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!

Sleeve Box Means New Opportunities for Luxury Packaging

 

Sunrise Packaging custom sleeve box

Innovative box design doesn’t just mean a cool way to open up. Innovation also means making luxury packaging more cost-effective, so that products big and small can enjoy upscale value.

And in the case of our new sleeve box, it’s all of the above.

Believe in the Sleeve

The sleeve box is another example of hybrid packaging. Unlike custom pads that are a hybrid of box and book, the sleeve box is more like a hybrid of materials.

This custom piece opens like a matchbox. That retro slide action delivers elegance right from the start. Something familiar, but with a twist. The outer O-sleeve is made of SBS paperboard. Paperboard is lightweight, foldable, and extremely customizable. A pure canvas for crisp digital printing if there ever was one. But possibly it’s most-celebrated feature is the price. Printed paperboard is much more affordable than chipboard and transfers images better than corrugated. Chipboard is still the sweetheart of presentation packaging, but an SBS alternative keeps the cost per unit substantially lower.

sunrise packaging_sleeve box with sbs paperboard sleeve custom made sleeve boxes

But the sleeve box also utilizes the stability of chipboard for its inner tray, giving your custom packaging the heft of luxury. Since the tray is rigid, it is available with all the trappings of an upscale presentation piece. Turned edges, custom wraps, embossing, debossing, even foil stamping. Of course, this also means a perfect fit for custom inserts; a thermoformed tray or die cut foam padding. A little more security never hurt, right?

What this new custom box design means is even more products can get the luxury treatment. Upscale packaging is a must for retail, but for lower-priced products it can be hard to justify. With a sleeve box’s lower cost, items like flash drives, thank-you cards and invitations, and confections can have the same shelf appeal as fine jewelry.

The Story of Little Cloud Nine


Sunrise Packaging is more than just a box manufacturer. From start to finish, we can bring your product to life. Our unique facility, consolidated with a variety of machinery and tools from several walks of manufacturing, coupled with our mission to be the most complete fulfillment house around, makes this shop truly one-stop. We pride ourselves on planning the interior and exterior. Custom inserts and outer decor. If you need personalized flash drives preloaded with data to complete your launch kit, we can do it! Custom mailers for shipping? No problem!

But did you know we might even be able to help create your product itself?

 

steve and jan diemer_inventor of the little cloud nine travel pillow

 

Such is the case for one Steve Diemer. If you don’t know him by his name, you probably know him by his product. Steve is the inventor of Little Cloud Nine™ travel pillow and we were lucky enough to get to pick his brain about it.

 

 

little cloud nine travel pillow in useWhat is story behind your product?


“Little Cloud Nine ™ was a travel pillow idea born years ago while I was in agony on a coach-class seat somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. Since then it’s been tested, refined and tested again. With the Little Cloud Nine ™ travel pillow, you can rest and relax in an amazingly comfortable sitting position, keeping your head, neck, and spine aligned. Our vented support cushion is reusable, inflates and deflates quickly, and stores flat in a purse or carry-on bag. Little Cloud Nine™ can be used on planes, trains, buses, cars and any other preferred mode of transportation. Little Cloud Nine™ makes a great gift for your traveling friends. Make your coach seat feel like first class with Little Cloud Nine.”

How was Sunrise Packaging able to assist in bringing the Little Cloud Nine™ to life?

 

“My product needed special welding of an inflatable material and I was stymied by not having anyone with the know how to put my product together. I called the company that makes the specialized welding equipment and asked if they would give me the name of someone who used their equipment and was good at it. The company spokesman did not hesitate. He said Rod Herdina, Sunrise Packaging, Blaine Mn was the best he knew. I called Rod and asked if he would see me and take a look at the idea. He was most gracious and invited me to come and see him. We had made several mockups and he was able to visualize how a cylindrical shape could be made using materials impervious to air. Without Rod Herdina and Sunrise Packaging it is doubtful my product would have made it to market.”

little cloud nine sbs paperboard packagingWow! Thanks, Steve! That’s high praise!

From the early stages of Steve’s design, Sunrise was there working with him from the initial concept. We used RF sealing to create the actual pillow. RF, or radio frequency, sealing uses high frequency electromagnetic energy to bond materials. In the case of the travel pillow, it was a medical grade flocked plastic that we sourced just for his product.

 

That’s right, we didn’t just packaging his product, we made it! Of course, in the end, we used our specialties–logo silkscreening and sbs paperboard packaging–to finish the job all under one roof!

You can struggle with concept planning, you can search for mockup artists, you can bounce around from manufacturer to manufacturer trying to all the pieces in place–or you can put in a call to Sunrise Packaging. We get the job done from start to finish.

The Most Famous Piece of Corrugated Cardboard Ever

A portion of the star wars early bird certificate, maybe the most famous piece of corrugated cardboard in the history of retail


The year is 1977. Fleetwood Mac is blasting through the speakers of Trans Ams everywhere, Star Wars takes the box office by storm, and the Kenner toy company is sitting on the golden egg of a lifetime–and they almost crushed it. Here’s the true story of how a piece of corrugated cardboard changed the face of marketing history.


 

May the Corrugated Cardboard Be With You

 

Months earlier in 1976, The Kenner toy company caught a seemingly lucky break. A small subsidiary of General Mills, Kenner’s usual fare was squirt guns and bubbles. But a major toy company, Mego, had passed on the Star Wars license to produce toys. Kenner, the Little Toy Company That Could, managed to acquire it.

 

Huge mistake for Mego. Potential mistake for Kenner.

 

Why? Just because Kenner picked up the license didn’t mean they believed in Star Wars. It seems impossible now, but the original Star Wars movie could barely get off the runway back in the day.

 

But once it did, it exploded.

 

The late May blockbuster left Kenner scrambling to produce Star Wars toys in time for the holiday season. Even by today’s standards, that’s a tough deadline. At some point, the small company realized they couldn’t meet the demand by Christmas. But did they give up? Not a chance. Instead they turned to a piece of customized corrugated cardboard into a legend.

 

The Star Wars Early Bird Certificate Was Born.

custom corrugated cardboard packaging used in the marketing of popular star wars toys

A member of the Kenner team had an idea. Instead of letting the ball drop, they created a corrugated cardboard box. Most likely an E-Flute wall structure–the standard in luxury display packaging–Kenner’s Early Bird Certificate doubled as a display stand. The idea was that kids could mail in the certificate and, when the toys were ready, Kenner would send out the first wave of toys, packaged in a thermoformed plastic tray. Then, when the package came, kids would have a spot ready to display them.

 

And they sold it.

 

Hero Complex’s Jay West calls it the “the most coveted empty box in the history of retail.” To think that anything could replace an action figure under the tree in a child’s eyes seems unlikely, let alone a hunk of corrugated cardboard. But it did. In fact, the anticipation of staring at the placeholder while waiting for the figurines to arrive made the prize even sweeter. Exclusive mail-away action figures would be the cornerstone of the Star Wars toys for the next 30 years.

 

Maybe Kenner’s whole plan wouldn’t fly today. But there’s a lot of takeaways from this story. Not giving up? Of course. Taking chances? Sure. But, above all, it shows the creativity stored in that “coveted empty box.” That’s the power of corrugated cardboard. It’s durable, environmental, economical, and endlessly engineerable. Just a simple piece of cardboard changed the face of product licensing forever. Think what it could change next.

 

You might be wondering what parents paid for that precious corrugated cardboard back in the day. $7.99. But what are folks willing to spend on it today?

the infamous customized corrugated cardboard on ebay, glossy laminate

 


 

Retail Ready Packaging (RRP) and the Five Easies

plastic retail packaging, retail ready packaging, shelf ready packaging, customized thermoformed product packaging

 

It almost sounds like a rock band, doesn’t it? “RRP and the Five Easies.” In actuality, RRP stands for Retail Ready Packaging and it’s only about the biggest growing development in custom packaging marketing–and it’s still growing. Projections put RRP demand to increase by 70% in 2016. But RRP isn’t the new kid on the block: Smithers Pira Research reported a total market volume of 27 million tons–$54 billion worth–back in 2011 alone.

 

So what is Retail Ready Packaging?

 

Retail Ready Packaging (or Shelf Ready Packaging, SRP) is difficult to define. The ECR generalizes it as a “term used for mechanisms to merchandise product on shelf, on display, on retail store floor on its own base, or at aisle end.”

 

RRP and SRP might be more clearly defined by their guidelines, their motivating factors. Which is where the 5 Easies come in.

 

retail ready packaging, five easies, rrp guidelines

Image: Retail Ready Packaging Toolkit

 

Easy to Identify

 

Clear-cut, straightforward packaging is good for both consumer and staff alike. If your staff can tell what it is right from the box, they’ll be able to get it on the shelf faster while stocking. On the flip side, your customer will be able to get it off the shelf that much faster too.

 

Easy to Open

 

Ever struggle with a package or envelope? Seems like the more you want it, the harder it is to open. A corrugated box with perforations is one of the simplest solutions, able to tear open with ease. Even better if the overall packaging for the product can tear open into the display itself. Again, easy for the stocker as well as the consumer.

 

Easy to Shelf

 

Shelf Ready Packaging means the product is ready to be put on the shelf. Thus, your package design needs to ride the line between marketable and eye-catching, but also sturdy and secure. The right custom packaging can solve both of those issues and get your product to your buyer much quicker.

 

Easy to Shop

 

This relates back to “Easy to Identify”–the easier it is for a customer to know what they’re getting, the more likely they are to choose your product. Transparency in product via the packaging print. Making sure there are no roadblocks between the product and the hands of you potential customer.

 

Easy to Dispose

 

It’s the cold hard facts–eventually your Retail Ready Packaging will have served its purpose. At which point, it needs to “go on to a better place.” This plays a factor in deciding what material to use. Something easily recyclable is the best case scenario. However, this guideline isn’t just preaching an eco-friendly song, it also relates to easily identifying the recycling information. Is it recyclable? Is it made from recycled paper? What type of plastic is it? All of this should be taken into consideration in today’s market.

 

Bottom Line

 

When choosing your custom packaging, RRP needs to be at the forefront. There are a lot of hands on your product between you and your customers. The more confusing–or crushable–your Retail Ready Packaging, the longer the time is before they actually purchase it. And that lost time can mean lost dollars.
So remember: Easier for your stockers. Easier for your buyers. Easier for your wallet.

High-Quality Custom Designed Box Packaging

Custom-designed-packaging, high quality packaging, sbs paperboard boxes, lightweight boxes, retail boxes, retail packaging

Premium high-quality custom designed box packaging with visually striking graphics leave a long and lasting impression on your customers long after the initial unboxing experience. Use state-of-the-art printing with custom lamination in gloss, matte or soft touch finishes with innovative impactful options such as foil stamping, embossing/debossing and die-cutting to enhance your brand and market your product packaging.

The SBS paperbox set shown above displays a variety of colors with a custom diecut window. The texture applied on the boxes are all unique and custom. We see examples of rigid two piece boxes as well as lightweight paperboard boxes all designed in a perfect harmony. Some of the boxes are silk screened with 1 color while others are full color offset printed for the utmost impact. This set is a great example of retail ready packaging!

Custom Paperboard Packaging

I noticed this post on the dieline and the intriguing custom packaging in this piece really caught my attention. Skoff Pies packaging was designed by Creative Inc. Skoff pastries are slipped into vibrant Paperboard boxes that are exemplified with graphic teeth trying to grab a bite of its contents.

This custom designed Paperboard SBS packaging utilizes an embossed logo that gives the Skoff product a first-class sensation. The packaging design shows off owner Donal Skehan’s eccentric personality and adoration of everything retro. Their unique branding has been effective for Skoff further separating them from the competition.