How Binders Aid Retention

 

Custom Turned Edge Binder

Learning and Retention

Learning and retention are hot topics for any trainer, but less so for professionals whose primary role focuses on something else. Typically, the human resources department of an organization is tasked with ensuring that employees know and understand the basics of their new job as well as build on that knowledge. There are many methods to utilize when creating training materials, and far too often, organizations focus on the format in which the materials are handed out and less so on the quality of the products. This is where Sunrise's high end binders--specifically, turned edge binders--can save you from yourself.

Ideal for HR Trainings

Turned edge binders are ideal for HR trainings for a few reasons. When an employee wants or needs information on something specific, they're unlikely to access an elearning module, search through it for the information they want, and come away from it with a positive outlook. However, being able to grab a quality binder and quickly flip to the information does. Turned edge binders also provide a tactile experience, which for some learning styles, is more effective to help employees retain information. This isn't to say that a hard cover binder should replace elearning modules or more interactive formats. But a binder to supplement and complement information is always a plus. Some things which HR departments need to consider when creating materials include these facts about adult learning:

  1. Adult learning is autonomous
    Adults are old enough to make their own decisions, right? So when learning, they need to feel the freedom to make their own choices. This is where giving them the option to skip and return to modules as well as go at their own pace (electronically or via the turned edge binders) is an important aspect to training.
  2. Incorporating knowledge and life experiences increases retention
    Being able to connect past experiences and knowledge base with new things helps things *stick*. Trainings which can pull out relevant experiences not only interest attendees (because they can relate) but also helps them frame the knowledge.
  3. Keep things goal-oriented
    Building on the previous two tips: in order to keep employees on task and engaged through their experiences, it's important that lessons have a goal or have a clear outcome. In order to maximize the learning potential, it's important to set timeframes for completion. Coupled with the clear outcomes, this helps employees stay on schedule. However, modules with known timings can make people nervous, which might be an unfair representation of their skillset. Providing hard cover binders alongside an e-module turns into an open-book test of sorts, which eases anxiety.
  4. Learning should be relevant and practical
    No one likes to feel like their time is being wasted, right? And that's hardly the impression you want to make on a new employee. Make it clear how these lessons tie in to their productivity or ability to do their job better. Additionally, using examples which help ground theoretical concepts helps enhance understanding.

But why turned edge binders?

Sunrise has many types of binders, but we love turned edge. They have a (literal) longer shelf life since they tend to be more durable. The customization is also higher than other styles, as the covers can be printed digitally or offset to match your organization's branding. Add ins, like pockets and adhesive trays, also increase their functionality.

What type of training does your organization provide? And how much did you remember a week after it was over? I bet you wish you had a binder.

 

Ann Sachs Turned Edge Binder

Goodbye High School, Hello Welcome Kit

Springtime is more than a season of new beginnings. For those completing high school, it’s the season of gowns, tassels, and warm cheese at graduation parties.  As the class of 2016 leaves high school behind with literal ‘Pomp and Circumstance,’ college becomes the next new frontier. Things just got real, so to speak. The excitement of getting accepted to a university might be slowly replaced with fear of the unknown. After all, for many kids, this is the first time they’ve left home for a sustained period of time. They might not know anybody, and they’ve just said goodbye to the friends and classmates with whom their entire social circle has comprised of up to this point. This is the perfect time for the freshman student experience folks to kick in, and send the welcome kit.

welcome kit from the University of NebraskaWhat’s a welcome kit?

Glad you asked. A welcome kit is the introduction to the institution. It might be sent all at one time, like opening a giant, college-themed gift, or it adopt a more just-in-time model where accepted students learn more gradually, and at times which it makes sense to perform actions like completing the FAFSA, registering for classes, things like that. However, while the materials should be helpful and informative, they should also impart the core values of the institution.

 

In this example (recently created for the University of Nebraska – Omaha), newly-accepted students received a small, pocket sized folder, welcoming them to the institution. Note that it identifies them as a student by associating them with the university’s mascot and iconic red and black. The die cut cavity inside is a key-shaped USB drive. On the USB drive are materials that might have formerly been printed out. A new student guide, checklist, things that previously cost the institution a pretty penny in paper, ink and postage, now condensed into a keepsake package.

gp-front-back

welcome kit from the University of Nebraska

This folder kit not allows the institution to save money (and not a few trees in reducing paper), but also helps guide the new Maverick a bit more. By placing materials on the USB drive, you can highlight certain things digitally where, in paper, it wouldn’t be possible. As the incoming class are also digital natives, this way of accessing information is more natural to them. It also provides the institution the opportunity to share things with the student in a way that meets their preferred learning style: reading, listening, and/or watching.

Some might feel like the tangible element of receiving a packet in the mail is lost, and that valuable real estate for information-sharing is cut down. I would counter that argument by looking at how Nebraska optimized the back of the folder kit with all the different ways to keep in touch with the institution (social channels figure prominently).  The design is done in such a way to enhance the presentation of the package, and not detract from it. Sunrise takes pride in crafting a box design that fits the needs of the customer.  This style–a trifold–could hold a variety of things.  Coins, gift cards, USBs are just the tip of the iceberg.

And isn’t that what going to the university should be – just the tip of the iceberg?

Nifty Netbox PopUp Palettes

In honor the recent release (and soon-to-be sold out) Urban Decay Through the Looking Glass eye shadow palette, I decided to revisit the original Alice in Wonderland palette (though note that these are not Sunrise products). What I love about these palettes is, first and foremost, the eye shadow selection. Urban Decay is super pigmented without feeling heavy or weighty, making it easy to vary the intensity. Secondly, the packaging for these palettes is always fun and interesting. The magnetic closure, or netbox, as Sunrise calls them, adds an interesting element. It helps ensure that what lies beneath that top flap stays secure and accessible for days to come. The drawer feature is one of my favorite features. It’s great to pull it out, see all the colors at once, and formulate your blending plan.

alice in wonderland netbox urban decay

Courtesy of Urban Decay

Alice in Wonderland vs. Through the Looking Glass Netbox

The obvious precursor to Through the Looking Glass. The original Alice palette netbox takes obvious inspiration from the original illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. Whimsical mushrooms swirl around the mirror in the pop up portion, the caterpillar looms over Alice, and it’s basically a must-have for literary Alice memorabilia fans and collectors. This was one of the first palettes for which I popped the $60, and the one that made me a convert.

As one of those people, the fact that there are no original shades in this palette isn’t as much of a bummer as it would be others.  That might sound surprising, but Urban Decay is notorious for re-purposing older shades in palettes. But it can be frustrating, so it pays to do your research prior to investing in a palette. From a purely financial standpoint, it’s a steal to get 16 eye shadows, two mini eyeliners, and a mini primer potion for that price. Buying each individually would run around $200. Granted, these are smaller than you would buy individually, but still it’s still a better deal.

through the looking glass urban decay netbox

Photo courtesy of Bustle.com

On the other hand, Through the Looking Glass makes up for it. With 20 new shades and a great design, this netbox delivers in more ways than one. One frequent offenses of the pop-up palettes is that they tend to skew toward the glittery-shimmery side of things, but there’s a good amount of matte shades for change. Another deviation in this palette is the organization of colors. They’re organized into columns according to character. Depending on how creative you are, this might make blending easier or feel limiting. I tend toward the former.

What’s your favorite palette and why?

Out-Of-The-Box Custom Boxes

Custom boxes or packaging are the best way to catch the eye of a customers. If your product is new to the market, unique packaging is practically a necessity. We offer a variety of cool packaging concepts, but some places take it to another level. Sometimes eco-friendly, always creative, these packages are the serendipitous results of marketing and manufacturing.

Full disclosure: we can’t personally make any of these boxes (and trust us, you don’t want to suffer through our baking skills). Sunrise Packaging focuses on custom rigid boxes, designed to high standards with luxurious finishing touches. While the products below definitely bring a unique vibe to presentation packaging, Sunrise products always convey luxury.

Our favorite out-of-the-box custom boxes are…

  1. The Pizza Box Pizza
    Vinnie’s Pizzeria in New York is reinterpreting sustainability. Their pizza box pizza is, literally, a pizza within a box made of pizza. You can eat your box, then eat the pizza. Our only question: do you get to choose the flavor of the box? (UPDATE: the flavor is non-negotiably their personal Sicilian style).

    Custom boxes made of pizza

    Courtesy of Vinnie’s Pizzeria

  2. Come Home Gazpacho Andaluz
    The quandary of how to carry multiple bottles easily and without occupying both hands has been tackled in the liquor world, but not so much in other food and beverage arenas.  Gazpacho Andaluz answers that question with this box. It’s a one-handed operation with proper weight distribution. We’re loving the minimal, yet iconic, design. Sunrise doesn’t use these types of materials.  Our focus is on higher-quality and resistant types of packaging, but this is definitely a custom design.

    Custom boxes holding gazpacho

    Courtesy of Come Home

  3. Nude Jr. Strawberry Milk
    Milk comes from cows. Strawberries come out of the ground. Put them together, and the packaging is what you get. If drinking out of a strawberry-inspired udder is weird, don’t worry. The opening is at the top.  While Sunrise does do custom plastic packaging, this isn’t one of them.

    Custom boxes and packaging for strawberry milk

    Courtesy of Nude Jr Strawberry Milk

  4. Sapore di Nonna Pasta
    Pasta. One of the few foods that’s completely scalable in how it’s prepared, and enjoyed equally by poor college students and those in higher tax brackets. It’s delicious.  Not in our wheelhouse, but fun. This product includes pasta and the spices to enhance it, but here’s the catch: it’s actually an invitation to Sapore di Nonna’s launch party.

    Custom boxes and packaging for pasta and invitation

    Courtesy of Breno Cardoso

While all of these custom boxes are unique, there are several other aspects that went into their creation and design. Each one houses not only a product, but embodies the brand as well. The best custom boxes are the result of collaborations, both internally and with vendor selected to create it. As one of the premiere creators of custom boxes and packaging in Minnesota, Sunrise Packaging works closely with clients to develop quality products that reflect the organization.

Sunrise Packaging works closely with clients to create memorable experiences.  Rather than the above, though, we use other methods. Like foil stamp packaging, thermoforming, and turned edges, to name a few. What do you want to convey with your packaging?

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

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