Creating a Board Game Box: 3 Things to Consider

Thinking about making your own custom board game box? Read this first. 

Sunrise Packaging has worked with a lot of unique projects over the years, but some of the most innovative and excited creators are those who make games. It’s a true passion project. And we hate to see that excitement fizzle out over some of the most common things that game makers miss or don’t consider when they design their custom game board box. custom game board box, custom game board

On the surface, creating game board boxes isn’t an overly complicated thing. But like any packaging project, there are things to consider that an outsider might not think about beforehand. The weight of the packaging materials, for instance. The mobility of the game box. The design and print quality of the box. Not to mention the copy for the box as well. In a way, custom board game boxes aren’t unlike product launch kits in everything they need to accomplish. 

Custom Board Game Box: Choose Your Own Adventure

Things that every game maker should consider when it comes to crafting their own game board boxes. Essentially, it comes down to one thing: plan ahead.

  1.  What’s your budget?
    Knowing what you want to spend can help determine other options. If you want to make money on your custom game, it’s completely necessary to have a budget in mind for what you want to spend on packaging on top of the game production costs. 
  2. How do you want users to interact with the packaging?
    Customer experience is of increasing importance. Not to mention that a great unboxing video could increase sales dramatically.  Sunrise Packaging can help craft boxes with handles and magnet closure as well as custom inserts and printed elements inside the box itself. Get creative, but keep the whimsy in check. Outlandish ideas aren’t always the most sustainable
  3. What will entice buyers?
    You’re browsing online and see a interesting game. You click on it, and read the position description. Alternate scenario: Walking through a store, you see an unfamiliar product. You’re compelled to pick it up and find more about it. How do you decide whether or not to buy it? Make sure to craft content that will speak to buyers and compel them to actually purchase it, not just pick it up for a moment.

Proper planning is the most important part of creating a custom board game box that will sell. These are just three things that you should consider. 

Contact Sunrise Packaging for Guidance

Making your own game packaging might seem more cost-efficient, but it’s not if you have to spend hours upon hours doing it. Leave it to the experts; we’ll leave the game making to you. Contact us today!

Brand Activation Kits for Minnesota Brands

Minnesota was front and center for the last week of January. As host to Super Bowl LII, our state leaned into the “Bold North” moniker and created a great experience for locals and visitors alike. From the amazing Polaris backflip to Land O’Lakes Farm Bowl, Minnesota’s homegrown brands brought it in a big way. MN marketers might be ready for a break, but not for long. March 2019 will see the Final Four come to Minneapolis. We’re excited to see the stunts and innovation, and can’t wait to help build brand activation kits to support it all. 

Brand activation is the act of driving consumers to act by means of interactions and experiences designed by the brand. Brand activation kits support these interactions and experiences. As a  Minnesota company, we know Minnesota brands, their values and their challenges. Not the least of which is designing an outdoor environment in the subzero Minnesota winter. 

Homegrown Brand Activation Kits 

custom turned edge packaging design, Custom Rigid Turned Edge Box Packaging, custom turned edge box, full color print, custom box design, retail display box, branding

Sunrise Packaging can design packaging for any sort of brand activation. The goal of any marketing initiative is to garner a response; while it’s one thing to get people talking, it’s another to get them to pay attention and remember your brand. 

Brand activation itself can take many forms. Experiential marketing, consumer promotions, shopper marketing, all of these things can be part of it. Since there are many ways to implement, it’s usually easiest to give examples to explain brand activation. When we think back to the different Super Bowl LII experiences created by different brands, we get an idea of some of the elements that make successful brand activation campaigns:

  • Unique
    First and foremost, it needs to be unique to be memorable, right? There’s no point to it if it doesn’t increase consumer interaction with your brand, and if the consumer doesn’t remember you…
  • Relevant
    A crazy experience, zip-lining across the Mississippi River, is almost as unique as it gets. However, would it work for any brand? For a brand focused on thrill-seeking and adventure, yes. For a candy store? Not so much. 
  • Full of MN Pride
    As varied and interesting the various strategies were, there was one thing they all have in common. Minnesota, the Bold North tagline, was front and center for every single one.

As Minnesota brands start thinking about their plans for the next major event to come to Minnesota, include brand activation kits in your overall strategy. 

The Bold North, Round 2

March is usually a little more moderate in weather than January (well, most of the time). That said, the one million+ visitors who braved the Minnesota winter for the Super Bowl weren’t afraid of a little weather. Neither are we. Contact Sunrise Packaging today to design your brand activation kits!

Premium Promo Packaging

As streaming becomes more and more mainstream, its affects on traditional music outlets is interesting. Some people have retreated back to using records and LPs; others are patiently waiting to see who wins out between Pandora, Spotify and Tidal. And through it all, radio continues to be a mainstay. After all, radio is the only that provides live interaction and chances to win. Increase your radio station's relevancy with premium promo packaging. 

We've all been that person at one time or another: we hear an offer for free tickets or some prize package on the radio and we call in. Most of the time we get a busy signal. But I can remember one shining moment when the surreal happened: I got through. I played trivia on a morning show, and I won. It wasn't anything nearly as exciting as tickets or cash, but it was their album of the week with a t-shirt, water bottle and window clings. It was one of those magical experiences that awesome in nearly every way except for one: the prizes arrived in a plain brown cardboard package. More or less tossed in, with a short note from an intern. Doesn't quite give you the experience you want to talk about, does it? Doesn't really hype up the excitement of winning, does it?

When it comes to winning a radio promo package, whether it's tickets, a gift card or more, Sunrise Packaging in Blaine, Minnesota, can help turn it into an event for the recipient. 

Premium promo packaging
Premium promo packaging

Why Promo Packaging Matters

In this world of social media influencers and viral videos, reaction is a marketing strategy in and of itself. Leveraging user generated content is not only low-cost but can yield high returns as well. When someone wins on the radio, it's most fun when they have a massive reaction. Screaming excitement, accidental expletives, it's all part of that live experience (and maybe sound bytes for future radio contest promos). Why dampen that excitement with lame packaging?

Whether your radio station giveaway includes tickets, gift cards, or some other special items, make that promo packaging work for you. Create something that's worth sharing. Our examples to the side show a couple types of packaging that get big reactions. 

The top is our FlashPad Wallet, created for the University of Nebraska. The FlashPad and FlashPad Wallet are perfect for gift cards, concert tickets, and any small items that can ship easily in an envelope. These types of promo packaging allow for plenty of space for promotional copy as well as clear branding. 

Got something a little bigger? Custom boxes are our forte. The example above - a promotional kit created for Campbell Soup - features a totally unique design. It's a play on the traditional front open box, with handles for easy transport and custom inserts to keep items in perfect order. The design outside the box is black matte with a laminate to catch the eye with every movement. It's a great example of promo packaging that makes sales, and can convert your listeners to influencers. 

Influencer Marketing and Promo Packaging

When we talk about influencer marketing, many people miss promo packaging as a key part of the equation. Like we stated above, the excitement of winning something - anything - is worth celebrating, from the moment of winning to receiving the package. Maintain the momentum. Contact Sunrise Packaging today to get started

Casino Gift Packaging Ideas for Millennials

As any professional can tell you, a large part of marketing is generational. Strategies that work for baby boomers don't resonate with Gen X. And then millenials have completely different ideas from Gen X, and Gen Z is already rocking the boat before graduating. And for businesses like casinos, who have casino gift packages and robust campaigns, it gets a little tricky. 

Baby boomers make up the core of the casino mainstay demographic. But as this group ages out of the casino experience, it's necessary to start seeding younger generations. Millennials make up the most dynamic age group, as they come into prime earning and spending years. Anderson DD gives this comparison when it comes to how casinos need to reconsider their marketing strategies: 

  • Boomers and Gen Xer’s tend to spend 80% of their casino money on gaming, and 20% on food and entertainment
  • Millennials will be more likely to spend 30% on gaming and 70% on food, entertainment and non-gaming services
  • Unlike the “individualistic” Boomers and Gen Xer’s, are very social and group-oriented

With these things in mind, it's going to be very necessary for casinos to rethink and reinvest in keeping the attention of this generation.  The good news is that they can start by looking at their high roller packaging and rewards in terms of casino gift packaging.

Why Casino Gift Packaging Matters

Millennials crave customization and a personalized experience that shareable via Instagram and social platforms. Casinos already do great work with this via loyalty cards and other measures. But level up by creating a unique experience for casino patrons. 

Creating unique gift packaging for your loyalty cards creates something that is, on face value, instantly Instagrammable.  Casino gifts could include poker chips, USB drives, commemorative coins, the sky's the limit. Whatever you want to tie into a marketing strategy, it's possible. But beyond that, these die cut folders (example to the side) present a huge opportunity for casinos to connect with customers. 

Using casino gift packaging will help you target millennials by keeping your messaging short and concise, and allows for user generated content (photos and posts) to drive strategies. It also helps you craft a customized experience by creating more alternatives to their experience, allowing them to feel like they're driving. These opportunities might seem subtle on the surface, but fleshed out with a rounded campaign can lead to big gains. 

Design Your Casino Gift Packaging 

Contact Sunrise today to learn more about these die-cut turned edge folders... Or just ask about the casino packaging. We know what you mean!

Artisan Liquor Packaging

As you peruse the shelves of your local liquor establishment, you might notice a series of words used frequently in marketing materials. Handmade. Small batch. Craft. Artisanal.  What's it all about, and why is it on my liquor packaging?

In short, it means that these liquids don't come from a mass-produced factory, churning out jugs of alcohol by the tons. It gives buyers a sense of place, a connection to a product, to know that it's rare, or local, or simply imbued with something a little extra special. 

Some might tie it to the general farm-to-table movement; we just see it as taking pride in what you consume. 

Unique liquor packaging

Liquor Packaging Showcases Craft & Company

As a Minnesota local company, we love living in a land that takes pride in everything from turbulent weather to the range of homegrown distilleries, breweries, and wineries in the region. Every one of these alcohol artisans has a story and a mission for what they create. We work to design packaging that showcases their unique perspectives. 

Unique liquor packaging

In the example to the left, the gin company manages to avoid the ubiquitous terms we listed above by using a quirky, funny tone. We embellished their strategy--literally--with deep, rich colors that offset each other. It's a blue tower that's sure to stand out on any product shelf. 

When it comes to box construction, we used rigid chipboard to keep the bottle safe on both shelf and in shipment. You can even add custom foam inserts or thermoformed trays to add additional protection and presentation packaging elements. With the users in mind, they can slip the magnetized flap open to check out the product inside. It's not tricky, it's not dramatic. It's just great design. 

Serving a Growing Market

Great products sometimes have a hard time finding their audience, and this the case sometimes when it comes to liquor. When a consumer is faced with a shelf of vodka or whiskey, it can be overwhelming to choose one. However, one of the most common reasons customers cite for trying something new is that they liked the packaging (no lie). 

Ready to invest in liquor packaging that helps your product stand out without resting on tired marketing cliches? Contact us today!

Options That Make For High End Retail Packages

High end retail packages speak to customers. 

Not literally, of course (but who knows what might happen in the future?). But all it might take is a swift glance over a familiar box to evoke a memory. Positive, negative, those parts of are out of control for manufacturers and companies, but the point is clear: when you have a strong brand that speaks to luxury, quality and comfort, your packaging should reflect that. 

Why Packaging Matters

Some might be quick to dismiss packaging as most important for mass produced consumer brands. It’s necessary for boxes to stand out on a crowded shelf, helping customers identify the one they want quickly. Or to catch their eye long enough to consider trying something new. 

But it’s the seed of brand loyalty that transcends economic status. Whether it’s a loyalty to Captain Crunch cereal or to Cartier watches, customers who exhibit appreciation for a specific product still want to feel like they’re part of the club. Cultivating that seed is partly done through packaging. 

Features of High End Retail Packages

high end retail packages

custom luxury packaging

It’s easy to assume what features a cheaper package might feature to cultivate brand awareness. Color is the main one, with graphics coming in second. But when it comes to high end luxury packaging, customers want a little more. 

  • Make it a tactile experience
    If you turned the lights off and ran your fingers over the packaging, what sense would customers get? Utilizing features like embossing, hot stamps, soft touch lamination, and more can stimulate the senses to entice customers in a different way. 
  • Turn the mundane into the extraordinary
    Opening and closing boxes isn’t something that registers with most people. Unless there’s something that stands out in people’s minds about it. Using a unique closure, like magnets or a custom molded snap enclosure, can do just that. 
  • Create contrast
    Light reflects differently on different materials and colors. Using a matte finish with glossy embellishments will draw attention to the various contrasting elements. Or simply mix up the colors, pairing black with white or other opposites that work well together. 
  • Design a pause
    An unveiling is a spectacular affair, and the first time your customers see your product–as their own product–should be as well.  One way in which package designers do this is to add a moment before the *big reveal.* It’s like going through the wrapping paper to get to a birthday present. Your excitement is heightened because you know this is something you want, and the paper is the only thing in the way. Badly designed processes can lead to buyer’s remorse and increased product return rates. All things luxury producers want to avoid. 

Contact Sunrise Packaging

We love talking high end retail packages. Different features work for different industries, and we’ve a bit of experience in the field to help guide you.  Get in touch 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

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!

Wedding Planning Binders

Ah, wedding planning binders. They’ve been a standby in an industry that’s incredibly trendy. Where brides (and grooms) spend an ungodly amount of time trying to be more creative, more innovative, more stylish, and so on. All for a ceremony that’s about as traditional as tradition can get. 

However, while brides go Bride Wars and work to out-do each other, wedding planning binders is the source for all the initiatives. It might seem that technology would have replaced the hard custom binder, and in some ways, it has. Websites like Pinterest are must-haves (spawning the term ‘pinspo’ for pin + inspiration) for getting ideas and learning how to DIY. Instagram is another source, as can be evidenced by the uptick in giant walls made of flowers after Kimye’s union. Instagram also allows instant photo sharing via hashtags, so wedding guests can upload and share their favorite informal pics at the event. 

But weddings are more than just pictures and ideas saved to a Pinterest board. There are more elements and sources of inspiration, beyond what can be pinned and posted.  As someone who works in the wedding planning world, custom binders can be a great giveaway to new clients. 

Uses for Wedding Planning Binderswedding planning binders

Getting Organized

The most obvious use is, of course, getting organized.  Include your own templates for the wedding planning, or allow the recipient to customize with their own. Many couples use color coding, custom fonts, and more to stay organized. For added adabtability, include envelopes for loose articles and receipts. 

Saving Samples

A big part of any wedding is the tactile piece. From invitations to centerpieces to colors, it’s important to both feel and see the materials prior to committing. Wedding parties want to see the colors, feel the materials, the embossing on invitations, everything.  Keeping it all one place makes it easier to compare, and also to do the following…

Showing & Telling

It’s ten times easier to show people something than it is to simply tell them about it. Hence the popularity of visual mediums.  Using wedding planning binders gives your clients the ability to show people the exact color swatches, the exact style of program, maybe even photos of arrangements and other tips. Be sure to include something eye-catching from your own business and industry to draw attention as well – this is a marketing tool, after all!

Standing Out In the Wedding Business

Working with weddings is a time consuming, emotionally-taxing role. You’re dealing with many people making big-budget decisions about what may be the most important day of their lives.  Bringing them on board means showing that you care. Whether you are a wedding planner, a caterer, photographer, or some other role, gifting wedding planning binders is literally the gift that keeps giving.  Plus, by incorporating your own subtle branding, website and more, you’re sure to add to your own business as well. 

Contact Sunrise today to start designing your custom binders for weddings! 

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!