Custom Luxury Boxes: More Than Meets The Eye

Custom luxury boxes are more accessible than you might think. 

I know, I know. On the surface (literally), most people think of a striking finish with an expensive material. A complicated packaging structure. Something that enhances the aura of exclusivity by being nearly too complicated to open easily. Some marketing ploy might call it ‘delayed gratification;’ we just call it annoying. 

Minnesota’s Sunrise Packaging takes pride in designing packaging that meets the needs of your organization while satisfying customers. Not just satisfying–delighting them. There’s a conception that custom luxury boxes are expensive and maybe just a little too finicky to work for many products. Or, you might just want to flip the idea of luxury into something that’s still well-made, but doesn’t use those cliche tropes. 

Here are some tips to work toward high-end packaging appeal. 

Factors That Make Custom Luxury Boxes 

 

Interactive

custom luxury boxes

Like we mentioned above, sometimes creative packaging errs on the side of confusing. Delayed instant gratification can come in many forms that aren’t annoying or confusing to customers. Allowing users to discover subtle details and functionality can add to their interaction with the package, the product, and your brand. Things like pull tabs, pop-up constructions, tissues, and more can add layers to the unboxing, making it extra special. 

Sound

How aware are you of the sounds around you? Next time you open a box or package, consider the sound it makes. Unwrapping the plastic wrapper of a candy bar, sliding a new phone out of a two piece setup box, snapping open a magnetic hinged box. All of these have different sounds that go with the items, and undeniably there are impressions of value that go along with each. The materials used in constructing your box will affect the pitch (thinner = higher, heavier = deeper), as will the finishing. If you don’t want users to have a high-pitch experience, which can read as cheap, consider that in the starting stages of your project. 

Haptics

Haptic feedback is essentially the sense of touch in any given interface that provides information to the user. You might have noticed in your phone settings an option for ‘haptic’ feedback (usually a gentle vibration or other subtle cue). Video games use haptic feedback to enhance experiences, and it’ll be interesting to see how VR utilizes haptics. But when it comes to custom luxury boxes, haptics is all about the touch, feel and hand positions required to interact with a particular package.

A great test is to close your eyes and interact with a box. Sharp corners and intuitive opening usually speak to quality and luxury; could your box be opened with eyes closed, or does it need power tools to break through?

What Speaks To You?

Ultimately, custom luxury packaging should speak to your customers in ways they can’t quite articulate, but they know they like it. This doesn’t have to mean spending more on packaging than on the product (although you get what you pay for in packaging – bigger budget means better materials). It can simply mean providing an experience for customers that makes them feel special. 

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.

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franklin wallet-spotlight

wallet sample with giftcard

Custom Magnet Boxes Make Perfect Sales Kits

Custom magnet boxes are perennially popular. People love them because, well, if I had to make a wholly-unscientific guess, because magnets are cool. Everyone has memories of being a kid, maybe at home or at school, and being fascinated by how such a simple material could have such a strong pull. The attraction (pun slightly intended) carries through to adulthood. We might sit and play with magnets on the fridge now (although the popularity of magnetic words might indicate otherwise), but we have new outlets for our magnet-fancy. 

Sales kits can come in many forms. We’ve written about them before, but there’s a strong argument to be made for using custom magnet boxes for your sales kits. 

Custom Magnet Boxes & Sales Kits

By definition, a sales kit is a case or folder containing information about your firm or product. It usually contains promotional materials, like brochures, books, samples, maybe a demo on a CD or USB drive. We might argue that all of this sales support material is only as good as the container that holds it. Delivering your marketing collateral in a flimsy folder or a cheap, easily-dented box doesn’t quite send the message you want, does it? 

So the first step would be to increase the quality of your materials. You wouldn’t skimp on your product; don’t skimp on your sales kit. This is a piece that needs to project your values and the quality of your product. It also needs to capture the imagination of your prospective client or customer. What better way to do that than to tap into a rather specific childhood fascination?

Our flagship Netboxes are custom magnet boxes with the layout of a hinged cigar style box with turned edges and a magnetic flap closure. The outside can be customized to the nth degree with digital print, embossing, custom foil stamping, and other options. Add protection and surface space for more content with a sleeve over the box. 

The inside creates a veritable stage for sales support materials. Level up by adding custom inserts, like thermoformed trays or foam inserts. We can create an insert that ensures that your marketing pieces are held in place perfectly. What’s more pleasing than a well-curated and organized sales kit? 

Start Planning

Custom magnet boxes are great not only for sales and marketing kits, but any customer-facing collection. Influencer marketing kits are quickly growing in popularity, and utilizing a magnetic box could be a great way to ensure a highly regarded unboxing on Instagram. Whatever business you’re working to grow, we can help you help you get there with well-crafted sales kits. Especially when it comes to custom magnetic boxes!

Sales Kits To Attract & Retain Business

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

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

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

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

Brainstorming Ideas for Upgrading Sales Kits

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

 

Sales kits

Who is your target audience?

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

What issue or problem is your product or service addressing?

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

What kinds of messages or statements speak to your audience?

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

Go Beyond the Sales Kits Basics

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

Sales kits

Custom Packaging and the CX Revolution

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

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

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

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

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

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

CX & Custom Packaging

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

Custom packaging for New Balance
Custom packaging for Aluminoes

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

No contest.

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

Raise the Bar for Customer Experience

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

Custom Candle Boxes & That Hygge Feeling

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

Custom Candle Boxes?

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

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

Custom candle boxes and hygge

How to Bring Hygge Into Your Home

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

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

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

Light a Candle or Two

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

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

2017 Fragrance & Cosmetic Packaging Trends

Trends come and go, and this is especially true of the ephemeral world of fragrance and cosmetic packaging. Certain features and styles--cigar style boxes, magnetic closures, custom setup boxes, etc.--tend to be more prominent in some years than others. Cosmetics and fragrances are a dynamic division of packaging; they're subject to the whims of the fashion world, but loyal customers tend to be drawn to both respectful tradition for the past while enjoying modern innovation. What would Chanel No. 5 be without its stark, elegant style? It's a tall order for any designer to incorporate all these elements. 

However, there are some constants in this ever-changing industry as identified by Cosmetics Design. These guidelines aren't specific only to fragrance and cosmetic packaging, but could be incorporated into the style of any industry that desires their packaging to be creative yet artful and address commercial interests. 

Fragrance & cosmetic packaging

Fragrance & Cosmetic Packaging as Art

According to the Pratt Institute 2016 recipient for fragrance packaging design, FangYi Chu, the most important aspect of design is storytelling: 

Through the creative direction, including logo, fonts, and color, the story can be displayed to everyone.

In this sense, custom packaging should endeavor to embody a narrative that speaks to customers. 

Resourceful Innovation & Packaging

Concerns have arose across customer bases when it comes to sustainability. Buyers are becoming hypersensitive to sustainable sourcing and eliminating waste, yet desire usable and functional packaging that is also aesthetically pleasing. At Sunrise Packaging, we can utilize recycled materials for boxes as well as employ other eco-friendly techniques in finishing as well as other stages. 

Cost-Effective Packaging

"Cost-effective" encompasses many things. Obviously, cost is one part of it. It can reflect size, meaning that customers are finding value in smaller cosmetic packages which makes them easier to carry for travelling. All in all, as Cosmetics Design points out, it means a smaller commitment from the customer. The increased ability of customers to peruse the world via the Internet means that they don't only have to buy from big name retailers who carry big name cosmetics and fragrances. They can purchase from anywhere, and the selection means that customer loyalty can easily shift. It's an opportunity and a detriment to the market. In this sphere, creative fragrance and custom cosmetic packaging could make or break whether a customer returns or not. 

Fragrance & Cosmetic Packaging

Trends are usually cyclical, but when it comes to hyper-stylized industries, those trends take to take on new twists. With some foresight, designers can find inspiration while retaining classic elements. 

For more information on the topic, refer to:

2016 fragrance packaging trends that will still matter in the New Year

By Deanna Utroske, 21-Dec-2016

Novelty beauty packaging comes and goes, but a few trends Cosmetics Design covered this year will carry over into 2017—for fine fragrance and perhaps some other categories as well.

Custom Binders & Organizing

When I think of organization, I have to admit: custom binders do not leap to the top of my list. I'm much more likely to search for an app for organizing notes, recordings, or whatever I need on my smartphone than I am to pick up a binder. But recently, in the most unlikeliest of places,  I was reminded that some people are more tactile. 

I was watching Brooklyn Nine Nine, and the character of Amy Santiago was enjoying a new binder. 

Custom binders make some people happy

Simple Pleasures of Custom Binders

For those who don't watch the show, Amy is a somewhat Type-A detective with a penchant for organization and procedure. She's tidy, polite, and loves her binders.  Amy and her binders are something of a running gag, but there's something to the simple pleasure she receives.

In the hyper world of the TV cop show, it's understandable how something so seemingly simple can be soothing and bring calmness.  It's a small piece of sanity, a corner of control. When everything else is volatile and subject to the whims of coworkers and criminals, Amy's custom binders are 100% in her control. 

Why Bind It When You Can Scan It?

The ability to pick up and page through a binder is soothing. Users can see everything at once with just a few flips instead of searching through a smartphone. It's a conventional organization system; easy to pick up and intuit, versus someone's private devices. I know that my method of filing (or lack thereof...I prefer to tag things, then just enter a search query when I want it) isn't the same as others. Using a standard system within a binder makes it easier for the entire office to find common resources quickly and efficiently. 

Scanning/taking pictures of documents on the go is handy, but when it comes to document sharing (especially in a not-so-technology-literate organization), it can get tricky. Especially when no one wants to admit that they don't fully understand how to access something. Take the guesswork out by storing communal resources in custom binders. 

 

Options for Custom Binders

Here at Sunrise Packaging (Minnesota), we've been experimenting with some great new, more durable options for custom binders. New techniques include creating covers from a single piece of chipboard, increasing their ability to withstand pressure and the effects of time. Euro-scoring, or rounded corners, help people grasp binders more easily. It's a great option for larger documentation sets or files. Not to mention that pockets or adhesive trays can be added as well to hold discs, notepads, or anything else that could be useful. Contact us today to talk about your needs, discuss cover printing options, and more. Amy would be proud!