Promotional Packaging = Content + Design

Promotional packaging 101: don't forget the content.

It might seem like an obvious place to start. And yet, it still happens. Projects kick off based on the product itself, then move to packaging, and then to marketing where the content gets knocked out. We understand that every project is a little different. Timelines vary from department to department. But here's the thing: every project should be content-driven - and it probably informs more steps than you know.

Particularly when it comes to promotional packaging.

The most unique packaging ideas start with a concept that the Sunrise Packaging team helps drive into reality. We can help bring concepts into a tangible state, but there are some things that need to inform the design before we can start.

3 Questions That Should Be Answered By Your Promotional Packaging Design & Content

Who Is This For?

Do you know your audience? From gender to age to personality characteristics and beyond, successful packaging begins and ends with knowing your audience. Promotional packaging designed for a new cosmetic line will look very different than promotional packaging created for bow hunting enthusiasts. Consider how your packaging can appeal to your intended customer base.

Why Would Someone Want This?

There are some cases where the plain, brown paper bag approach might carry the connotations you want for your product.

 

...But most of the time, you need to include some content on your promo package that *sells.* Tell your customers what this product will do for them. What it does better than your competition. What makes it unique.  This is the value proposition you're making to every potential customer. Your custom packaging solution should sell your product like a salesperson.

How Does This Package Fit With Your Brand?

Building a brand? Consider what this package is telling your customers. Everyone is familiar with the iconic design of Campbell's soup cans. From a glance, you can see that all of these products belong to the same branded family. Does your packaging match your product family? And if it doesn't, is it intentional?

Design With Intention

Promotional packaging should be intriguing, customized, exciting, and innovative. Like the packaging product pictured above that we just completed with Select Design, creating unique content for a promo box is worth the time investment. We love this fun style of packaging. And we can't wait to hear from you on how we can work together to create something great.

Creative Sample Kits for Creative Coverings

As a consumer, making big decisions requires time and thought. Particularly when it comes to things like carpet, flooring, curtains, and other items that require consideration in orchestration with the rest of your home. Imagine painting a wall. When choosing a color, you want to know how it looks in different lighting? Coordinates with the furniture? The best way to do this is via sample kits.

Just like the products they hold, sample kits come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The variety reflects the unique qualities of the organization. As extensions of your brand, and of the product itself, designing a sample kit shouldn't be an afterthought.

Sample Kits for Example

Sunrise Packaging recently completed a project with Creative Coverings. Creative Coverings rents and sells luxury linens for weddings and other events. This sample kit will be house fabrics for potential customers. These fabrics, in brilliant colors, textures and patterns, are the true focus of the kit. When it comes to designing for such rich products, we know that simplicity equals elegance.

The sample kits are covered in green linen paper, a forecast of the feel of the linens. It features crisp white handles with a white foil stamp. And while many organizations take advantage of our ability to create custom inserts, this project required a spacious interior for the linen variety.

Creative Coverings prides themselves as being creative, efficient, and current. We're loving that this partnership created a sample kit that exemplifies those qualities.

Create a Showcase for Your Products

Sample kits can feature more products than it makes sense to list in a single post. That's why we'll leave it to you to come to us with your product. And we'll take it from there.

Sunrise Packaging has decades of experience when it comes to packaging. We can work through the process with you to create something truly emblematic of your core values. When you're ready to learn more, contact us!

High End Packaging for Real Estate

Short supply and high demand is a recipe for a crazy housing market. Particularly as more and millennials start to dip their toes into home ownership. It can be daunting for mortgage brokers, homebuilders, and realtors to find ways to make an impact on this tech-savvy, immediate-results generation of homebuyers. Utilizing tools, like social channels featuring high end packaging, is one way to reach people.

In this Uber & DIY-focused economy, brand loyalty and expertise counts for less than it did in the past. For a business like realty, which are hugely relationship-based, this means that their basic marketing model needs to change. Referrals are still a big way to gain business, but reaching out on various mediums is another way to gain interest. It's the online shopping effect. We see something we like, we tap on it and can buy it.

Obviously, real estate doesn't work *quite* like that. But check out Carrington Creek's Insta, and tell me you're not enticed to learn more about these gorgeous homes. Particularly that signature Welcome Home box.

High End Packaging for High End Homes

Carrington Creek (located in Arkansas) is a homebuilder focused on building relationships as well. They've won multiple awards for quality, customer satisfaction, realtor excellence, and more. And when we began work on a special project for them, we knew it was going to be a special collaboration.

High end packaging always presents interesting challenges. At its heart, the best packaging utilizes simple design techniques. But the unique features are where we like to make it truly high end, the little touches that speak to a users tactile or visual senses. For this project, we used offset printing and a scuff free matte lamination.  This box is as sturdy as the homes they build, and just as classic with monochrome coloring. With spot UV over the logo, this is a box that pops. Maybe not as much as that champagne, but it's a coordinated effort!

Use Custom Packaging as Part of a Targeted Marketing Strategy

These welcome boxes are gorgeous on every level. They're highly Instagrammable, prominently featuring the logo, and create a true connection with the homebuyer. It's clear that this is a celebratory gift while still being functional.

But it's still part of a marketing strategy. If you're homebuilding organization or realty company is looking to put that extra panache into your marketing tactics, reach out to Sunrise to sketch out your own welcome kit!

Meet Minneapolis Sports Packaging

Minneapolis, Minnesota hosted the 2018 Super Bowl at US Bank Stadium. And we're all hoping that it's just the start of major sporting events looking to Minnesota as a viable location. Not to mention the potential to provide local sports packaging for these mega-events!

We're set to host the Final Four in 2019, and with the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) Sport Event Symposium here last week, there's potential for a whole lot more. The event is a networking opportunity for garnering interest in where a sporting event will be held. Minnesota has had a good amount of luck with the event. It's where Meet Minneapolis CEO Melvin Tennant made contact with the right people to bring the ESPN X Games here for four consecutive summers. 

Sports Packaging & Events

With over 9000 meetings happening between parties through the event, it's a place where big things are decided. As Minnesota moves into the forefront of hosting major events, from NFL championships to baseball all-star games to golf's Ryder Cup and more, the economic impact will grow.  Expertise from all areas will be necessary to ensure continued successful events. 

In a past post we detailed the Super Bowl impact on the area, particularly on brand activation. However, when it comes to sports packaging, Sunrise Packaging is definitely an expert. 

soccer sports packaging

When it comes to sports, presentation is a big part of the conversation. It's the foundation for marketing and advertising, and all teams want their clubs to be presented as the best. At Sunrise, we've completed projects for a variety of professional sports teams, focusing on different elements. Custom season ticket packaging, campaigns targeted to university alumni, and more. We're able to bring ideas into reality.

Kentucky Sports Packaging

Sports packaging can utilize different elements. In a project for the Minnesota Vikings, we created a unique style of box with a gate fold opening, wrapped in purple (of course!) and stamped with silver foil. It's bold and classic, just like our team's strong focus on Viking lore and history. In contrast, our projects for universities tap into a different mindset. We want to echo the excitement of college games, the contagious enthusiasm from students and different traditions of each campus.

Meet Bold North Sports Packaging

Sunrise Packaging is honored and proud of our Minnesota heritage. If your organization is bringing an event to Minnesota, look to us for your custom packaging needs. Contact a representative today to get started

Promo Packaging Psychology

It only takes a second to form an impression, and when it comes to promo packaging, you want it to be a good one. 

But what goes into that split-second judgement formed by potential customers and clients? We know that it's implicitly unfair. There's no way that an organization can conceive of the myriad of biases every individual brings to a situation. They don't like a font. They don't like a color. Is it based on something internal? Or did they just stub their toe and nothing is appealing at the moment?

It's reasons like these that 1) no single design is perfect, and 2) come to Sunrise Packaging to utilize the best practices we've learned over our years in the business. 

Part of what we can share is grounded in psychology. Subtle elements inform customer's perceptions around taste, quality, perceived value, all the way to brand personality. These elements--such as color, shape, texture and more--influence what's called implicit associations

Implicit Associations & Promo Packaging

Here are some great, simple tips to glean insights on customer's impressions of promo packaging.

Color

You probably aren't surprised to learn that color has a lot of meanings. From cultural influences to personal preferences to color blindness, we're constantly using color as an indicator for different things. For example, in western societies, blue is associated with cleanliness. Which is why when you stroll down the home cleaning goods aisles, there's usually a plethora of blue promo packaging.

Using color theory is one way your product packaging can appeal to different genders, cultures and ages. 

 

Texture

Watch a young child move through a park or public space. Chances are they're constantly reaching out and touching things, from a wall to the handrail to plants and trees. From a young age we're prompted unconsciously that one of the best ways to learn about our surroundings is by touch. And promo packaging is no different. 

Sunrise Packaging offers a variety of customized wraps for boxes that can make your product feel silky smooth, or give it a more rugged texture. Even the finishing on a wrap can convey a message. A classic example: as natural chips started making their way onto the market, they faced the challenge of how to stand out in an established chip aisle full of bright, shiny packages. Their answer? Making the packaging matte to convey the difference. 

The Psychology of Promo Packaging

Even just these two tips can heavily influence your packaging design. Researching more about implicit association, and tying it to your target market, can reveal even more insights. When you're ready to get started on your promo packaging, contact Sunrise sales team to tap into your customer psychology!

Custom Promo Boxes & 2018 Trends

Like any industry, custom promo boxes are subject to trends. Take a look through the different ages to get an idea of what was acceptable (or rather, expected) packaging from just a decade ago. You'll see that it's changed, in every way from shipping time to box design.  But what makes this interesting is the nostalgia factor we see creeping into 2018 trends.

More on that later. 

Customers are looking for some key things when it comes to their packaging needs. They want sturdy custom boxes, a personalized experience and, if shipping online, they want it fast. Different markets respond differently to these base demands, but below we include some tips on the most enduring and prominent trends we're seeing. 

Trends of Custom Promo Boxes

Packaging Longevity

We've commented on this before, but it's a recurring factor: we can order from any corner of the globe and have it in our home within days. It's truly amazing. Yet these distances can have adverse effects on organic products, like first aid items and medicines. Packaging needs to withstand the trials of travel.

"Unboxing" & Social 

One of the top YouTube categories for kids right now is unboxing toys. Yes, you read that correctly. It's people recording themselves unboxing toys. Not necessarily playing with them, or sharing them, or anything else - narrating their experience taking them out of the box. And it's not just toys, you can find unboxings for nearly anything on YouTube and beyond on Instagram, Reddit, and more. 

It's important to note that upcoming generations, even more so than the current ones, will be critically looking at packaging styles, containers, and above all, personalization.

Nostalgia

Nostalgia sells. Whether it's garish unicorn-emblazoned Trapper Keepers or Coca-Cola in glass bottles, people are attracted to things that remind them of memories wrapped with happiness. Best of all for packaging design, it's relatively easy to add in a throwback font in design, as well as utilize materials or designs that are evocative of a time past like kraft packing paper or other custom inserts. 

Bring Us Your Ideas

While we do believe that trends should help inform any packaging decisions, we also want to create innovative solutions. Bring us your ideas and your needs, and let's create something perfect for your product. 

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.