Magnet Boxes: FitBit Blaze Packaging Review

Wearables have been heralded as the next frontier for technology. While the success of Google Glass might be up for discussion, the same doesn’t apply to fitness trackers. Particularly when it comes to FitBit.  There are a ton of trackers out there, but FitBit seems to retain a magic hold on the public. I was an early adopter to the wearable trend, and loved my FitBit from the get-go. I recently upgraded to the Blaze (my third upgrade within five years or so). It’s always great to see a company invest in great packaging, and FitBit includes some great options in their magnet boxes. 

Qualities of Magnet Boxessleeve boxes

Magnet boxes are durable and appealing to the eye and the touch, as well as a popular option for retail custom boxes. They can protect goods without extra protection. The FitBit Blaze also features a paperboard sleeve around it in white. The magnet box, in a contrasting blue, has no marks beyond the FitBit logo on the magnet flap. The custom sleeve design is where the main marketing focus comes into play.

The FitBit Blaze custom magnet box has laminated finishing, which makes the colors bright and vibrant and draws the eye to the picture of the object inside. It’s a little bit of that Apple austerity, but the ‘Gold Series’ calls attention, as well as the iconography. The text is kept to a minimum, but there are some features included on the front, with more on the back. 

The main features included on the front are the ones that make the Blaze different from the other models. It’s a good move to illustrate those things up front. From a consumer perspective, it’s always a concern regarding how different models are from each other–especially when there’s a price difference of $100.  This allows a shopper to view the differences without having to grab each one, turn them over, and compare that way. All they have to do is look at the display and get an idea for what the product looks like and what it can do for them. magnet boxes

Looking at the custom sleeve box in more detail, the back offers quick bits of information in a bullet-like style, enabling shoppers again to get the gist just from a quick scan. One of my favorite features on the box is along the side. Sizing can be problematic for anyone. I have, really, no idea what the circumference of my wrist is, so when the specs say that a small is XX inches and a large is XX inches, it means nothing to me.  But FitBit takes that brain-buster out of the equation by including a wrist sizing tool on the box. This tells customers what size they should purchase. Without having to track down a tape measure. 

Custom Packaging for the Future

When it comes to wearables, the options are limitless. While one might think that the packaging should be something more sophisticated, or stark, or whatever, it shouldn’t come at the expense of the user. FitBit does a great job integrating function with design, especially when it comes to helping shoppers understand the differences in their products. 

 

 

A Sales Kit for a Girl Scout

The Girl Scouts have been around for a hundred year, and they’ve been selling cookies for much of that time. Consistently and successfully. While data from the earliest of cookie sales isn’t around, we do know that since 1999, cookie sales have hovered around $700 million. Not too shabby for a longtime door-to-door operation. What many people don’t realize is that the cookie operation is fairly sophisticated, and every Girl Scout has a sales kit that could double as an arsenal. Minnesota organization Sunrise Packaging doesn’t deal in cookies, foods or this kind of box, but we have to give it up to this organization for a job well marketed.

sales kit

Tween Cookie Queens & Their Go-To Sales Kit Pitch

Any reservations you might have about taking sales advice from little girls should dissipate in the knowledge that these girls sell between 1500-3600 boxes every year. Find what tools they carry in their sales kit that you can apply to your own design:

It can pay to be a little daring

A New York Girl Scout uses an upselling tactic that appeals to easing the transaction for clients–in this case, when it comes to math. One box of cookies is $4, and the client wants to buy two…but they only have a $20 bill. The savvy Scout makes it easier to suggest buying 5 boxes. Fewer bills, more cookies (that are freeze-able, gift-able, etc), it’s a win-win situation. Find those opportunities within your own business to integrate into a sales kit.

Balance modernity with tradition

A Connecticut Girl Scout finds modern ways to connect with customers from beyond her door-to-door sales. She created a parody of Adele’s ‘Hello’, replacing the lyrics to reference cookie selling…and driving traffic to her own cookie-selling website. It’s the goal of any marketing tactic, but it plays on the current societal state of mind (i.e. Adele as one of the most popular artists out there) while driving traffic. It’s a testament to being current and having a grasp on the public consciousness, particularly what will resonate.

Know your product…and be honest

This has been one of the most popular posts in social media for a while, so you might already know about the New Jersey Girl Scout whose brutally honest reviews of cookies was shared by Mike Rowe. It might seem counter-intuitive to marketers, but it’s a smart tactic to acknowledge the flaws in a product. It shows awareness and, hopefully, intent to fix those flaws.

Building a Sales Kit With Intention

The goal of a sales kit is, naturally, to generate sales. What these Girl Scouts can teach us, when it comes to generating sales, is that having a little more intention, like fundraising, can add to the overall goodwill. It also helps that this is one of the most recognizable brands out there. Iconic packaging design that meets customer expectations is another part of the successful Girl Scout brand recipe. It’s an organization that has been around for a long time, and with this level of savvy sales ingenuity, could move into the future with ease. Although, we might recommend a more rigid custom box to stop those annoying broken cookies in the future!

Luxury Gift Packaging for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a day originally meant to honor Saint Valentine. But since the days of Chaucer, it’s been associated with love. Or, to call a spade a spade, it’s associated with the giving of gifts. Flowers, chocolates, anything heart-shaped and/or expensive. It’s a holiday made for luxury gift packaging.

(Yes, we know it’s not *made* for giving gifts. Gifts are just the byproduct, the natural progression from courtly love).

Fine Chocolates Deserve the Finest Custom Cigar Style  or Two Piece Setup Box Luxury chocolate packaging

It’s easy to pile chocolates into a bag, tie it shut and call it a gift. Or to pick up some mass-produced box of waxy chocolates. But if you’re going to give them as a gift, take it from us: invest in good quality chocolate and good quality dessert boxes. The classic chocolate box? A cigar style box, with turned edges and imprinting. It’s true that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to chocolates, the box can be an indicator of quality. Two piece setup boxes are the other traditional style, as you can see to the right. Trust us, it’s worth the extra effort.

Luxury Gift Packaging for Engagement Rings

It probably doesn’t surprise you that Valentine’s Day is the most popular day to get engaged. It’s estimated that 6 million people agree to take the plunge (and not in a second-bottle-of-wine kind of way). The focus in any engagement is on the ring, naturally, but don’t overlook the significance of the box, either. The box holds sentimental value as well, and makes for a great keepsake. The standard style, a hinged magnetic box, can be further customized with names, a quote, or some other bit of content you share with your (hopefully) new fiancee.

 

Other Types of Luxury Items Require Luxury Packagingluxury gift packaging

Of course, Valentine’s gifts run the gamut outside of rings and chocolates. The item below is a luxury-brand lotion in a custom two piece setup box. Ideal not only for spa-day indulgences, but the box for the lotion itself only adds to the gift. Not to mention the experience of opening it. Lotion in and of itself isn’t the most exciting gift…until it arrives in a fancy box, right? Think of other items in which luxury gift packaging becomes an arena for differentiation. Watch boxes. Perfume or cologne gift boxes. Even electronics have jumped on board. Samsung and Apple are just two tech companies that have adopted an iconic, customized packaging style.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day in the Modern Era

All of this isn’t to say that enjoying Valentine’s Day means spending money. But purchasing things of a certain quality entails spending a little money. If your valentine isn’t worth it, who is?

Sales Kits To Attract & Retain Business

Swiping and scrolling on our mobile phones are the major methods in which we consume content these days. Whether your on Reddit or Tinder, it takes something pretty interesting to make you stop and look at it further. This is exactly what your sales kits needs to do. 

Ask yourself: Would my sales kit give a customer pause in the middle of all the other things demanding their attention?

If the answer is no, read on. Well, read on even if the answer is yes, because there's always room to level up, right?

Sales kits, or marketing kits, showcase your organization's products in a manner that makes them irresistible...or at least worth a more in-depth glance.  It needs to tell the customer that you are an ideal fit for whatever initiative they're targeting. It should attract new customers, educate existing ones, form new partnerships, and share information with media prospects. It's a tall order, we know, but it's very doable. 

Brainstorming Ideas for Upgrading Sales Kits

SmallBizTrends has some ideas for how to re imagine your sales kits in lean, mean, lead-generating-and-retaining machines. When you're ready to start designing custom packaging, Minnesota-based Sunrise Packaging is here to help. We know that even the most beautiful, most user-friendly packaging can't fix a sales kit that doesn't tell the recipient what they need to know or do, so take some time to answer the following questions to frame your sales kit revamp:

 

Sales kits

Who is your target audience?

Creating audience profiles is a great way to drill down on the "who" of who your customers are. Veer away from lumping them together by industry; it's usually way too broad. Think of them in terms of people, and by their roles. A CFO will probably respond to different messaging than an engineer. How can you address both, or what levels of differentiation can you include?

What issue or problem is your product or service addressing?

Start by recording the top frustrations of customers in the industry. Then figure out how your product solves those frustrations. Not sure what frustrates customers? Ask them!

What kinds of messages or statements speak to your audience?

Keep content focused on your customer by speaking to them. Write using 'you' in positive phrases building on the prior task of answering problems. Try to keep the message simple and action-based, but still focused on the benefits of what you offer. 

Go Beyond the Sales Kits Basics

This should give you a good frame of reference to start revising the standard sales kit materials (flyers, brochures, samples, etc). But what will really take your marketing kits to the next level? Consider leveling up to some interesting box features, like magnetic closure or a hinged lid, that guarantee your sales kit will make an impact. Create a unique first impression with custom finishing options debossing or embossing.  Take the step that will make your clients stop swiping or scrolling, sit up and pay attention. 

Sales kits

Custom Boxes & First Impressions

We all have ideas for new board games. Okay, maybe not all of us. But who hasn't sat through a long game of Monopoly or Risk and thought "This game would be way better if..." After taking that first step away from a base game, it's only a few more to determine rules and objectives, maybe even moving to designing a game board (or whatever you would call the set-up for "Cones of Dunshire").  You might be ready to commission custom boxes, but hold one second.  How do you know what the box needs?

Yes, the box needs to fulfill the basic needs: holding the game contents safely and securely, providing a pleasant experience for the user, things like that. But the cost associated with custom boxes usually doesn't rise to the top of the list. It's admittedly less interesting than choosing player tokens or designing a game board. But it's arguably one of the most important parts of launching your original board game. 

Custom Boxes: Your First Quest

New ideas for board games can come from any source of inspiration. It might be, like we mentioned above, a new take on an old tradition. It could be something entirely new and original, educational or strictly fun, or any other variety of elements. But in the early planning of the game, keep in mind how this needs to be packaged. Not just from a business or marketing sense, but from a practical and logistical standpoint as well. 

custom boxes
  1. Pare down what's necessary to play the game
    From an imaginary perspective, designing an intricate game with lots of player pieces and tokens, cards and chips, might come off like a great idea. But a game doesn't need to be upward of 100 pieces to be fun (well, unless we're talking about a literal puzzle).  Think of it this way: the more pieces your game has, the more it will cost to produce, and the more it will cost in stores. Additionally, it will affect your packaging requirements. 

  2. Using your pared down model, start to think through what style of packaging is necessary
    Custom boxes need to be able to provide protection for fragile game pieces or simply provide a home for the collective pieces and board. If these pieces are heavy, then a sturdier material, like chipboard, is going to be needed. If they're breakable in any way, consider foam inserts or plastic molding trays to keep them safe. Or, if there are other things that need to be kept from rolling around (like dice), that's another kind of tray. At Sunrise, based in Minnesota, we've helped many gamemasters think through their packaging. Bring your needs to us, and we can work through them. 

  3. Make a list of the things necessary for the box
    And not just art. People who pick this thing up off the shelf want to know a little bit more, so give them a little teaser.  Provide a statement about the game and any other relevant information. Does it include small, possibly choke-able pieces for little kids? Add that a caution might be necessary.  Is there a recommended age range for the game? Add that too. Add anything that might be necessary from a legal perspective, but don't forget that this is what needs to sell customers. 

Sunrise Packaging has been helping gaming auteurs in Minnesota and beyond to create their masterpieces for decades. We know how to prevent expensive errors and miscalculations, and how to help you think through what elements your custom boxes need to be effective. Contact us today!

Custom Packaging and the CX Revolution

Disruption is anything that interrupts an event, activity or process.  In a business sense, disruption is a force that both destroys and creates. It's a change that affects--sometimes to the point of uprooting--existing systems, and replaces them with something new, more efficient and worthwhile. Harvard professor Clayton Christensen has written more on the subject of business disruption (and innovative disruption).  One of the most disruptive forces in the past decade has been social media, and how social channels are used to share information. Particularly the relationship between businesses and customers, and the effects on marketing, custom packaging, and the entire idea of the "customer experience" or CX.

Customer experience is the interaction between an organization and a customer.  Not so long ago, the company controlled the majority of the interactions. Think of billboard marketing, direct mail, radio ads, TV ads, magazine ads, etc. What do they all have in common?  It's the business telling the customer how to think or feel, or showing them through ads what their products do. With the advent of social media, this kind of marketing has become less authentic as customers become more savvy and rely more on friends or influencers for specific recommendations. This is the heart of the customer experience revolution. 

On top of that, customers have a wider range of choices available to them.  In less than a minute, I can lay out an entire shopping trip:

  1. Google item I want to buy
  2. Consider the factors that go into the purchase (do I want to pick up in store? do I mind waiting for shipping?)
  3. Purchase and move on with my day

It's not that long ago that simply doing a little comparison shopping would involve actually visiting stores, and not just reaching for my phone. 

So how can businesses differentiate in this marketplace? By building a memorable customer experience.

CX & Custom Packaging

Custom packaging is one way that organizations can begin to create a positive customer experience according to CustomerThink. We all get a little thrill when we hear the *thunk* of an expected package arrive on the doorstep, right? Play up that feeling, and start from the minute that customer submits their purchase. Companies like Amazon and Uber allow users to track their orders throughout all stages of the process, whether it's a book or a car ride. 

Custom packaging for New Balance
Custom packaging for Aluminoes

It's like waiting for Santa to arrive as an adult, except you know what's in the package. And to extend the metaphor, which present is more exciting to open: the one that's wrapped with care in high quality packaging, or the one with smushed corners and plain brown cardboard?

No contest.

Consider custom packaging as your signature as a brand and a company.  What does it say about you? What does it say about how you value your customers? 

Raise the Bar for Customer Experience

The best part of the customer experience revolution is that it levels the playing field for both large and small businesses.  A small business can invest in social media with low overhead, and take care in packaging their products with pride. Large businesses can do the same, but it comes at a premium and a different scale. Custom packaging can help differentiate and advocate your brand (don't forget to incorporate logos, hashtags, and social channel handles on the package). Sunrise is adept at designing experiences for customers through custom packaging. Contact us today.

Custom Candle Boxes & That Hygge Feeling

We're in that post-holiday time of the year. The part where winter--in Minnesota, at least--can feel like an endless barrage of snow, ice, and more snow. We're all looking for comfort in some sense, so it's no wonder that a concept that literally embodies the term is growing more popular. 'Hygge' is a Danish term (or art, depending on your interpretation) that roughly translates as 'cosiness.' But it's more than a warm blanket or comfy chair.  It's about creating a warm atmosphere with good friends, good spirits, and good conversation. Or whatever brings warmth to your soul. An integral part of hygge is creating atmosphere. There's some science behind the benefits of candlelight. Which means that custom candle boxes can be a great way to give the gift of hygge. 

Custom Candle Boxes?

Let's start with the science of candles. Bad sleep can be tied to numerous factors, not the least of which include exposure to blue light from tablets and phone screens, and general stress. Candlelight is softer on the eyes, and can actually help promote melatonin production (aka what tells us it's time to relax). Additionally, if you're into scented candles, choosing scents like lavender or berries can also aid in relaxation and increase comfort levels. 

Candles themselves can give people the gift of a good night's rest; custom candle boxes can help recipients understand the intent and usage of the contents. Include a description of the word, like the one here from Skagen, and other types for a houseful of hygge or a hygge party.

Custom candle boxes and hygge

How to Bring Hygge Into Your Home

Hygge is a way of life for the Danes, but you can engage in the good feelings, too.  The growing hygge movement has overtones of faded popularity of Marie Kondo or feng shui when it comes to design, but with a little more approachability.  Hygge is personalized in that it's up to the individual to decide exactly what is comforting, or cozy, to them. If that includes candles and custom candle boxes, wool socks, hot coffee, and so on.  Here's what's generally included (or use a starter list for a hygge party): 

  • Find your cozy nook - or make one. Also called a 'hyggekrog,' your nook is a place where you (and friends) can wrap up in blankets, enjoy beverages, and watch movies or discuss things.
  • Factor some (fictional) scary stuff. Storms, or scary shows, can up the hygge factor (actual scary things, like the news, do not). 
  • Put together a menu of warming dishes, like soups, meats, breads, hearty meals that are at once filling and snackable. 
  • Buy some candles. Like we said above, candles are calming but also charming, and create an atmosphere of friendliness. As well as both literal and figurative warmth. 

It's a movement on the border of parody. But it's up to the individual to take it as far as they want. 

Light a Candle or Two

Denmark is one of the happiest nations in the world. If that's not an endorsement for creating--or gifting--a little hygge in these winter months, what else is? 

Contact Sunrise today to create custom candle boxes and give a little hygge. 

Recyclable Boxes: Reusing Gift Boxes

(This story won’t sound relevant to recyclable boxes or setup boxes, but I promise it’s getting there)! Last December, I received a glass tumbler from Starbucks that I absolutely loved. Although it technically *just packaging,* I also loved the box it came in. Starbucks does a great job creating attractive packaging, and their two-piece setup boxes for the holidays are durable and always feature rich colors. Each year has a different color: last year was red, this year was green, and so on. They also design a brand new series of tumblers every year, so when they sell out, they’re gone forever.

Starbucks recyclable boxesBut I used the setup box to package another gift, keeping the lovely tumbler for myself. However, maybe as a lesson regarding growing too fond of things, I accidentally dropped the tumblr at a gas station in sub-zero temperatures. It shattered. I was sad, and I must have mentioned the fact to my mother (we bought the tumbler together).

Lo and behold, this Christmas, I took the wrapping paper off a present. I recognized the red box, but in the back of my head, I knew that the gift boxes from Starbucks this year were green. I opened the box, and there it was. My shattered tumbler, which she had found online, whole again. Added bonus: I got to keep the box this time around!

As the major December holidays pass, most households are left with a lot of new things which need to find homes as well as a lot of boxes and wrapping paper. Recyclable boxes aren’t a problem (wrapping paper is another story, since the majority of it isn’t recyclable).  There are plenty of ways to take sturdy gift boxes and repurpose them around the house. 

Tips for Reusing Recyclable Boxes

  1. Re-gift
    The easiest thing to do with when you receive a nice gift box? Reuse it for its intended purpose.  The wrong attitude is to think of it as someone else’s problem; rather, think of it as spreading the joy of a nicely-packaged custom gift box. 
  2. Use it as a desk organizer
    Full disclosure: This is how I’m using my own Starbucks setup box. My workspace at home has drawers with organizers, but I’m always looking for something to help me out on top of the desk that doesn’t look like it came from an office supply store. The red box is colorful and not too big. It’s made of sturdy chipboard with sharp edges, so I know it won’t look battered in a few weeks. It’s perfect to hold my oh-so-necessary supply of Gin-Gins, lip balm, favorite fine tip marker pens, and other random necessities, all in one place. 
  3. Holiday storage
    It’s nearly time to pack up all those holiday decorations. Use the sturdier of the boxes you received to switch out any older packaging that’s starting to wear, or to keep any new items safe. In my house, the holiday decorations are pretty secure, in one spot, but occasionally there might be some jostling. Keep your memories safe and secure with an updated custom gift box. 

And When All Else Fails

Break them down and put them in the recycling. Reasonable sentimentality can only go so far. But next year, keep in mind how someone might get some enjoyment out of a nice setup box for their gift. 

How do you upcycle recyclable boxes from the holidays?

Promotional Boxes

Promotional boxes are ideal for organizations to achieve multiple goals. I know what you're thinking--it's just a box, what objectives does it really need to meet?--but consider the other elements that come into play when it comes to packaging. Packaging is just as important as the product it holds. 

To make the most of promotional boxes, it's important to start seeing them as the marketing tools they are. A custom box, designed to your specifications, is an investment that will pay dividends in the areas that matter. Brand awareness. Product protection. Increasing name recognition. Enticing buyers. 

See? A custom promotional box can answer a lot of needs in one literal package. 

Checklist for Your Promotional Boxes

So what's important when creating a custom promo box? Here are the main things you need to have figured into your design. 

  • Unique design: Customers are drawn to pleasing aesthetics and design. But what really entices them to pick one off a store shelf, or take a picture to share on social media? Unique designs. Determine what kind of color palette and style best complements your product, and design custom packaging that draws attention and works with the box contents.
promotional boxes
  • Surprising content (as in the words on the box, not the product inside): There's a reason that people love reading the messages inside Dove candy or underneath Snapple caps: it's a surprising bit of content that's generally pleasant. Yes, you could just put your company name and the product on the box (and the SKU or UPC), but have fun with it. Your customers will appreciate it. It's an opportunity to do a little extra marketing and share your company values.While we're on the subject of content, don't forget to include the basics of your company. Website, social channels, and a hashtag for customers to share photos of your product and fantastic packaging.
  • Choose the right insert: Keep your product in place with custom inserts. Consider including thermoformed trays, foam, or other inserts to stop things from shifting and to add a layer of protection.  Inserts can also include other printed materials, like instructions. If you're ready to take it to another level, consider a custom flash drive for customers to access instructions, videos, a whole host of materials.
  • Price out necessary upgrades: Leave a little space in your budget to explore potential upgrades. It could mean soft-touch lamination to enhance the feeling of the box. Or handles are ideal to increase mobility. Embossing, foil stamping, and other finishing options can add a literal polish to presentation packaging.

The Value Proposition for Promotional Boxes

Promotional boxes can do double-duty as marketing for your product as well as your business. Make sure it's clear to customers who you are and what you do. And your packaging is a great way to reinforce these messages.

Reach out to our sales department today to get started with your optimized custom promotional boxes!

Custom Cigar Boxes: Timeless & Elegant

Finding a box that's truly versatile is a harder task that it sounds. We love custom cigar boxes because, simply put, they're classic. It's a style of box associated with cigars, naturally, but there's something both Old World and modern about it. Depending on the design, a single box style can take on multiple personalities. While the classic cigar-style box presents convenience and ease of opening, it also naturally heightens the luxury and elegance factor. It's clear to see why this is one of our most popular styles, isn't it?

Features of Custom Cigar Boxes

  • Classic style
    From a new baby to weddings, cigars (and cigar boxes) are synonymous with celebrating and good feelings. The style lends itself to presentation, begging to be opened to whomever the custom box is presented.

  • Large variety of finishing options 
    Inlaid foil for your logo? Check. Colored chipboard to match branding guidelines? Check. Nearly anything you can think of, Sunrise Packaging can figure it out. Okay maybe not *everything* but we can try.

  • Interior organization
    It doesn't matter what's going inside the box. What matter is that, when the customer opens it, everything is in its place. Select an option that fits your budget and keeps your product safe.
custom cigar boxes
  • High quality materials = instant keepsake
    One of my favorite things growing up was a literal cigar box from my grandfather. While Sunrise doesn't deal in the wood and metal locking devices (my favorite features of my cigar box), we can utilize high quality materials. It'll help ensure that your custom cigar boxes are valued by customers for days to come.

  • Ability to recreate this iconic scene from Pretty Woman
    It probably won't involve early 90's Richard Gere, but we can't all be that lucky.

Custom cigar boxes are our go-to suggestion when it comes to a box style that conveys instant luxury and nostalgia. Everyone has a memory involving a cigar-style box. It's our job to make it's a positive one. Contact a representative today to learn more about finishing options and putting your own spin on this classic style.