Unconventional Set Up Boxes

Using the term "set up boxes" might make sense to you or it might not. If you're not attuned to the packaging industry, it probably doesn't mean much. But that's where we like to take the chance to educate you.

A setup box consists of two pieces. In layman's terms, a top and bottom. The bottom is usually made of strong chipboard with a custom wrap on it. Otherwise known as turned edge, this stylish finish can take on different elements depending on your needs. The top fits snugly over the bottom. Also made of chipboard, it slides on and off easily; you've no doubt encountered this style as it's often used for game boxes, smartphones, and more.  

As you look through our two piece set-up box gallery, you will see the unlimited potential of this customized box style. Sunrise just completed an interesting variation for Findlay Technologies. 

Set Up Boxes By Design

Confused? Look closer. 

By design, this might appear to be another cardboard package delivered by any mail service. Once you read the address label, it becomes clear that this isn't just another mailing box. While pictures don't quite do it justice, the feel of the box gives it away as something special as well. 

You can't quite tell, but these are set-up boxes. The boxes are wrapped with a digitally printed / matte lamination material. From the corners, you can just the turned edge finishing on them. 

We love the unconventionality of this box. It takes multiple sets of expectations and flips them, creating a sense of surprise and fun the for the recipient. Here's what we mean.

Expectation #1: It's just a plain cardboard box 

But from that first touch, the customer realizes that it isn't. Part of engaging users is finding ways to engage their senses, and with this design and style, they're all in.  And once they open the box, they're treated to even more potential customization. Thermoformed trays, custom inserts, the sky's the limit. 

Expectation #2: It's just another set up box

Using a design that usurps expectations helps engage users, but it also illustrates different features of a particular packaging style. While these setup boxes share characteristics with others, the content and design are what set it apart.  Set up boxes lend themselves well to a variety of finishing options. And their hardcover durability makes them trustworthy packaging for nearly any product. 

Design Maketh the Set-Up Box

So the lesson that we learn from this? Taking the time to figure out the overall effect you want your packaging to have helps determine the right box style and the right design.  Taking something seemingly conventional, like setup boxes, and turning them into something truly unconventional, is a challenge we love taking up. Contact Sunrise today to talk through your needs and ideas for your set up boxes!

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!

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!

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!

Brokerage Welcome Kits

Becoming a successful broker has a relatively simple foundation: clients. Not only attracting new clients, but retaining old ones at the same time. Providing customized customer service can be a lot to balance in addition to staying on top of new rules, regulations, trends and other business facets.  Brokers need all the help they can. By investing in well-thought out brokerage welcome kits, you can start to pare down on some of the work. 

Brokerage welcome kits help clients feel special while giving them the information they need to take ownership and feel invested (to a larger extent). Welcome kits can also function like a pre-determined follow up plan…the most important part of maintaining those positive first impressions that won their business in the first place. Empower Brokerage has some great tips for putting together a custom welcome kit that’s sure to help retain clients. 

Building Brokerage Welcome Kits: A Checklist

Create a checklist

It might seem a little meta that the first item on our checklist is for you to make a checklist. Making a checklist of the items you need to go over with a client is a great way to get your ducks in a row. It ensures that nothing is missed. Plus, it helps you see your collateral and business in a new way. You might realize that there are redundancies or more efficient ways to share information when it’s all laid out in front of you. 

Policy documents

Whether this means ID cards, literal documents, their application, etc, include copies in your welcome kit. Advise them to keep their copies in a safe place. Don’t forget to include information on what their policy includes…and any upgrades, updates, and possible changes they need to be aware of with a timeline.  Consider investing in some document holding, custom inserts to keep everything in place and in a presentable manner. More on that later!

Contact information

welcome brokerage kits

Hopefully, your customers already have your business card. Adding them to your brokerage welcome kits is a nice touch, as well as adding other people in the office. Front desk, if available, plus any other customer service numbers or websites that they might need to access.  It’s an increasingly personalized touch to include bios of the others in the agency. 

Access tips

On that last note, do you have an online portal or some other type of self-service set up? Include information and instructions on how to set up new accounts and where they can access FAQs.  You can also include information for how they can post online reviews, an increasingly important (and sometimes overlooked) strategy for bettering your search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. 

Agency swag

Everyone likes freebies, and they like them even more when they’re useful and/or aesthetically pleasing. Invest in some calendars, pens, Frisbees, whatever you can work into a plug for your agency.  The custom box for your brokerage welcome kit will also help you in this area. 

Custom Boxes for Your Welcome Kits

Work with Sunrise Packaging to scope out specifications for a truly one-of-a-kind welcome kit design. There are multiple options, from a cigar box, presentation-style of packaging to crafting custom inserts for all your materials to utilizing gorgeous finishing options.

Influencer Marketing Kits for Retail

Influencer marketing kits can be used a few different ways. The traditional–well, as traditional as it gets in this age of flash-in-the-pan marketing strategies–mode is to send kits to targeted individuals. Research goes into identifying influencers in your market. Time goes into building a relationship with them. And finally, the money and effort put toward creating a custom, individualized influencer kit all adds up to quite the process. The return on investment for influencer marketing can be tremendous. It’s a worthwhile investment for your company.

But there’s another mode for influencer marketing that taps the market a little differently, and that’s to take a more mass marketing approach. Research and develop an influencer kit that can be sold as a retail piece.  It can include many of the same elements, like premium packaging and accompanying collateral, but without the exclusivity. Mass marketing runs the risk of being less targeted, but it can reap huge rewards as well. 

Scaling Influencer Marketing Kits to the Masses

influencer marketing kits

From Structural Graphics

The first question that might pop into your head is Who else is doing this? As you can see from the image to the side, liquor is one industry that has employed this kind of brand-building for ages.  These kinds of launch kits can double as influencer kits–if you start to tie your messaging to your brand in a way that positions customers as brand ambassadors.  

Liquor has long employed a kind of pyramid-shaped flow for their customers. Companies have products in the same category ranging from the low end to the high end. The customer journey usually brings them using the low end products, and once the customer builds an appreciation for the product, they’re willing to champion it and ramp up to the next level. Ultimately, they’re invested in the product to the point of purchasing the special kits.

Influencer marketing kit features include:  

  • Flasks or glasses imprinted with the product’s brand or some other catchy slogan. One example I saw was a liqueur that came with one lowball glass and a line in the middle. On top of the line, it said Optimist. Below it? Pessimist. It appealed to a wide range of people. And the best part? To have a matching set, people were willing to buy 2. Use this tool to increase sales as well as influence customers to showcase your product. 
  • Printed collateral, like recipe books, histories of the product, or other kinds of supporting information. These work well to upsell other products or to share out interesting facts that customers can then share out as well.
  • Premium packaging to hold all of these things together, as well as create a stage for the product itself. Customers love keepsake items for the brands they champion. Invest in feature like embossed typograhy and high quality graphics. Use tactile and and visual elements to appeal to their senses, and enhance the product itself. Turned edge boxes are ideal for influencer marketing kits, and adding premium elements like magnets, custom trays and other features for enhancement. 

Building Brand Loyalty with Retail Influencer Marketing Kits

Your company might call them product launch kits. Sales kits. Welcome kits. Whatever they might be, but their aim is the same: to develop brand loyalty and influence sales positively. That’s the heart of influencer marketing. It’s about reaching the people with whom your product resonates, and giving them a reason to champion it further. 

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. 



2017 Fragrance & Cosmetic Packaging Trends

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

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

Fragrance & cosmetic packaging

Fragrance & Cosmetic Packaging as Art

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

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

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

Resourceful Innovation & Packaging

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

Cost-Effective Packaging

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

Fragrance & Cosmetic Packaging

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

For more information on the topic, refer to:

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

By Deanna Utroske, 21-Dec-2016

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

Designing a Custom Game Box

Playing games is something that goes back to the beginning of sentient beings. Ok, I don’t *know* that, but we can assume that once beings started being able to think complex thoughts, they were able to become bored. And out of boredom comes attempts at relief, right? That sentiment has endured for ccustom game box, custom game board, customized incentive games for boosting productivity in businessenturies. There’s evidence that ancient Romans played tic-tac-toe; Anne Boleyn was quite adept at chess; and in modern times, a simple word game on cards can take the world by storm. It’s no wonder that board games and card games are among some of the most funded Kickstarters.  A custom game box is a great way to draw attention to your Kickstarter as well as spread the word about your product.

Ad Magic CEO Shari Spiro (recently profiled in Bloomberg) knows a thing or two about designing a custom game box. Her company has created packaging for the understated Cards Against Humanity and the more crass Poop: The Game, to name a few. Here are a few considerations for those getting ready to design a custom box for a Kickstarter board game or card game.

Considerations For Your Custom Game Box Design

  1. Have a plan
    Don’t pull a number out of thin air when it comes to packaging costs.  The goal is to make money, obviously, so think critically about what you want to sell for, and we here at Sunrise can help provide options from there.
  2. A little whimsy is doable
    Crazy custom game packaging abounds on Kickstarter, and not all packaging companies can handle the most extreme. Remember, while outlandish ideas are great to grab attention, they’re not always sustainable. Keep the whimsy to the design, the content, and the game itself.Custom Game box, two piece rigid game box, custom game box
  3. Leverage your network
    Spiro has her favorite vendors and producers to accomplish the challenges that customers place in front of her. Game makers can also reach out to the other people they know who are working to create games, or Kickstarter campaigns, and capitalize on their lessons learned.

Board games and card games are among the most ambitious projects on Kickstarter. They require a varied skillset: creative, logical, ambitious, not to mention entrepreneurial. Crowdfunding is still something of an emerging model, with clear successes and failures as far as projects go. Do your due diligence when it comes to packaging your product. It can help attract funders in the early stages, and it’ll garner new customers as your product launches.