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!

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!

Redefining CD Case Packaging With Flashdrives

The reign of the compact disc has passed, but CD case packaging has a little more staying power. 

CDs made headway as more and more homes started buying their own personal computers. They were sleek and shiny, a big step up from the formerly prevailing floppy disks. But like anything, they’re prone to a host of inefficiencies. Quickly scratched. Fragile. Security easily overwritten.  Not a lot of real estate on the disc itself for branding or information. This made their packaging all the more important. Whether a company utilized the standard flip style, a sleeve or something else, this custom packaging protected discs from potential danger. It also created an attractive storage option, not unlike books on a shelf. 

Flashdrives and custom USB drives entered the scene next, and their ease of ease and relative durability have brought them to usurp the place previously held by CDs (and will the cloud trump the convenience of the USB drive? Not until Internet access is stable and accessible everywhere, methinks). But flash drives have more in common with CDs than you might think. While USB drives step it up in most areas–storage, security, accessibility–they can also be fragile with little space for branding on the device itself. That’s why Sunpack created something just for custom flash drives, similar to  CD case packaging: the FlashPad.

College Bound FlashPads for university recruitment, acceptance letters with hard turned edge binding and offset printingCD Case Packaging, Re-Imagined

The old adage holds true: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. FlashPads utilize the familiar CD case packaging style, down to the flip-open cover. But inside, users don’t find a reflective disc, but a foam insert molded to snugly fit a personalized flashdrive. The USB drive can hold whatever information you want to share. The packaging does the hard work of attracting the user in the first place. 

Your custom FlashPad can utilize nearly all the high-end elements we use in boxes and other types of packaging.  Virtually any aspect can be customized or personalized to your company, and any senses you wish to engage.  Let their fingers glide over soft touch lamination with raised embossing. Their eyes can take in the vibrant design and sleek packaging. 

…and that’s all we can really do from our end. If your organization really wants to find ways for taste, smell or hearing to be part of the package, dive in!

Something Old, Something New

While the FlashPad riffs off classic CD case packaging, it brings up to a new level of accessibility. Many newer laptops don’t have CD drives anymore. Flashdrives are becoming the de facto way to share information. 

And our options for packaging don’t stop with the FlashPad. There’s another, sleeker option that works well for more than just customized USB drives (business cards, bottle openers, and more are just a few things that the insert can be molded to fit): the FlashPad Wallet. Mimicking a bifold or trifold wallet closure, the Wallet is a slightly smaller and more compact option. 

Neither of these to your liking? Contact our sales team to start from the ground up for totally customized USB boxes

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!

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! 

Custom Magnetic Boxes

Sometimes, certain types of boxes become associated with certain industries. Technology, for example, seems to usher in new trends or set the tone for what moves over to other industries. Minimalist design, solid colors, magnetic closures, all of these trends started with technology devices and bled into other industries. Custom magnetic boxes are an especially a great option for any product. Our turned edge cigar box style features a magnetic flap for closure. Here’s why.

The Appeal of Custom Magnetic Boxescustom magnetic boxes

Custom magnetic boxes have been most commonly found in the technology industry, but more areas, like healthcare packaging, are starting to use magnets as well. The appeal is more than just aesthetic. Here are some reasons that organizations are seeking out magnetic boxes and magnetic flaps for their products:

  • Design appeal
    Including magnets in packaging increases the trend factor. From a design perspective, it creates a sleek kind of closure that slides easily into a sleeve box or any other kind of box. Magnet boxes are also usually laminated in material that lends itself well to different design treatments as well. Companies can print in full color, or choose to emboss, deboss, etc. 
  • Accessibility
    The growing baby boomer population is just one sector of the population that needs easy-open packaging. Complicated closures, harsh glues, excessive taping, all of these things are problematic for hands that don’t work as well as they used to. Let’s be honest: it’s also really annoying to have to deal with boxes that are overly taped, right? Magnets of varying strength are easier for all hands to open. It’s a great option for medical packaging, particularly for personal devices. 
  • Security
    Few types of closure can promise the security and ease of functionality that magnets provide. Not to mention longevity, according to Science Focus: “The alignment that holds magnets together can be damaged over time, principally as the result of heat and stray electromagnetic fields. The process is very slow, however: a modern samarium-cobalt magnet takes around 700 years to lose half its strength.”

Ready to Design Your Own Magnetic Box?

Sunrise representatives are ready and waiting to help you design custom magnetic boxes that show off your product and appeal to customers. Contact us today!

Magnet Boxes: FitBit Blaze Packaging Review

Wearables have been heralded as the next frontier for technology. While the success of Google Glass might be up for discussion, the same doesn’t apply to fitness trackers. Particularly when it comes to FitBit.  There are a ton of trackers out there, but FitBit seems to retain a magic hold on the public. I was an early adopter to the wearable trend, and loved my FitBit from the get-go. I recently upgraded to the Blaze (my third upgrade within five years or so). It’s always great to see a company invest in great packaging, and FitBit includes some great options in their magnet boxes. 

Qualities of Magnet Boxessleeve boxes

Magnet boxes are durable and appealing to the eye and the touch, as well as a popular option for retail custom boxes. They can protect goods without extra protection. The FitBit Blaze also features a paperboard sleeve around it in white. The magnet box, in a contrasting blue, has no marks beyond the FitBit logo on the magnet flap. The custom sleeve design is where the main marketing focus comes into play.

The FitBit Blaze custom magnet box has laminated finishing, which makes the colors bright and vibrant and draws the eye to the picture of the object inside. It’s a little bit of that Apple austerity, but the ‘Gold Series’ calls attention, as well as the iconography. The text is kept to a minimum, but there are some features included on the front, with more on the back. 

The main features included on the front are the ones that make the Blaze different from the other models. It’s a good move to illustrate those things up front. From a consumer perspective, it’s always a concern regarding how different models are from each other–especially when there’s a price difference of $100.  This allows a shopper to view the differences without having to grab each one, turn them over, and compare that way. All they have to do is look at the display and get an idea for what the product looks like and what it can do for them. magnet boxes

Looking at the custom sleeve box in more detail, the back offers quick bits of information in a bullet-like style, enabling shoppers again to get the gist just from a quick scan. One of my favorite features on the box is along the side. Sizing can be problematic for anyone. I have, really, no idea what the circumference of my wrist is, so when the specs say that a small is XX inches and a large is XX inches, it means nothing to me.  But FitBit takes that brain-buster out of the equation by including a wrist sizing tool on the box. This tells customers what size they should purchase. Without having to track down a tape measure. 

Custom Packaging for the Future

When it comes to wearables, the options are limitless. While one might think that the packaging should be something more sophisticated, or stark, or whatever, it shouldn’t come at the expense of the user. FitBit does a great job integrating function with design, especially when it comes to helping shoppers understand the differences in their products. 

 

 

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