional information, like: 

  • Conference schedule.
  • Wifi access information.
  • Conference hashtags/notable social channels.
  • Sponsor information (understandable to *want* to put it on the front, but lets be real: no one wants it there)
  • Embedding RFID or NFC technology within the layers of a conference badge substrate. Attendees can scan their badge to win prizes, session room counts, supply contact information to enabled vendors...the possibilities are endless.

For maximum readability, print information on the back of a lanyard upside down!  

Make a Conference Badge Attendees Want to Keep

Name tags might not serve many purposes after the conference, unless they're well-designed and not obtrusively tied to the event. Keep your conference badge design simple, and attendees will appreciate the streamlined effort. Particularly if they're already a little jet-lagged. 

The Wedding Netbox: Sticking Together Forever

Planning a wedding can be like falling down a rabbit hole. Just when you think you know what you want, you log in to Pinterest and see something that makes you want to change 300 invitations. Short of ignoring Pinterest, bridal sites, and wedding magazines, the best way to stop the wedding-planning-change-ups is to choose what you love the first time around. The other tip is outsource as much as possible. DIY wedding might sound attractive...until you get to the *do*, and from there, it's enlisting every family member and friend you have. Guest gifts are where most brides start to lose their sanity a little bit.  It's hard--darn near impossible, actually--to come up with something that's personalized, meaningful, and valued by every single guest. Well, maybe food, but that's a given. Cut out part of the work: here are some of the most popular wedding guest gifts according to Buzzfeed, and all can be safely housed in a keepsake wedding netbox.

Custom Stemless Wine Glasses

Traditional wine glasses, with those endless stems, are elegant and useful...if you drink wine. Or if you like being fancy with your water.  However, what's great about stemless is that it bridges the gap from overly-fancy to simple juice glass without a stretch.  A simple engraving will forever remind guests of your special day. Or, save the money and put it toward a wedding netbox from Sunrise. We recommend custom die cut foam inserts to keep the glasses in place and from turning into shards. 

Homemade Liqueurs or Homebrew

Liquor is a gift that keeps on giving. It's also a great compliment to the season of a wedding. Consider pairing the season with something seasonal: 

  • Spring: elderflower liqueur
  • Summer: limoncello or margarita mix
  • Fall: apple brandy or liqueur
  • Winter: Irish cream 

Or, if you or a friend does their own homebrew (or you might have a nearby location that will do all the hard work for you, like Minnesota's Vine Park), that's another great option. Bonus: custom labels. 

wedding netbox guest gift

Instagram Coasters

In our social media omnipresent society, Instagram gives everyone the ability to be an amateur photographer. Choose photos that are beautiful and meaningful--like of your childhood home, trips, etc--and not just you and your paramour's duck faces. Custom thermoformed trays, nesting your coasters with thumb holes inside a custom wedding netbox, create the perfect presentation for your wedding guests.

The Versatility of the Wedding Netbox

The whole point of a wedding guest gift is to create something indispensible versus something disposable. It's a way to thank your guests for participating in (what should be) an amazing experience. The archetypal stressed-out bride is one tradition to which you shouldn't adhere. Choose a wedding gift that's simple and expresses your relationship, and work with Sunrise to design the perfect wedding netbox to share it with the world. 

A Champagne Box Worth Buying: Dom Pérignon

It's July in Minnesota, which means that we're in the heart of summer. Despite being a state known for snow and winter sports, we take summer pretty seriously in the land of 10,000 lakes. While some might argue that cold beer is the best companion on a hot day, I agree that it does the job in a pinch--but a glass of bubbly is even better. Effervescent and refreshing, champagne is a surprisingly perfect pairing for not only toasts (seriously - try it with scrambled eggs or potato chips). Champagne has an interesting history, and the best products are imbued with their own stories. One of the best known brands, Dom Pérignon, has an especially storied history. There's quite a bit stuffed into this champagne box. 

The History of a Great House

For a sparkling wine to be called champagne, it must come from the Champagne region of France. That's where we're starting this story, in France circa 1668. Dom Pierre Pérignon was a French Benedictine monk. While he didn't *invent* champagne, the Dom heavily influenced how it was made in a time when the region primarily produced red wines. While it might sound strange that a monastery controlled a vineyard, it wasn't uncommon in medieval France. Even today, authentic Trappist beers are brewed in monasteries. Today, it makes money; at the time, it was just another beverage. 

Back to champagne. The region of Champagne had been known as a wine produce since Roman times, but it was competing with neighbor Burgundy for production and quality. As cellarmaster, Dom Pérignon took great strides in increasing the quality and quantity of wines from the region. His accomplishments include:

Dom Perignon champagne box from Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=462004
  • Being the first to blend grapes in such a way as to improve the quality of wines, balance one element with another in order to make a better whole, and deal with a number of their imperfections
  • Perfecting the art of producing clear white wines from black grapes by clever manipulation of the presses
  • Enhancing the tendency of Champagne wines to retain their natural sugar in order to naturally induce secondary fermentation in the Spring
  • Being a master at deciding when to bottle these wines in order to capture the bubble
  • Introducing corks (instead of wood), which were fastened to bottles with hemp string soaked in oil in order to keep the wines fresh and sparkling, and used thicker glass in order to strengthen the bottles (which were prone to explode at that time)

Basically, he established wine-making principles that are still in use today. 

Dom Perignon champagne box from http://www.jamesbondlifestyle.com/

A Champagne Box for the Ages

Over the years, the demand for Dom Pérignon has only grown.  Economics is all about supply and demand: when supply is limited, demand is higher. As a vintage champagne, all the grapes must be harvested in the same year. And, if it was a weak year for grapes, it's not made at all. Since 1921, there have been 41 vintages; it's extremely rare for harvests to result in a vintage multiple years in a row. When your goal is bottled perfection, it's obvious that not every year will yield the best. 

Dom Pérignon, despite the demand from royalty and rappers alike, never compromises for quality. A luxury product needs luxury packaging, and while Minnesota-based Sunrise doesn't make their boxes, we're enamored of the custom set up champagne box style utilized. 

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