The Secret Life of Gift Boxes

Providing sales incentives is just about standard practice these days. But in the age of covid, one of the most popular none-monetary incentives isn't quite as attractive as it used to be.. And that is incentive travel. Businesses who are looking to pivot should start examining the types of things their sales team wouldn't normally purchase for themselves. They should also start looking at the gift boxes that can help convey the appreciative messages. 

We're a fan of none-monetary employee incentives for a few reasons, but the biggest one, which is backed by research, has to do with mental accounting. When someone is gifted money, it's unlikely that they'll use it to buy themselves a treat with it. When we get extra money, our mind tells us to be responsible with it. Maybe it's the inner child voice of your parent telling you to "put it toward something!" So the money pays down the mortgage, the credit card, or into savings for a rainy day. 

That's why we encourage people to live a little. 

Creating Incentive Gift Boxes

The best gifts are the things that we want, but just can't quit justify buying for ourselves. This varies from person to person, of course. It might be an expensive watch for some. A fancy coffee machine for someone else. Airpods. The options are endless. If your organization is able to tap into these hidden desires, or even have a catalog of possibilities for people to select, it will provide more satisfaction to them as well be a physical reminder of a job well done. 

But then there is the question of uniformity, and that's where custom gift boxes come in. Sunrise can create unique, classic gift boxes for your employee incentive items that will create a cohesive image. The boxes can include any amount of customization desired. Take a look at the example to the side. These foil-stamped, custom inserted boxes are gorgeous and durable, and most importantly, memorable.

Motivating Your Team

Every organization needs some way to motivate their employees, especially in this day and age. They're being asked to deal with A LOT, and any little thanks you can toss them is appreciated. Creating incentive gift boxes can do just that. Chat with our team to learn more about how Sunrise can help!

Packaging Design Elements

(or, how create great, memorable boxes). Design elements are the ornamentation that makes a box or custom package truly shine. Imagine an evergreen tree. It's majestic. Beautiful, in a stately, classic way. But add those literal ornaments, and it becomes an iconic symbol. 

When you think of designing packaging, use that same approach. Begin with a classic box style, and add on from there. At Sunrise Packaging, we have no shortage of classic box styles, from gate fold to cigar and beyond. 

And just like that Christmas tree, it's important to take a balanced approach to choosing design elements. Too much and the box is overwhelming, the intent muddled, and the consumer confused. Too little, and a company runs the worst risk of all: boring the user. When do you know that you have the right mix?

Balancing the Bling of Design Elements

While there are many design elements organizations can consider in designing their packaging, there are a few that always stand out.

  • Spot UV Print
    Spot UV print adds an incredible high gloss. Check out the example to the side. By adding the logo for black-on-black design, this coating truly stands out. You can see how it immediately catches your eye, while the white contrast of other elements make the package digestible without being overwhelming.
  • Foil Stamping
    Spot UV isn't the only way to add shine to your packaging project. Foil stamping adds custom foil seals to boxes with heat. Add embossing to create a truly striking 3D image. 
  • Offset Printing
    Quality takes time, and offset printing makes good use of that time. Packaging wraps need to be printed one at a time to create a truly dazzling and vibrancy in color.

These three options are popular options for boxes. But just like any industry, packaging follows trends. We can't wait to see what comes up next. 

What Inspires Your Packaging?

Design elements are an important part of your packaging design, but they aren't everything. To help guide your design process, step back and ask yourself: what's the inspiration? If you can find a theme that speaks to your product and your organization, it's a starting point. 

Sunrise Packaging can pick it up and carry your project over the finish line. Give us your ideas and your inspirations, and we can guide your design decisions. Talk to our team today!

Blank Boxes Provide a Branding Opportunity

There are a lot of reasons that a marketing department might want to opt for flexibility in their materials, including marketing kits or custom gift boxes.  Blank boxes aren't a common request at Sunrise Packaging, but we have the capacity to help create a malleable box style that can be easily customized for whatever use it be put toward. 

Don't be put off by the term 'blank boxes,' either. Sunrise can create a base box style that is hardy, sturdy and secure, leaving the next level of customization up to you and your organization.

Blank Boxes are Perfect for Promos, Sales, and More

In the example to the side, you can see how we worked with an organization to create a custom, two-piece setup box that provides value and recognition. It's as close to a blank slate as a box can get, from a literal perspective. 

Traditionally, an organization might come to us with their content for the box prepared. From taglines to social media handles to instructions, most boxes start with an intent of what it's going to hold. But there's another approach that works just as well, and that's to start from the opposite end. Create a box that can be used in multiple ways, and utilize different customization tactics as necessary. Organizations can use stickers or decals to further customize the box, capitalizing on earlier decisions like size, color and lamination.

Check out some of these ideas for enhanced personalization for blank boxes, like stickers, inserts and more.

Easing Brand and Budget Concerns

Budget and brand uncertainty can be another reason that blank boxes are preferred by some organizations. It's cheaper to purchase boxes in bulk, and less customization also lowers the price as well. If your brand is in limbo for any reason - a possible logo redesign, or other change coming--but packaging is needed, it can be ideal to stick with something simple. 

Whatever your reasons might be for requesting blank boxes, Sunrise has got you covered. We can help create something that is higher quality than a bulk production site, but still flexible enough for your needs. Talk to our sales team today!

Custom Box Design in Minnesota

Custom box design is something we not only love, but take seriously at Sunrise Packaging.

Our approach is founded in common sense and experience. When anyone encounters an interesting package, their curiosity is automatically piqued. The packaging doesn't have to be unnecessarily tricky, the closure particularly unique. It's a closed box; sometimes, that's all we need to get our imagination flowing.  Our job is to get the user excited for your product.

We accomplish this by using some of our tried and true methods to create great customized packaging. When it comes to a box, it's not always *just* a box.

Delivering More Than a Package: Custom Box Design

Custom Size

It's practically passed into cliche to talk about how to maneuver square pegs into round holes. Yet, when it comes to packaging, there's a kind of "single size fits all" mentality that drives organizations to buy boxes in bulk. While we recognize there's no harm in that approach, there's also not much to gain, either. Part of the pleasure of custom box design is derived from the fit. Perfect, every time. In the example to the side, we created this box for Rheem as a thank-you to their customers.   While the image might distort the size, it's a large box at 24 inches by 22 inches and 8 inches deep.

Just like any bespoke product, a box that's made specifically for your product will always do the job it's designed to do: make your product shine.

Custom Inserts

In the final picture above, you can just see the inside of the box with the custom foam inserts inside. We talk a lot about presentation packaging at Sunrise, and this project is a perfect example. Presentation packaging can focus on the external features, but it's also about how a product (or products) lay inside the custom box design as well. As we mentioned above, everyone wants to be dazzled by an unopened box. Make sure that the reality lives up to expectations with a little padding inside your package.

Custom Finishing

Presentation is all about appearances, and ensuring that your box presents well to customers is key. Yes, the focal point is what's inside the package. But that doesn't mean you get to ignore the outside.

We love this example above because it's simple yet stunning. The brand pops out at the viewer, and while you can't touch it through the screen, it's wrapped in soft Nuba paper. Great packaging engages multiple senses; this one does not disappoint on multiple fronts.

What's Your Custom Box Style?

Just like people, boxes and organizations have personalities. What do you want yours to say?

Sunrise can help develop it. Contact our team today!

Custom Promo Boxes & 2018 Trends

Like any industry, custom promo boxes are subject to trends. Take a look through the different ages to get an idea of what was acceptable (or rather, expected) packaging from just a decade ago. You'll see that it's changed, in every way from shipping time to box design.  But what makes this interesting is the nostalgia factor we see creeping into 2018 trends.

More on that later. 

Customers are looking for some key things when it comes to their packaging needs. They want sturdy custom boxes, a personalized experience and, if shipping online, they want it fast. Different markets respond differently to these base demands, but below we include some tips on the most enduring and prominent trends we're seeing. 

Trends of Custom Promo Boxes

Packaging Longevity

We've commented on this before, but it's a recurring factor: we can order from any corner of the globe and have it in our home within days. It's truly amazing. Yet these distances can have adverse effects on organic products, like first aid items and medicines. Packaging needs to withstand the trials of travel.

"Unboxing" & Social 

One of the top YouTube categories for kids right now is unboxing toys. Yes, you read that correctly. It's people recording themselves unboxing toys. Not necessarily playing with them, or sharing them, or anything else - narrating their experience taking them out of the box. And it's not just toys, you can find unboxings for nearly anything on YouTube and beyond on Instagram, Reddit, and more. 

It's important to note that upcoming generations, even more so than the current ones, will be critically looking at packaging styles, containers, and above all, personalization.

Nostalgia

Nostalgia sells. Whether it's garish unicorn-emblazoned Trapper Keepers or Coca-Cola in glass bottles, people are attracted to things that remind them of memories wrapped with happiness. Best of all for packaging design, it's relatively easy to add in a throwback font in design, as well as utilize materials or designs that are evocative of a time past like kraft packing paper or other custom inserts. 

Bring Us Your Ideas

While we do believe that trends should help inform any packaging decisions, we also want to create innovative solutions. Bring us your ideas and your needs, and let's create something perfect for your product. 

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

Collectors Boxes: Creating Demand for Products

Collectors boxes have been around for a while, but what makes a good collectors box is less well-defined. 

If we take a trip back down memory lane, let's consider some of the retail packaging crazes within recent memory. Funko pop dolls come to mind. Minecraft. Pokemon. Beanie Babies. In the cosmetic packaging world, Urban Decay's special palettes sell out within hours; Kylie Jenner lip kits within minutes. Even cereal boxes, like the limited edition old school monster designs. And one of the most popular and omnipresent campaigns in recent history: the Share A Coke campaign, where individual custom labels entice customers to "share a Coke with... [insert name here]."

What do all of these have in common?

Collectors Boxes: What Sets Them Apart?

The easy answer? Put 'limited edition' in front of any custom packaging, and it will increase demand. But the success of these craze-inducing campaigns goes deeper than that. 

Sunrise recently partnered with Solid Ink to create unique collector's packaging. This project utilized a turned edge design with four color printing and matte lamination. Created for their unique Chris Garver and Horitomo collections, the project specifications demand that these custom box sets reflect the brand as well as the inspiration.

Overall, it works as a great case study of what goes into a successful design and creation of deluxe box sets.  In short, it's tapping into what your audience already knows and desires, tying it into your brand, and limiting access.

Create Demand

Solid Ink created these limited edition boxes with the intent of creating demand. It's econ 101: supply affects demand. With these boxes in limited supply, and only available in certain places, it increases the demand. It might seem like a strange analogy, but the Beanie Baby craze of the 1990's is the poster child for this kind of strategy. As a particular Beanie Baby became more popular, the company would conscientiously pull it from the line up, creating--all together now--demand (and price inflation, but that's another story).

Create Something Original

It takes time, skill, and no small amount of luck to create something that captures the collective conscience and enters the zeitgeist. Most importantly, it has to have elements of originality. Even if something similar exists, or another version didn't quite succeed, taking time to find out what the missing element is could be the difference between a generic mobile app and Flappy Bird.

Create Brand Tie Ins

The tattoo industry is all about originality and body modification as an art form. It makes sense that the stars of that subculture are held in high regard. Their name lends authenticity to products, and enhances the sense of uniqueness around a collectors boxes set. When your target audience recognizes someone they admire as part of a brand, it creates an instant resonance. 

Let the Design Support Your Product

Sunrise Packaging has a practiced hand at creating limited edition packaging and collectors boxes. We worked with Prince on album packaging, numerous sports teams on gifts for season ticket holders, and other types of deluxe boxes. Bring us your ideas, and we'll bring them into reality. 

Presentation Packaging Tips from Halloween

Halloween might seem like a strange holiday from which to take lessons on presentation packaging, but hear me out.

Most holidays rest on tradition. We eat turkey on Thanksgiving, shoot fireworks on Fourth of July, and exchange gifts on birthdays. It's that tradition that makes memories emotional; we remember how our parents or grandparents did something, and we replicate it. However, the exception is definitely Halloween.

While other holidays tend to be more sedate and focused on looking back, Halloween is constantly innovating. Rather than replicate a sense of comfort, it wants to usurp expectations and catch people off-guard. Sure, some elements are constant: trick or treating, jack o'lanterns, orange and black color schemes. But more often than not, these tropes are used to challenge and disprove conceptions.

How can Halloween Inform Presentation Packaging

The Element of Surprise

Whether you appreciate Halloween for the tricks or treats, one thing is for sure: the goal is always to surprise people. Presentation packaging should have the same goal. Users of your product, like the ones who are opening the Bose box to the side, know what they purchased. While we're not advocating for a jack-in- the-box kind of experience for packaging, there are other ways to draw people in before the final reveal. The Bose packaging features a design on the outer sleeve that continues through to the inner cigar style box. This color palette breaks up the packaging, and leads the user to a visual connection between the two.

Don't Repeat Yourself

Hollywood feels like a land of repetition lately, with remakes and franchises announced all the time. Horror is a genre especially prone to this, as one can guess from the number of Halloween and Friday the 13th sequels, remakes and reboots. The kiss of death for any franchise is redoing the same concept and boring their audience.

When it comes to presentation packaging, the same theory applies: don't bore your audience. Check out some interesting custom screen printing options, research interesting opening features, take your packaging to the next level if you want to engage and delight customers.

Presentation Packaging: Treats Over Tricks

While Halloween typically inspires some original packaging (who didn't want the box of Boo Berry cereal or some other themed packaging growing up?) there are wider implications that just the seasonal approach. When designing product packaging, consider the user and how you can engage their senses.

Contact Sunrise today to start your project. Happy Halloween!