Brand Activation Kits for Minnesota Brands

Minnesota was front and center for the last week of January. As host to Super Bowl LII, our state leaned into the “Bold North” moniker and created a great experience for locals and visitors alike. From the amazing Polaris backflip to Land O’Lakes Farm Bowl, Minnesota’s homegrown brands brought it in a big way. MN marketers might be ready for a break, but not for long. March 2019 will see the Final Four come to Minneapolis. We’re excited to see the stunts and innovation, and can’t wait to help build brand activation kits to support it all. 

Brand activation is the act of driving consumers to act by means of interactions and experiences designed by the brand. Brand activation kits support these interactions and experiences. As a  Minnesota company, we know Minnesota brands, their values and their challenges. Not the least of which is designing an outdoor environment in the subzero Minnesota winter. 

Homegrown Brand Activation Kits 

custom turned edge packaging design, Custom Rigid Turned Edge Box Packaging, custom turned edge box, full color print, custom box design, retail display box, branding

Sunrise Packaging can design packaging for any sort of brand activation. The goal of any marketing initiative is to garner a response; while it’s one thing to get people talking, it’s another to get them to pay attention and remember your brand. 

Brand activation itself can take many forms. Experiential marketing, consumer promotions, shopper marketing, all of these things can be part of it. Since there are many ways to implement, it’s usually easiest to give examples to explain brand activation. When we think back to the different Super Bowl LII experiences created by different brands, we get an idea of some of the elements that make successful brand activation campaigns:

  • Unique
    First and foremost, it needs to be unique to be memorable, right? There’s no point to it if it doesn’t increase consumer interaction with your brand, and if the consumer doesn’t remember you…
  • Relevant
    A crazy experience, zip-lining across the Mississippi River, is almost as unique as it gets. However, would it work for any brand? For a brand focused on thrill-seeking and adventure, yes. For a candy store? Not so much. 
  • Full of MN Pride
    As varied and interesting the various strategies were, there was one thing they all have in common. Minnesota, the Bold North tagline, was front and center for every single one.

As Minnesota brands start thinking about their plans for the next major event to come to Minnesota, include brand activation kits in your overall strategy. 

The Bold North, Round 2

March is usually a little more moderate in weather than January (well, most of the time). That said, the one million+ visitors who braved the Minnesota winter for the Super Bowl weren’t afraid of a little weather. Neither are we. Contact Sunrise Packaging today to design your brand activation kits!

Premium Promo Packaging

As streaming becomes more and more mainstream, its affects on traditional music outlets is interesting. Some people have retreated back to using records and LPs; others are patiently waiting to see who wins out between Pandora, Spotify and Tidal. And through it all, radio continues to be a mainstay. After all, radio is the only that provides live interaction and chances to win. Increase your radio station's relevancy with premium promo packaging. 

We've all been that person at one time or another: we hear an offer for free tickets or some prize package on the radio and we call in. Most of the time we get a busy signal. But I can remember one shining moment when the surreal happened: I got through. I played trivia on a morning show, and I won. It wasn't anything nearly as exciting as tickets or cash, but it was their album of the week with a t-shirt, water bottle and window clings. It was one of those magical experiences that awesome in nearly every way except for one: the prizes arrived in a plain brown cardboard package. More or less tossed in, with a short note from an intern. Doesn't quite give you the experience you want to talk about, does it? Doesn't really hype up the excitement of winning, does it?

When it comes to winning a radio promo package, whether it's tickets, a gift card or more, Sunrise Packaging in Blaine, Minnesota, can help turn it into an event for the recipient. 

Premium promo packaging
Premium promo packaging

Why Promo Packaging Matters

In this world of social media influencers and viral videos, reaction is a marketing strategy in and of itself. Leveraging user generated content is not only low-cost but can yield high returns as well. When someone wins on the radio, it's most fun when they have a massive reaction. Screaming excitement, accidental expletives, it's all part of that live experience (and maybe sound bytes for future radio contest promos). Why dampen that excitement with lame packaging?

Whether your radio station giveaway includes tickets, gift cards, or some other special items, make that promo packaging work for you. Create something that's worth sharing. Our examples to the side show a couple types of packaging that get big reactions. 

The top is our FlashPad Wallet, created for the University of Nebraska. The FlashPad and FlashPad Wallet are perfect for gift cards, concert tickets, and any small items that can ship easily in an envelope. These types of promo packaging allow for plenty of space for promotional copy as well as clear branding. 

Got something a little bigger? Custom boxes are our forte. The example above - a promotional kit created for Campbell Soup - features a totally unique design. It's a play on the traditional front open box, with handles for easy transport and custom inserts to keep items in perfect order. The design outside the box is black matte with a laminate to catch the eye with every movement. It's a great example of promo packaging that makes sales, and can convert your listeners to influencers. 

Influencer Marketing and Promo Packaging

When we talk about influencer marketing, many people miss promo packaging as a key part of the equation. Like we stated above, the excitement of winning something - anything - is worth celebrating, from the moment of winning to receiving the package. Maintain the momentum. Contact Sunrise Packaging today to get started

Jewelry Boxes & Luxury Packaging in 2018

Luxury packaging is all about presentation. Ok, the argument could be made that most of packaging is presentation, right? But it's especially true when it comes to big-investment items. Fine watches, expensive jewelry boxes, unique cologne and perfume. All of these items tend to come in packaging that specifically serves to showcase the item. 

Jewelry presentation boxes tend to be especially ornate. But companies don't have to rest on classic, old-fashioned approaches like velvet boxes and silk cushions. As consumers seek out more unique styles, packaging has become more unique as well. Bakers twine replaces ribbons, and magnets replace clasps. Like these custom jewelry boxes we just completed for Lenny & Eva

Custom Jewelry Boxes For the Modern Buyer

The societal take on jewelry gifting has practically passed into the realm of satire. A hinged box, usually satin or velvet, pops open to reveal something shiny and expensive sitting on a cushion of contrasting color.  The ads usually some sort of high drama, the kind of aspirational marketing that looks pretty, but is essentially unrelatable for the masses. 

Modern audiences don't want that kind of fantasy. They want to know where the products they choose to patronize come from, maybe even who made it. Packaging trends reflect this desire for honesty and authenticity.

The boxes we made for Lenny and Eva reflect those desires. A brand designed to evolve with fresh designs seasonally while staying true to their aesthetic, we helped create jewelry boxes for them that can weather that evolution without going stale. These custom jewelry presentation pieces are wrapped in a plain textured paper and stamped with gold foil. Simple and classic, yet with a modern and unique spin that is all their own. 

These custom retail boxes will keep products safe from harm while promoting the Lenny and Eva brand at the same time. It's the ultimate coup for retail packaging: the customer now has two pieces which they'll keep around their home, both the jewelry and the packaging. 

Start Designing Your Custom Project 

Working with an organization on custom jewelry boxes or any personalized packaging piece lets Sunrise Packaging stretch our creative muscles. Let's see how we can help you meet your market's desires! Contact us today.

Collectors Boxes: Creating Demand for Products

Collectors boxes have been around for a while, but what makes a good collectors box is less well-defined. 

If we take a trip back down memory lane, let's consider some of the retail packaging crazes within recent memory. Funko pop dolls come to mind. Minecraft. Pokemon. Beanie Babies. In the cosmetic packaging world, Urban Decay's special palettes sell out within hours; Kylie Jenner lip kits within minutes. Even cereal boxes, like the limited edition old school monster designs. And one of the most popular and omnipresent campaigns in recent history: the Share A Coke campaign, where individual custom labels entice customers to "share a Coke with... [insert name here]."

What do all of these have in common?

Collectors Boxes: What Sets Them Apart?

The easy answer? Put 'limited edition' in front of any custom packaging, and it will increase demand. But the success of these craze-inducing campaigns goes deeper than that. 

Sunrise recently partnered with Solid Ink to create unique collector's packaging. This project utilized a turned edge design with four color printing and matte lamination. Created for their unique Chris Garver and Horitomo collections, the project specifications demand that these custom box sets reflect the brand as well as the inspiration.

Overall, it works as a great case study of what goes into a successful design and creation of deluxe box sets.  In short, it's tapping into what your audience already knows and desires, tying it into your brand, and limiting access.

Create Demand

Solid Ink created these limited edition boxes with the intent of creating demand. It's econ 101: supply affects demand. With these boxes in limited supply, and only available in certain places, it increases the demand. It might seem like a strange analogy, but the Beanie Baby craze of the 1990's is the poster child for this kind of strategy. As a particular Beanie Baby became more popular, the company would conscientiously pull it from the line up, creating--all together now--demand (and price inflation, but that's another story).

Create Something Original

It takes time, skill, and no small amount of luck to create something that captures the collective conscience and enters the zeitgeist. Most importantly, it has to have elements of originality. Even if something similar exists, or another version didn't quite succeed, taking time to find out what the missing element is could be the difference between a generic mobile app and Flappy Bird.

Create Brand Tie Ins

The tattoo industry is all about originality and body modification as an art form. It makes sense that the stars of that subculture are held in high regard. Their name lends authenticity to products, and enhances the sense of uniqueness around a collectors boxes set. When your target audience recognizes someone they admire as part of a brand, it creates an instant resonance. 

Let the Design Support Your Product

Sunrise Packaging has a practiced hand at creating limited edition packaging and collectors boxes. We worked with Prince on album packaging, numerous sports teams on gifts for season ticket holders, and other types of deluxe boxes. Bring us your ideas, and we'll bring them into reality. 

Creative Packaging Ideas

Think back to the first time you purchased a brand that you’ve come to love. What made you purchase it? Positive reviews? Personal referral? Great marketing? Creative packaging?

Chances are, it was probably a mix of all these things, right? As an organization, you can start to cultivate your brand advocates, generating referrals and reviews, after you nail the last two things. And creating great marketing comes along with creative packaging for your products. 

Packaging is what sells your product. It conveys a feeling, cultivating a longing in your customers. So what does that look like…exactly? Well, it looks different for every product. Which is kind of the point of creating custom packaging design. But we’ve identified a few common trends that are ideal for attracting buyers. 

Creative Packaging Trends

Integrate Patterns

Using patterns in packaging design is a simple and efficient starting point. It can add depth and the perception of texture without the cost of embossing or inlays. Additionally, patterns can be used to evoke specific emotions or ideas. Blue and red stripes will inevitably remind people of the US flag; plaid has rustic or lumberjack connotations. Think through your pattern picks with unbiased audiences to evade any unintentional meanings. 

Think About The CXcreative packaging

We’ve written about CX, or customer experience, a few times before. It’s one of the surest ways to reach the hearts of your customers and start attracting influencers. Customer experience happens on multiple levels. It’s a design aesthetic that’s appealing. It’s including little touches that enhance the product. Check out the note inside SW Basics of Brooklyn’s lip gloss kit.  It shows customers that they care about reusing materials and have a playful sense of humor. It appeals and delights, which is the heart of CX. Custom packaging options like this can include subtleties as well. Things like thumb holes, custom thermoformed trays, or nested turned edge boxes can add layers of pleasure for users. 

Make It A Gift

This is a common packaging design element used by liquor companies. Packaging products like a gift–regardless of whether the purchaser is actually *gifting* the product–immediately makes it more attractive on the shelf. This type of creative packaging doesn’t have to obvious, so halt on the bows and ribbons. Consider more tasteful elements, like an additional simple box or tissue paper inside the packaging. Some companies will even create complementary elements to go with the product, like branded lowball glasses with brandy. Or simply allow the idea of a gift season your creative packaging brainstorming sessions. 

Be Mindful of the Process

While brainstorming can generate many creative ideas, it’s important to bring your packaging producer into the fold early on. Everyone works within a budget, and working with Sunrise Packaging allows us to help frame options that are within the product means. Plus, we have a bit of experience in creative packaging, as you can tell!

Etsy Custom Packaging Tips

The market for handmade goods has never been hotter, and websites like Etsy are reaping in the benefits.  Etsy is an online marketplace specializing in handmade, craft or vintage items as well as supplies. It’s relatively easy to use for both sellers and buyers, and numbers attest to that. In 2014, Etsy had over 50 million registered users, and total sales reached nearly $2 billion through the platform. With that kind of bandwidth, it might sound challenging to break through the noise as a new seller. But that’s where Sunrise Packaging comes in (locally owned in Minnesota). Etsy custom packaging is one of the best ways to retain and attract customers. 

Etsy Custom Packaging Basics

healthcare packaging
This outlet as a seller recently came to my attention when I purchased a small ring from an Etsy seller. It’s not a particularly expensive item, not vintage or anything else like that. I was incredibly impressed by the seller’s attention to detail when it came to packaging, though – so much that I realized how important packaging is, and how that fact might escape the attention of new sellers. 

Apparently, Etsy thinks so, too. They provide a literal handbook to Etsy custom packaging.  Since packaging is, quite literally, our business, here’s our take on Etsy’s suggestions for custom packaging: 

  1. Label your labor
    Etsy hits the ground running with a primer on branding. It’s incredibly important to help customers remember your business in every possible way. Crafting creative labels not only helps your business stick in their mind but makes it more likely that they’ll pass your name on.  Utilizing finishing options like debossing, embossing and other features help ensure that this will happen, or utilize a sleeve box to add some labeling. 
  2. Make Your Packaging Pop
    I couldn’t find hard numbers on what percentage of Etsy purchases are gifts, but the number is probably pretty great. Packaging that is gift-ready takes one part out of the process for your buyer. Besides, even if it isn’t intended as a gift for someone else, it’s kind of awesome to make the customer feel a little indulgent, like they’re getting a gift for themselves, isn’t it? When it comes to classic gift style, a two piece set up box is perfect. 
  3. Get Into Shipping Shape
    The last thing any seller needs is to mess up an order.  Like Etsy reiterates: how inclined are you to return to a seller who messes up your order, or doesn’t package it correctly to withstand shipping? Probably not very likely. Take the time to consider if you need any custom inserts, and the protection products might need. Thermoforming or custom formed trays might be a great way to go. 

Make Your Package Shine

Ordering things online is like the grown up version of Christmas morning. You know packages are coming on a certain day, so the expectations are even higher when you know what to expect. Let every delivery of your product generate that kind of excitement! 

Brokerage Welcome Kits

Becoming a successful broker has a relatively simple foundation: clients. Not only attracting new clients, but retaining old ones at the same time. Providing customized customer service can be a lot to balance in addition to staying on top of new rules, regulations, trends and other business facets.  Brokers need all the help they can. By investing in well-thought out brokerage welcome kits, you can start to pare down on some of the work. 

Brokerage welcome kits help clients feel special while giving them the information they need to take ownership and feel invested (to a larger extent). Welcome kits can also function like a pre-determined follow up plan…the most important part of maintaining those positive first impressions that won their business in the first place. Empower Brokerage has some great tips for putting together a custom welcome kit that’s sure to help retain clients. 

Building Brokerage Welcome Kits: A Checklist

Create a checklist

It might seem a little meta that the first item on our checklist is for you to make a checklist. Making a checklist of the items you need to go over with a client is a great way to get your ducks in a row. It ensures that nothing is missed. Plus, it helps you see your collateral and business in a new way. You might realize that there are redundancies or more efficient ways to share information when it’s all laid out in front of you. 

Policy documents

Whether this means ID cards, literal documents, their application, etc, include copies in your welcome kit. Advise them to keep their copies in a safe place. Don’t forget to include information on what their policy includes…and any upgrades, updates, and possible changes they need to be aware of with a timeline.  Consider investing in some document holding, custom inserts to keep everything in place and in a presentable manner. More on that later!

Contact information

welcome brokerage kits

Hopefully, your customers already have your business card. Adding them to your brokerage welcome kits is a nice touch, as well as adding other people in the office. Front desk, if available, plus any other customer service numbers or websites that they might need to access.  It’s an increasingly personalized touch to include bios of the others in the agency. 

Access tips

On that last note, do you have an online portal or some other type of self-service set up? Include information and instructions on how to set up new accounts and where they can access FAQs.  You can also include information for how they can post online reviews, an increasingly important (and sometimes overlooked) strategy for bettering your search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. 

Agency swag

Everyone likes freebies, and they like them even more when they’re useful and/or aesthetically pleasing. Invest in some calendars, pens, Frisbees, whatever you can work into a plug for your agency.  The custom box for your brokerage welcome kit will also help you in this area. 

Custom Boxes for Your Welcome Kits

Work with Sunrise Packaging to scope out specifications for a truly one-of-a-kind welcome kit design. There are multiple options, from a cigar box, presentation-style of packaging to crafting custom inserts for all your materials to utilizing gorgeous finishing options.

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!