For All Your Sports Packaging Needs…!

The wide world of sports is expanding, and so is the sports packaging market.
While classic leagues like baseball and basketball still thrive, sports like lacrosse and soccer are increasing in popularity on a professional level. As popularity grows, so do fan expectations. So whether your sports club needs to come up with a new season ticket package, media guide, or fan giveaway, turn to Sunrise Packaging for your custom box needs.

What do we mean by custom boxes? We mean a unique solution for your brand. Every team has unique qualities, or works to establish traditions that resonate with fans. Here in Minnesota, there isn't a Viking out there who doesn't love a good 'SKOL!' cheer or get a little chill when the horn blows for first downs. These elements might not translate to packaging. On the surface, at least.

Sports Packaging That Resonates

Marketing sports team traditions is a fine balance. One must do enough to engage the target audience without going into overkill.  Sometimes a moment captures the public imagination.

Like the Vikings impromptu 'duck duck gray duck' game that spawned shirts, memes, and a place in MN Vikings lore. It's tapping into these moments when designing packaging that helps create something truly unique.

So how is this done?

Let's take a look at a recent project for the ACU Wildcats. We worked with them to create a digital media guide for the needs of a modern audience.

 

College football fans are among the most diehard in the country. There's an extra connection that comes along with attending a university and being a part of something larger. The pomp and circumstance that goes into a college football game - marching bands, cheers, and more - add to that excitement.

We wanted to capture that in this packaging for ACU. The bright purple wrap on this FlashPad is guaranteed to send any alum into their college memories. Prominently featured players on the front showcase the iconic uniforms, and the text inside tells the users exactly what this is: This. Is. Home.

What Message Can You Give Your Fans?

Design your sports packaging by focusing on the ones who make your team unique: your fans. We can help. Contact Sunrise today for a quote!

Liquor Packaging: Ins and Outs

High end liquor packaging is becoming more and more common. Trends show that people are tending to spend more on alcohol to enjoy at home vs. going out. This means that competition is bound to increase on the shelves.

It can be hard to stand out in the sea of options at any liquor store. Unless a customer knows specifically what it is they want, the options are endless. And sometimes daunting. However, there's always one tactic all customers employ in some way, whether they know it or not.

Packaging and design is one of the top decision-makers when it comes wine and spirits purchases. A customer is intrigued by the marketing--that is, the shape of the bottle, design on the label, or other unique packaging element--and they buy it. Which is why the message a bottle sends by packaging is so important.

Liquor Packaging in Practice

Check out this example of liquor packaging we recently created for Select Designs featuring Lamarca Prosecco's limited release, Luminore. Luminore is a DOCG sparkling wine (meaning a high-end bottle) and considered one of the apex wines where the grape is concerned.

To design packaging that aids that impression, we started with the brand. Utilizing an organization's brand in packaging design is a key element to creating a connection for the consumer between the product and the producer. In addition to a beautiful bottle of wine, Lamarca is known for their striking light blue-on-black with foil stamping for extra pop. And you know that extra pop is everything when marketing a sparkling wine, right?

With the brand on point, we brought in a straightforward approach with a two piece set up box. Paired with custom flocked foam inserts, these boxes are sturdy, stable, and can securely hold a glass bottle with little-to-no potential for damage. Just don't test that theory *too* aggressively!

Wine & Spirits Packaging Drives Sales

Creating limited edition packaging like this barely scratches the surface of our experience in the wine and liquor world. Artisan liquor packaging is something we do well, and our packaging positively affects the bottom line.

When you're ready to start increasing sales by grabbing the attention of prospective customers, give Sunrise Packaging a call!

Custom Box Design in Minnesota

Custom box design is something we not only love, but take seriously at Sunrise Packaging.

Our approach is founded in common sense and experience. When anyone encounters an interesting package, their curiosity is automatically piqued. The packaging doesn't have to be unnecessarily tricky, the closure particularly unique. It's a closed box; sometimes, that's all we need to get our imagination flowing.  Our job is to get the user excited for your product.

We accomplish this by using some of our tried and true methods to create great customized packaging. When it comes to a box, it's not always *just* a box.

Delivering More Than a Package: Custom Box Design

Custom Size

It's practically passed into cliche to talk about how to maneuver square pegs into round holes. Yet, when it comes to packaging, there's a kind of "single size fits all" mentality that drives organizations to buy boxes in bulk. While we recognize there's no harm in that approach, there's also not much to gain, either. Part of the pleasure of custom box design is derived from the fit. Perfect, every time. In the example to the side, we created this box for Rheem as a thank-you to their customers.   While the image might distort the size, it's a large box at 24 inches by 22 inches and 8 inches deep.

Just like any bespoke product, a box that's made specifically for your product will always do the job it's designed to do: make your product shine.

Custom Inserts

In the final picture above, you can just see the inside of the box with the custom foam inserts inside. We talk a lot about presentation packaging at Sunrise, and this project is a perfect example. Presentation packaging can focus on the external features, but it's also about how a product (or products) lay inside the custom box design as well. As we mentioned above, everyone wants to be dazzled by an unopened box. Make sure that the reality lives up to expectations with a little padding inside your package.

Custom Finishing

Presentation is all about appearances, and ensuring that your box presents well to customers is key. Yes, the focal point is what's inside the package. But that doesn't mean you get to ignore the outside.

We love this example above because it's simple yet stunning. The brand pops out at the viewer, and while you can't touch it through the screen, it's wrapped in soft Nuba paper. Great packaging engages multiple senses; this one does not disappoint on multiple fronts.

What's Your Custom Box Style?

Just like people, boxes and organizations have personalities. What do you want yours to say?

Sunrise can help develop it. Contact our team today!

Opening Day = Box Closures

As a proud Minnesota company, we love all things related to our hometown teams. And on this Opening Day for the Minnesota Twins, we turned our attention to another kind of opening that captures our attention: box closures. 

If you want to contest the importance of and customer attention to box closures, look no further than your own experience. We don’t doubt that at one point or another, you spent more time than you like to admit lazily flipping open a magnetic box lid. Or slowly slide the top piece off of a setup box to savor the moment of getting a new smartphone or tablet. The delicious moment of flipping up a cigar box top. 

Design custom packaging that allows users to savor that anticipation. Here are some of our favorite box closures in honor of Opening Day!

Box Closures That Captivate

Slip Slant Boxes with box closures

Magnetic Closures

Far and away one of our most popular features. Magnetic boxes are versatile and instant keepsakes for users. Closures can be embedded in many different types of box styles. Plus magnets are one of the most secure types of closure so products are safe and secure. 

custom luxury boxesSetup Boxes

You might not think a lot about setup boxes having a particular flavor to their opening and closing, but consider again.  Setup boxes are a frequently used for luxury goods and technology products for a few reasons. Their rigid chipboard construction, paired with a thermoformed or custom insert, keeps the product secure. These highly-customizable two pieces allow for a high quality finish via the wrap. Most of all, the sleek design is evocative and suggestive of luxury. 

Design Your Own

When someone comes to Sunrise with a project, we do everything we can to bring it into reality – even when it means creating something new and personalized to your business objectives. We’ve taken on new interpretations when it comes to slip cases, gatefold, and more. Contact us today to start bringing your vision to life. 

Play Ball!

Openings are full of anticipation, from the excitement of a new baseball season to revealing an exciting product.  No matter which team is *your* team, Sunrise is ready to bring you and your products to the next level of success. 

Bespoke Boxes

Creating packaging isn’t so different from creating clothing. Both industries are subject to fashion and fads, with new trends drifting in and out. We watch things that were old become new again, things that were passe become trendy with enough time. Whether we’re talking tailoring or bespoke boxes, some features are just continuous classics. 

The word “bespoke” has a history tied to London, England. In the 16th century, “bespeak” meaning to order or arrange in advance. That evolved to refer to clothing or other things that a customer orders before creation. Traditional techniques are still in use on Savile Row, where making clothes is still seen as an art and not a science. 

Automation is increasingly a larger part of any enterprise, and custom boxes are no exception. However, while the manual parts of the process are less, well, manual, the artistry still exists. It takes time to craft truly bespoke boxes. Here are some examples: 

21st Century Bespoke Boxes

Custom magnetic boxesbespoke boxes

Sunrise Packaging’s Netbox, or customized magnetic boxes, reflect a true packaging classic: the cigar box. With an overlapping hard cover, magnetized for closure, ‘t’s ready for customization in any number of ways. These boxes are perpetually striking and can be further personalized through embossing, foil stamping, screen printing, and more. 

Prince Two Piece Setup Box and bespoke boxesTwo piece setup boxes

As a Minnesota-based company, we can’t have a post tying fashion to bespoke boxes without using a Prince example! This box to the left is an example of a two piece setup box.  They’re popular for luxury packaging, game boxes, and gift packaging. The turned edge corners ensure perfect fit from top to bottom. The strong chipboard can be wrapped in material that appeals to the senses, from a soft touch to glossier finish. Whatever you want to convey with your packaging can be done. 

ThermoformingThermoformend trays for the health and beauty products.

Thermoforming is truly one of the best ways to create bespoke boxes or custom packaging. Plastic molds are created to the exact specifications of your product(s) to ensure a snug, comfortable fit. It adds layers of protection and security to boot. Sunrise can create the perfect tray, clamshell, or blister pack to meet your requirements. 

Where Past Meets Present

As you can see, bespoke boxes and customized packaging take what’s best from the past and make it better with the present. Cigar boxes are a timeless style, but thermoforming ensures that the products inside are safe and secure. Using innovative practices paired with a respect for the past, Minnesota custom box creator Sunrise is ready for any challenge you can bring to us.

Contact our reps today to get started!

Remembering Prince: Keepsake Boxes

Just over a year ago, Minnesota lost one of its most famous citizens. Prince Rogers Nelson (known as Prince for the majority of his career) died in his Chanhassen home last April. In the time since his passing, remembrances have popped up in different ways. On the anniversary of his death, Minnesota landmarks glowed purple (and beyond Minnesota as well). His ex-wife, Mayte Garcia, has published a memoir. And box sets, like this one which Sunrise created for him, take on the role of keepsake boxes.

Prince keepsake boxes

Custom Promotional Packaging Turned Keepsake Boxes

This custom promotional box housed box set “One Nite Alone…Live!.”  The box contains a thermoformed tray, designed to fit three discs of live music spanning decades. Not only is it a great example of presentation packaging, but the attention to detail is evident. From the piano key-influenced box sides to the thumb holes, aiding the user in opening the package. Ever cognizant of his users, this allows fans to open the box without potentially harming the discs.

How Keepsake Boxes Keep Memories Alive

Keepsake boxes might have a reputation for being the domain of the sentimental. But in reality, it’s simply about holding on to memories that have a tangible representation. Like holding on to concert tickets that remind music lovers of the experience of seeing their favorite acts live. Or an autographed piece of memorabilia. Anything with significance to the owner of the box gives it value and staying power.

Keepsake boxes, or grief memory boxes, can actually help the grieving process. They can act as a central space for people to remember someone who was important to them. In a sense, they can actually contain the grief of a person. This aids in emotional regulation and processing. It helps people face pain and grief instead of avoiding it. When it comes to the passing of mega-stars, like Prince, keepsake boxes can act as connections between people. They increase communication by encouraging contributions, sharing memories, and engaging in a collective, cultural experience.

Personalized and Customized

One of the world’s most prolific songwriters, Prince was known for the level of customization he brought to his craft. Prince’s sense of style and presentation extended past his flamboyant stage presence. He carefully controlled his image and merchandise. Additionally, he was proud of his Minnesota roots, and sought out local businesses to patronize. These albums are ideal keepsake boxes for fans who will forever miss this artist.

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. 

 

 

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?

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?

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!