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. 

Cosmetic Box Review: Dior Backstage Pros Solution Set

Cosmetic box sets are usually a way to get a little more bang for your buck. Sometimes there might be exclusive shades or add-ins, or a make-up bag, or some other kind of hook for consumers. One brand that bucks this trend, especially when it comes to cosmetics, is Dior. It’s rare to see their products discounted in any way, and buying a set (like the Backstage Pros Gift Set) doesn’t save much more money than buying each product individually.

I don’t mind this, to be honest. I would rather buy shades and products that work for my skin without feeling pressured to buy a set of which I would only use half of the products. However, I am a sucker for great packaging, and the Dior Backstage Pros Solution cosmetic box is gorgeous.  It’s classy and understated, and clearly high-end. Two piece setup boxes have a rigidity and sturdiness that elevates them from something that goes out with the recycling to something in which you store keepsakes.  And that’s true even if it isn’t emblazoned with ‘Dior.’

But back to the products.

Included in This Cosmetic Box

(and with translation below):Dior luxury catwalk cosmetic box

  • Diorshow Maximizer
    “Mascara serum base, lash amplifying effect”
  • Diorshow Brow Styler in 001 Universal Brown
    “Ultra fine precision brow pencil”
  • Dior Addict Lip Maximizer in 001 Pink
    “Collagen active lip-gloss”
  • Dior Addict Lip Glow in 001 Pink
    “Color awakening lip balm”
  • Nail Glow
    “Instant French manicure/brightening effect”

Full disclosure: I wouldn’t have bought the set if it didn’t work with my skin tones, but luckily, 001 Pink is one of faves. It’s subtle and slightly plumping without being overwhelming, and it works on a variety of skin tones.

Same goes for the 001 brow styler, which gives a natural brow look.  Unlike cheaper pencils, which give off too much powder or waxiness.  Some online reviews have criticized the amount received for the price. When it comes to make-up, I’m a firm believer that quality is more important than quantity. However, I will admit to not being 100% sold on the Maximizer mascara. My eyelashes are very fine, and this tends to add more gunk than desired volume to them. It’s entirely possible I need application lessons, but this is the only product in the cosmetic box that I wouldn’t purchase on its own.

But back to a high note: Dior’s nail glow is worth every penny for ladies whose nails tend to chip otherwise. Reviews have noted the strong acetone scent, but c’mon…it’s nail polish! The shade works for my nails, leaving the nail tips looking whiter and rest slightly pink, as promised with the instant French manicure advertising. I know, I know, I didn’t believe it either, but try it out.

Cosmetic Box…Not by Sunrise (but just you wait)

This cosmetic box isn’t a product by Sunrise, but we do a pretty bang-up job with custom setup boxes. We’ll have some exciting news regarding this particular style in the next few months, too…so hold onto your seats in anticipation.

Contact a sales rep for more information!

What’s in a Printing Technique?

While it's true that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, the adage doesn't quite extend to product packaging. Packaging makes a first impression and a lasting one at that. It's what might draw someone to your product, and draw them back again. Choosing the right printing technique plays a key part in making an impression (pun slightly intended).  

At Sunrise Packaging, the printing techniques which you can use include:

Printing techniques not only enhance design, but lend a tactile quality to packaging. Who can see an embossed design and not run their fingers over it? By appealing to multiple senses, it enhances the user's experience with your product before they've even opened it up.

Debossing printing technique example

Embossing and Debossing Printing Technique

Embossing and debossing are similar processes with opposite effects.  While both involve a mounted plate making impressions, embossing produces a raised impression while debossing creates a depressed impression.  Both techniques give the final product some texture, making the packaging irresistible to fingers running over the design.  The example to the left shows debossing; note that either can be used in conjunction with foil printing.

Foil Stamping Printing Technique

As noted above, both embossing or debossing can be used with foil stamping for an impactful, striking image.  Known as hot foil stampers, foil stamping machines use heat to transfer metallic foil to a solid surface. As a permanent process, it's popular for products with longevity: luxury keepsakes, like the Minnesota Vikings package to the right, branded items for photographers, or any business which needs to make their mark.

Foil stamping printing technique
Silk screening printing technique

Silk Screening / Screen Printing Technique

In silk screening or screen printing, a stencil forms open areas of mesh that allow ink to transfer to the material. A roller then rolls across the stencil, forcing ink into the desired space. This method, possibly familiar to you from custom t-shirt designs, is usually employed on boxes (like the Kentucky Derby example) or binders. 

Print Coating Printing Technique

Print coatings not only enhance but also help protect the design. The coating can protect against the effects of repeated use, extreme temperatures, moisture, things that threaten the integrity and longevity of a box, binder, or other type of packaging.  There are several types of print coatings. Each come with their own pros and cons; check out some of the options below, or chat with an expert for recommendations based on your needs!

  • Overprint varnish is the most cost efficient type of print coating.  It provides a mild shine and some protection. 
  • Aqueous contains protective sealants yet is environmentally-friendly as it is water-based. It's fairly glossy, per the example, and won't yellow over time.
  • Laminates has two options: film and liquid based. They're very effective in protecting from water and provide wipe-able surfaces. 
  • UV Coating is liquid-based and applied/cured by UV lamps. Its main advantages include the highest gloss out of these options, better clarity and higher abrasion/rub resistance. 

Contact a representative to find out which options fit your product and your budget!

Medical Packaging For Boomers

Nearly 27% of the population of the United States was born between 1946 and 1964. Termed the Baby Boomers, this generation has stampeded its way through the decades and are now arriving at retirement age. While aging typically indicates health decline, this generation is bucking that trend (or segments of them are). They're eating better, exercising more, taking preventative measures designed to help them not only live longer, but have a higher quality of life as well. Their expectations are higher than previous generations; baby boomers also tend to have more money and are generally wealthier. They want the best--and they can probably pay for it--in their products, and that includes medical packaging.

Medical packaging presentation packaging for baby boomers

How Baby Boomers Affect Medical Packaging

The enormous influence of the baby boomer generation reflects its size and spending power. Their needs regarding medical packaging are unique to the industry; they love new and innovative styles, but still need to have ease of opening. Think of a bottle of aspirin. It's a common joke, but sometimes the childproof lock defeats adult logic. Add in arthritic hands and possibly declining mental state, and pill-sized pain relief becomes an insurmountable task.  

For the product above, Sunpack created a box with light magnetic closure. This ensures that it won't open accidentally but is easy enough to slip open when needed.

The design of the medical packaging is important as well when it comes to the user's ability to remove it from the package. In the aspirin example from above, it's easy to shake out too many and lose some of the medication. It's not a huge factor with something relatively low-cost, like aspirin, but becomes exponentially more important with the medicine itself. Being able to package an actual device, such as the Axionics device in the picture, securely is step one. Step two is creating a tray which can not only securely hold the device, but allows for semi-easy removal. The thumb holes around each part of the device help ensure a firm grasp prior to lifting.

Vision is another consideration for medical packaging designed for baby boomers. Naturally, as we age, our vision tends to decrease. Medical packaging needs to be clear and concise in design as well as content.  Devices need to be easily identifiable, but that doesn't mean devoid of creativity. For Axionics, you can see the design is deceptively simple, elegant, and with simple fonts to aid comprehension. While white is the dominant color within the design, choosing a bright, single accent color reduces visual clutter.

Karten medical packaging custom tray

Keep It Simple

When it comes to baby boomers and medical packaging, HealthcarePackaging.com said it best:

This consumer segment is looking for brands that will help them take care of themselves and better their lives, without constantly reminding them that they aren’t actually as young as they think they are.

Packaging is great way to connect with an audience. It not only entices people to try it, but if it offers a pleasurable experience, it guarantees referrals and repeat business. Sunpack can help design products that meet this need for your products.

FlashPad Wallets: The Perfect Closing Gift

Okay, let me rephrase: FlashPad Wallets make the perfect closing gift *holder*.

Giving clients a gift at closing as a realtor sounds like a great idea. Who doesn’t like presents, for one, and a gift is a great way to express your appreciation for their business. It’s also a delicate way to ask for a referral (directly or indirectly, depending on your style). However, there are ample opportunities for the sweet gesture to go awry as RealtorMag describes.

For example, a set of crystal wine glasses sounds lovely. Unless they’re emblazoned with your company’s logo, in which case it’s really just a present for you, right? And what if they choose not to drink alcohol? Yes, we know that wine glasses don’t have to be used for wine, but it’s the implication as well as the lack of personalization that offends.  

So how does one come up with a gift that’s personal (but not too personal), won’t offend in any way, leaves a positive impression and reinforces your chance of a referral?

FlashPad Wallets can hold gift cards or USB Drives

FlashPad Wallets to the rescue

FlashPad Wallets are a new take on our classic FlashPad. They are smaller, lighter, and more portable.  The Wallet snaps shut and opens like a bifold wallet (hence the name...and it also possible to purchase as a trifold for more content). The inner and outer areas are completely customizable to whatever logo and messaging you want to share. While the package might become a keepsake for your client, what’s inside will catch their eye.

As RealtorMag notes, there’s one gift that everyone appreciates: money. It’s a tad gauche to fill it with cash, not to mention impersonal, so select a gift card that meets their needs. You’ve spent a substantial amount of time with them, so think back to conversations with them. Are they planning on buying new furniture? Do they love Starbucks or some other item? Does their new house have a lot of shelves that need to be filled with books? The opportunities are endless. The finishing options for FlashPad Wallets also allow for you to write a personalized message while the preprinted packaging does the selling for you.

Another option for the Wallet is a USB drive to be filled with whatever materials you share with clients. Information about their new neighborhood, any closing documents that can be saved digitally...whatever you can think of. I love the key-shaped USB for this idea; it’s a nice touch without being too cutesy. 

Regardless of how you choose to bookend the relationship, your client will probably remember you more for how you worked with them than the closing gift. Use the gift to build your reputation and connect with clients on a deeper level. And let the FlashPad Wallet remind them of where to send referrals. 

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