Packaging for Millennials & Beyond

It might surprise you to learn that different generations have different effects on the packaging industry. Baby boomers, which have thundered like a herd of elephants through the ages, dominate the pharmaceutical packaging market.  Medical device packaging for them needs to be lightweight, easy to open, and clearly labeled. However, millennials have surpassed the baby booms to become the largest generation in United States history. Representing nearly 25% of the population, it’s clear that packaging for millennials requires a different tone, look and feel than previous generations.

Packaging for Millennials is Different

Millenials are defined as the generation born between the early 1980’s and mid-1990’s.  While singular qualities range, like any generation, millennials are marked by their desire for uniqueness and creativity, and manufacturers are reacting with increasingly innovative and interesting packaging decisions. Their comfort with mobile devices and online shopping means that knowledge and possessions are quickly available at their fingertips. Ranging from their early twenties to late thirties, their purchasing power is primarily what’s driving the changes in packaging to meet their desire for instant gratification.

What Millennials Look For in Packaging

According to Packaging Digest, there are a few common things that millennials look for in choosing brands and, by extension, packaging for millennials:

  1. What does the brand say about me?
    Millennials want to feel a personal connection to brands because brands say something about a person. In part, brands define who a person is and what their values are. As a generation with access to nearly anything, the choices are limitless. To assign meaning to those choices, millennials see their purchases as emblematic of themselves.
  2. How can this brand be customized to me?
    It’s the insult of all insults: BASIC. To call someone basic is essentially to call them uninteresting. Un-extraordinary. Snd worst of all, boring. This is partially a reference to the millennial love for specialty product ingredients but also the packaging. Millennials consistently gravitate toward custom packaging, according to Supermarket News. Think of the Coca-Cola initiative recently, with people’s names on Cokes.
  3. Is it exclusive and high-end packaging?
    Building on the customization factor, millennials love high-end private label branding. Think luxury and exclusive packaging. Or at least packaging that can be perceived like that.
  4. Who else is using it?
    Social media gives everyone a platform to rant or rave about products, and millennials are very adept at picking up what’s hot and what’s not. Creating buzz is key to packaging for millennials. Include QR codes, hashtags, anything that invites interaction with the brand on the package itself.

How Packaging for Generation Z Will Go Even Further

There’s no sign of these trends stopping with millennials. Generation Z is coming up fast behind them, and they promise to wield even more market power. Expect them to want an even MORE personal relationship with their chosen brands.They’ll also expect to use their mobile-first identity to interact with brands constantly.

Contact Sunrise today for tips and ideas on creating packaging that speaks to millennials in their language.

Premium Packaging Just as Important for E-Retailers

customized magnetic boxes with turned edges and soft touch lamination,

We’ve made a case or two (or three, or five) for how important presentation packaging is to the retail market. Custom retail boxes adorned with the trappings of luxury packaging are the eye-catchers and head-turners of brick and mortar stores. Think about it–how many times have you been drawn to some creative or colorful packaging only to find out it’s something you’re not in the market for. But maybe you became in the market for it.

That’s how it works. At Sunrise, we consider premium retail packaging is the first line of offense in a good marketing strategy. (It’s also the first line of defense in theft-protection, if you want to get technical.) Wow your audience at the very first site.

This is great for physical locations, but what about the Web? E-retailers (think Amazon) have stuck mainly to simple corrugated cardboard packaging. After all, a box for shipping just needs to be functional, right? Not according to a new article from Independent Retailer urging eTailers to “ditch the brown box.”

Dotcom Distribution’s Maria Haggerty’s stance on internet retailer packaging is fueled by points similar to the case for standard retail packaging. The main point seems to be that no matter the source, packaging for e-retailers needs to fulfill the same goals. Turn heads and catch eyes. Add value to the product within. Make you as a consumer feel good about your purchase. Even when you know what’s inside, there is something sort of empty about tearing into a plain cardboard box.

Haggerty goes on to mention how important premium packaging is to social media. From unboxing videos to packaging damaged in shipment, retail packaging makes its way into social forums. When a box is beat up in transit, most of the time folks will take to social media, telling their story and even posting pics to Facebook, Twitter, etc. Haggerty believes this tradition of only posting the bad can be combatted by high-quality and highly creative packaging. Something that’s worth posting just because it’s beautiful or cool. It’s true that people generally find it easier to complain than to boast about products and their packaging, but high-end luxury packaging could be a turning point for that sentiment.

“Forty percent of consumers said branded packaging makes them more likely to share a product image or video on social media, and consumers are 1.5 times more likely to share pictures of gift-like boxes than traditional brown boxes on social platforms.” – Maria Haggerty, Dotcom Distribution

It’s tough to take a side on this one. On one hand, we couldn’t agree more that custom boxes and presentation packaging are a crucial element to sales and marketing a product. On the flip side, it’s hard to deny how perfect corrugated cardboard packaging (aka the old reliable brown box) is for shipping. Ships in flat-packed bulk to start, cushioned along the way, and ends up being recycled thanks to its naturally eco-friendly nature.

Of course, there are middle of the roads to this issue. Our instant rigid boxes, for example, ship flat, but have all the adornments of luxury packaging. E-flute is a corrugated product that can be nearly as flashy as chipboard. And if you’re looking to keep packaging green (a selling point in of itself) there are options such as soy-based inks and aqueous coatings.

Instant Rigid Box_premium packaging trendsElf3

What it comes down to is that packaging can make a product appear to be a gift–even if it’s a gift to yourself–and there’s a certain pride and joy that comes from opening a gift. The retail arena knows this, and it’s time the e-retail business catches up.

The SunPack Social Media Family

Social media presence is like luxury packaging.

 

It needs to be brilliant and sharp. It needs to have a name on it, and preferably some contact info. It needs to be impactful. Relevant. Modern, and kept up-to-date. It needs to jump out at its audience. Catch eyes, turn heads. And it needs to do all of that on the fly.

Business lives online, and Sunrise Packaging is no exception. So please allow us at Sunpack to show you our “digital packaging” as we run through the heavy hitters of social media and how we use them to stay fresh, trendy, and always connected.


 

Symbol_Linkedin_Sunrise Packaging custom packaging social media


Linkedin

If the social media outlets were a group of friends, Linkedin would be the guy that always wears a suit. Clean and network-driven, Linkedin has proved it has staying power in the social media world, being both a more professional Facebook and an online resume.

 

Sunpack on Linkedin

See the friendly faces that drive the custom packaging machine and keep us in your career Rolodex.


 

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YouTube

Talk about an underdog story. What started as a hub for funny cat videos has become the  cornerstone of social media marketing. Now that “going viral” and “Internet Celebrity”  are officially in our lexicon, it is hard to remember a world without YouTube.
Sunpack on Youtube

Check out cool videos! Everything from tooling processes to sneak peak product reveals.


 

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Pinterest

Who doesn’t love Pinterest, right? The scrapbook of Internet! The Online Idea Board! “Pinning” is probably the quickest form of social media out there today, giving folks the ability to grab anything and put it on their digital to-do list, sharing great ideas and lifehacks with friends and followers.

 

Sunpack on Pinterest

Keep up with our products, of course, but also see what we think is cool in the world of luxury packaging. Clever ideas are our precious gems–and we’re always ready to polish!


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Facebook

Well, if it isn’t Ol’ Blue Eyes himself. The original and still the king of the social media palace. Zuckerberg’s social experiment has soared to heights he didn’t even know existed. The best place for posting anything and everything. Everybody’s on Facebook. You know it’s true.

 

Sunpack on Facebook

What don’t we post on Facebook? New blogs, promotions, product reveals and more!


Googleplus


Google+

Still hanging in there. While it may not have made the sonic boom it intended, Google+ still benefits from a smooth interface and quick turnaround. Sort of a mashup of Facebook and Linkedin, but benefitting from all the best assets of its social media predecessors.

 

Sunpack on Google+

Google loves businesses. Look there for all our in-depth industry coverage, plus our regular announcements.


twitter-icon, social media page for sunrise packaging, custom packaging, luxury box design


Twitter

The neighbor kid that started hanging around Facebook in Junior High. While it seemed like Twitter was just a scaled back version of the Face-phenomenon, it famously gave us the #hashtag and has since become a place where writers, designers, musicians, and other creatives show off their wares.

 

Sunpack on Twitter

Well, if it’s for creatives, you know we’re there. Follow along!


StumbleUpon-icon, social media page for sunrise packaging, your custom box expert


StumbleUpon

The new kid on the block, more or less. StumbleUpon is like Pinterest without all the frills. Tailored to your specific needs (much like custom packaging!) this social media outlet shows you websites, graphics, and any other cool Internet curios that you might not know about.

 

Sunpack on StumbleUpon

A hub for all our blogs, conveniently organized by category. Plus anything else that strikes our fancy on this clever little site.

Know any other great social media spots we haven’t listed? We welcome a heads up!

Unique Packaging & Branding

Eco friendly rigid handle box

Jay Leno to Speak at Pack Expo- Chicago

lenoIt was announced on March 18th, that Jay Leno will be a part of the Pack Expo International as a part of the Lecture series. The event that runs in Chicago November 2-5, 2014 will be one for the books now that recently retired late-night comedian will be there to liven things up a bit. PMMI, who puts on the event expects the Chicago expo to attract 2,000 exhibitors to a 1.1 million square foot space. The popularity and success of the events can be attributed to the way PMMI has centered their approach on customer needs and preferences. Adding a legend like Leno can’t hurt popularity either. Sunrise Packaging is excited to exhibit at this event, as it will be our first time as more than just a spectator!

Also new to the Pack Expo International show is the co-location of Pharma Expo, which is an exciting development that opens the door to new business networking opportunities in automation developments, secure clean room packaging, as well as marketing kits and sales materials. Mark your calendar!

Connect Social Media Efforts with Packaging

I think we can all agree that social media is an easy and effective way to interact with your consumers and build that relationship. However, sometimes there can be a missing link between this awesome virtual tool and the literal interaction your customer has with your product. Here are some things that can make that connection:

– Smack it right on the package! Sometimes consumers won’t bother to search for you facebook or twitter after they have purchased your product. Make it obvious that your out there, even give an incentive for “liking” you!

– Use QR codes. We love QR codes at Sunrise Packaging, mostly because not a lot of people know who we are. We like to throw a QR code on our business cards and products that will bring consumers right to our site with a thorough explanation of what we’re all about.social media

– Ask for feedback because if you’re customers are anything like me, once you ask the question you’d better be ready to listen. And that can be a great thing for businesses! However, if you never ask for feedback you will never know how to better serve.

-Create an app. Anything that will make it easier for customers to choose you, or at least maintain that connection.

Keep Consumers Informed

consumer information packagingFueled by web interaction and social media, the power of the consumer is more powerful than ever. Whether a workers strike or product ban, the connection of the internet gives these groups the power to rise up and really make a difference in the market to better serve their needs. This is why it is imperative for retailers and manufacturers to keep close tabs on their consumers’ behaviors and opinions. For packaging, this means handling major changes sensitively in order to retain the support of loyal customers, as well as gain the interest of new buyers. It is important to be honest and clear about why a company is changing something about their product. Loyal consumers will be genuinely interested in these changes, and advocacy from word of mouth can be extremely successful promotion for your business.

Manufacturers Benefit from Social Media

social media marketingSince technology has changed the way consumers make purchasing decisions, it has also changed the way brokers and manufacturers do business. The internet is constantly at our fingertips whether on our computers at work or home, on our cell phones and other devices. This form of communication has taken over the way we communicate in our personal and professional roles, and social media outlets take the cake. Whether it is Facebook,, Twitter, or LinkedIn, these networks make tremendous impact on business communication. Due to this focus shift, manufacturers need to change their marketing approach as well. The end goal of all marketing is to connect with customers in order to increase sales and business opportunities. While manufacturers deal with organizations, sales come from customers. Manufacturers need to go where the people and connect with them, and social media is a great way to do this on a large scale. Using social media, manufacturers must build a stronger online presence by doing the following; getting found and connecting with new customers, showcasing products and services, establishing their credibility as an organization, and drive website traffic for customers to learn more about their business.

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