Software Packaging Case Study

Software packaging can be an ambiguous term. It might refer to how files and resources are digitally packaged together, or a suite of applications, like Microsoft Office. As a packaging company, you can probably infer that we mean it in the most literal sense. However, we do take inspiration from the other meanings of "software packaging."

When it comes to creating packaging for software, Sunrise usually turns to the FlashPad. It's a hybrid style of packaging that brings together multiple elements. It can work as a display kit, a pamphlet, an advertising piece, and of course, a container for products. The small, compact size lends itself well to custom USB drives, key fobs, business cards, anything that can fit within the parameters. 

Sunrise Packaging recently worked with Psychology Software Tools to create packaging for their E-Prime 3.0. Here's how they made the FlashPad their own.

Software Packaging for Your Business

In this example, Psychology Software Tools already had a designer on hand to create the design. Note that if you don't, we're happy to help!

We worked with their designer to get the right specifications and share best practices. Once the design was proofed and finalized, Sunrise got to work assembling the custom packaging solution.

After printing the wrap, we laminate it to give it a shiny finish. Other options include a matte finish, or a soft touch finish.  

The pieces are then cut and wrapped around the FlashPad hard backing, providing support and security to the products. Then the liner, or the inside of the packaging, and the foam. Finally, the product is boxed up and shipped!

As you can see from the video, these FlashPads are fully customizable in almost every way. We've created these as marketing pieces for organizations ranging from colleges to real estate brokers. They're a versatile packaging style that we create with love in Blaine, Minnesota!

FlashPad Love

Check out more examples of one of our favorite packaging styles, the FlashPad. And when you're ready, contact us to create a customized software packaging solution for your organization!

Custom Gift Boxes for All Occasions

While the holidays draw near, anyone tasked with gifting turns their mind toward packaging at some point. While wrapping paper still reigns supreme, there's another option available. A more eco-friendly option, we might add. Gift boxes, especially unique boxes, can be all the decoration a gift needs this holiday season.

Custom gift boxes aren't a new idea, but they've long been the domain of luxury packaging. Think of Tiffany's jewelry, for example. Sparkly diamonds might come to mind, but so does their iconic robin-egg blue box and white ribbon.  In that example, their brand is clear. So much so that a Pinterest marketing effort proclaims, "There is no color quite like this."

 

Customized Gift Boxes

When A/Z Corporation approached us to create custom gift boxes for them, we knew it was an opportunity to build something great. As a company that markets itself as an innovative leader in their field, it was important to match that flair. To match the clean aesthetic of the organization, the set-up box style was chosen. Two piece set-up boxes are often used for high-end electronics, like smartphones and tablets, so there is an implied sense of luxury for the user. 

To enhance the rigid box, we wrapped it in a black ultima. This cover material is rich and gives both depth and contrast when used. Particularly with finishing elements that set it off, like silver foil stamp crowning the package with A/Z Corporation's logo.  Watch the video to get a sense of the unboxing elements.  Minnesota-made packaging at its finest.

While we love this project, there are more things that could enhance it further. A thermoformed insert, or custom foam insert, could add additional protection. And while the rigid two piece setup box is fairly well protected, adding a sleeve to the box adds more real estate for marketing content without ruining the sleek, clean look.  But that's just us working toward perfection.

Custom Gift Box Styles

While the setup box style was perfect for this project, there are many, many other styles of custom boxes that you can peruse to find the perfect one for your product and organization. While you might not initially think of your product as a gift to customers, using a little bit of that aesthetic could bring a new dimension to your brand. Sunrise Packaging creates boxes that can be used as keepsakes.  

It's the time of year when generosity is infectious; give your customers a thank-you that's stylish and attractive. Contact us today for a quote!

 

Nostalgic Packaging: Throwback or Throwaway?

Nostalgia sells, and nostalgic packaging plays a big role in that. 

Utilizing elements from popular design trends of the past is a powerful tool on its own. Certain fonts and colors, image stylings, and more can evoke strong emotions in people. It's becoming increasing popular for products ranging from shoes to soft drinks to market throwback styles or recipes. These tactics allow former customers to re-engage with a product while allowing a new generation to discover it.  In our image-saturated world, something that can grab and hold attention--especially if it's due to resonating with the viewer--is a win for marketers.

As more and more brands jump on the throwback bandwagon, it becomes clear that execution plays a big part in how well a product is received. Fast Company detailed how different brands are optimizing product launches with success or...less than success.

How Nostalgic Packaging Can Bring in Bucks

First off, we love nostalgia in the USA. 

The Journal of Consumer Research reports that we're more to spend money when we're feeling nostalgic:

“We found that when people have higher levels of social connectedness and feel that their wants and needs can be achieved through the help of others, their ability to prioritize and keep control over their money becomes less pressing.”

A post shared by Lisa Frank (@lisa_frank) on

Which explains why adults might love to shell out money for shoes they always wanted as a child, like the Adidas relaunch of Stan Smiths. But why do millenials and Gen Z seek out retro designs and references? Turns out, it's just part of an ongoing cycle. 

Generations are constantly rediscovering past generations. Resurrecting past trends starts with groups creating demand for products that are generally hard. And from there others learn about it and want to recreate the experience. The demand for vinyl, or records, in the past few years is proof of this. While it's infinitely more convenient to stream a curated playlist from a smartphone, people crave the experience that goes with listening to an album from start to finish, reading liner notes, viewing album art. The resurgence of Polaroid and Fujifilm instant photos is another example. 

Products and nostalgic packaging that can tap into the collective cultural memory are the most effective. So much so that some organizations have taken to hiring a kind of 'chief memory officer.' Their primary task? Sorting through company history and culture to reference for product and campaign launches.

When it comes what not to do, the answer is easy: don't force a trend. It's can be risky to bring back an old packaging style without an existing desire for it. But when it comes to custom packaging design, there are plenty of elements to implement to match a design from days of yore.

Ready to dig into the past and find a style of nostalgic packaging that works for you? Contact Sunrise today!

Custom Pads in Action

This time of year seems to bring out the best in people. We're inspired by the holiday season to give more, volunteer more, and appreciate what we have a little more. And when we get to create custom pads for an organization that literally embodies these sentiments, like the Salvation Army, it drives that point home even more. 

For an organization with the relatively simply tagline of 'Doing the most good,' the Salvation Army as an organization is anything but simple. Pursuing a mission of meeting human need without discrimination since 1865, they're done a lot of amazing work: 

  • Assisting around 25 million Americans every year
  • Serving 128 countries around the world
  • Comprising of over 1.5 million members (officers, soldiers, and adherents)

You've undoubtedly encountered a Salvation Army volunteer or two ringing bells outside businesses to get donations. But donating your spare change while hurrying out of the grocery store isn't the only way to help the organization. Planned giving is a major source of funding. To attract new donors in this digital age, the Salvation Army knew they had to move past the analog style of a brochure. Custom pads are the perfect option.

Custom Pads for a New Age

Sunrise Packaging custom pads are sleek, booklike boxes. We use a heavy chipboard for extra impact, and a custom foam insert to hold contents in place. They're the perfect option for a variety of products, from loyalty cards to medical devices to flash drives. 

When it comes to the Salvation Army project, their needs are focused on marketing to planned giving donors. The tailormade foam cavities can hold a pen and a USB drive. The drive contains necessary information on how to make planned gifts from different parts of a donor's financial plan, like:

  • Cash
  • Real estate
  • Stocks
  • Bonds

And whatever might be part of the financial plan of the donor. Additionally, a clear vinyl sleeve was added to the custom pads. This will hold a brochure, postcard, and a business card. 

Custom Pads Drive Campaigns

Custom pads are a great accompaniment to marketing campaigns. They can appeal to those who like to physically handle materials while offering an alternative for those who want to interact through technology. Not to mention that the personalized USB drives can cleanly transfer documents necessary for giving campaigns. 

Additionally, custom pads can even come with a creative sleeve for mailing. Learn more about options for design and finishing by reaching out to our sales team today!

Car Marketing with Key Fob Packaging

Buying a car is, for most people, a process. From the financial considerations to what options are most important, it’s a decision-laden process. Not to mention stressful. At the end of the road, customers want to feel confident in the decisions they’ve made. As they drive off the lot, car dealerships should recognize that there is always another opportunity for car marketing. Key fob packaging and car marketing

Key Fob Packaging & Car Marketing

Key fobs are practically a standard in vehicles today. The use of the fob might vary, from just unlocking the car to starting it remotely, but there’s usually two identical fobs. One on the keys, and a spare. The spare is usually handed over, fairly unceremoniously, in an envelope. Which may or may not feature the brand. 

Sunrise Marketing (Blaine, Minnesota) recently started working with car dealership marketing teams to create a kind of welcome kit for customers. This kit affirms that they’ve made a great choice not only in their vehicle, but choosing the dealership as well. It boosts confidence and makes customers feel secure. 

These presentation packaging pieces, or FobPads, feature the best in our design department. In the examples pictured for Sunrise Auto Family, you can see several elements at work: 

  • Construction: these pads utilize custom thermoformed foam inserts to keep the fob and business card firmly in place. They’re also tied together in the customer’s mind. The pad construction, mimicking our FlashPads, is sturdy like a hardbound book. 
  • Design: car marketing is all about impressions and prestige. We’ve designed a packaging solution that’s intuitive and attractive. Sunrise can design with your brand in mind, and take your vision to the next level. 
  • Content: from the visuals to the words, there’s a message here. It’s adventure on the open road. It’s a warm handshake. A possible future referral for your dealership. Keep it simple, but significant.

Custom packaging for car marketingAdditionally, these FobPads are keepsakes for the customer. The fob is safe in a recognizable space, ensuring that it’ll be kept in the house for a long time. 

Continue Selling After the Car Leaves the Lot

New cars come out all the time. Dealerships exist in nearly every town in America. What makes your dealership stand out?

We know pricing and financing are one thing, but it really comes down to dealership and car marketing. As a family welcomes a new car into their life, so can a dealership welcome them to their family.

Be one of the early adopters in this exciting new opportunity. Contact Sunrise today to start!

 

Casino Packaging for High Rollers

Some rules of marketing apply to all sectors, but when it comes to niche industries, like casinos, the rules are different. While a health organization has no problem promoting health, casinos typically don’t  promote excessive gambling. It leads to creative angles that tap into different areas of the subconscious. One area in which this is evident is in casino packaging options. 

The goal of any casino is to bring in players. It’s no coincidence that many casinos use magnetic cards to run… Well, everything. These cards make it easy to move around the space, from checking in to rooms to paying for meals to gambling. They also enable casinos to know exactly where you are and what you’re spending. Casinos are pros when it comes to using data to inform marketing decisions. And if you’re a major spender or high roller, there’s an incentive to keep you on the premises. And to get you to return ASAP.

Casino Packaging for High Rollerscasino packaging

From those handy magnetic cards and other resources, casinos know a lot about their clientele: 

  • Visit frequency
  • Room and meal preferences
  • Gaming and entertainment habits
  • Betting amounts
  • Stores you visit and items you buy

And that’s the tip of the iceberg. Savvy casinos are using this mountain of data to market to their desired client base to draw them in for special events, offers and more. It’s about meeting their needs before they know they need or want something. 

In the image to the right, the project we completed for Harrah’s Reno Hotel plays on a few marketing tropes specific to casino packaging. To engage high rollers and provide them with something unique, we created personalized packaging to hold limited edition poker chips. These custom pads utilize luxury packaging detailing. They flip open, evoking an exciting hardcover story book, revealing a present designed to appeal to high rollers. Casino packaging like this can be customized with die cuts to hold loyalty or membership cards, keys, poker chips, or other souvenirs. 

Branded with your organization’s colors and logos, this style of customized packaging is designed to enhance the customer experience. 

The Best Investment Is In Your Customers

All industries want to keep and retain their customers. But for casinos, the payoff from customer loyalty is what drives the bottom line. Finding ways to please and delight them–and create incentives that keep them coming back–is the best way to earn their loyalty.

Contact Sunrise today to learn more about designing effective casino packaging!

Tis the Season: Get a Jump on Custom Holiday &Christmas Packaging

The weather here in Minnesota has been a little iffy, but with the Memorial Day weekend, we can finally say that summer is officially here. Which makes it the perfect time to start considering your custom holiday and Christmas packaging needs, right?

Wait, what? Christmas packaging in June?

Yes, it might sound a little premature to start thinking about the holidays. But, as one of my former professor was fond of saying, proper preparation prevents poor performance. For many businesses (well, except for ice and fireworks, maybe), summertime is a bit slower than the rest of the year. It’s a chance to relax a little bit, look ahead a little more, and gauge what’s coming around the corner. After summer flies by, then it’ll be fall. And as inevitable as tax season, the holidays will be here before we know it. 

Make use of this low-stress period by planning for your custom holiday and Christmas packaging now. The holidays are a high-stress time, from the end of October through the new year. There are a million things to get done before the end of the year–both at work and at home, making balance harder–which wears on us mentally and physically. If that’s not reason enough to start planning now, here are a few more reasons. 

Beat the rush

 

The best gifts take time to craft and create, and the same goes for custom packaging. While Sunrise Packaging prides itself on creating the perfect package for every customer, the best products are the ones for which we have time to work through design, procure materials, and produce to our high standards. It also gives you time to explore the variety of options, and land on the perfect one for your needs.  

Cultivate joy, not stress

Like we mentioned above, the emotional hallmark of the holiday season tends to be more on the stressful than the joyful. Contacting Sunrise today means you won’t have to scramble to find a company that can take on your custom box order at the last minute. You’ll have time to proofread the copy, tweak design, and spend time on the different embellishments and finishing options that will showcase your brand best.

Focus on your priorities

When the holiday crunch starts, you can focus on products and leave the packaging to us. The experts.  Leaving you free to focus on the various implementation, marketing, and everything else the holidays bring with them. Taking care of custom holiday and Christmas packaging now is kind of like giving your future self a little gift, don’t you think? 

We know how to help

Whatever your personalized packaging needs may be, Sunrise can help. Check out our product galleries to start formulating ideas, and let us know when you’re ready to talk!

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.

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!