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. 

Award-Winning Packaging

It’s not impossible to find award-winning packaging.

There’s the Dieline Awards, the Luxury Packaging Awards…but packaging that wins a Grammy? That’s huge.

You might not know this, but there’s a category for the Grammy Awards that doesn’t get aired during the live telecast. Probably because the title is so long-winded, it would get cut short by the play-off music. The category is Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package and, since its inception in 1995, it’s usually presented at a ceremony preceding the awards show. And usually it’s given for some specialty artwork or cool inclusive. But this year’s BBSLEP–woof–Grammy Award-winning packaging was really a showstopper.

The award was given to a trio consisting of Susan Archie, Dean Blackwood, and–no big deal–Jack White! That’s right, the talented musician, famous for bands like the Dead Weather and the White Stripes, has now picked up his 11th Grammy–but this time it’s for packaging! (Actually, his 10th was too, but we’ll get to that in a minute.)

grammy_award_winning_packaging_by_third_man_recordsWhite’s Third Man Records put out a monster collection titled The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Volume Two (1928-32), featuring prolific hits from the early 20th century. To truly showcase this collection, White and his team opted for the luxury packaging route. The cool contents notwithstanding, the packaging is a stainless steel and polished aluminum case designed to evoke the art deco era of early radio. (Check out the video above!)

The packaging isn’t the most practical (the website claims that each case is handmade and it could take up to a month to ship) but with a $400 price tag, the final product better be a little better than a cardboard box.

You don’t have to package your product in a metal suitcase, but you have to respect the idea behind it. The flash, the majesty, the shelf presence of presentation packaging draws a crowd. And, in some cases, draws a famous award too.

Oh, by the way, last year’s Grammy in this category? Also went to Jack White for The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Volume One. Check out that award-winning packaging, plus all the other winners here.

Image: Third Man Store

Mrs. Butterworth Puts on Her Holiday Dress


One of America’s favorite spokes figure is gearing up for the holiday season by introducing a series of holiday outfits. These limited edition holiday bottles are a part of the 2010 decorative series and is the first time Mrs. Butterworth will change out of her classic everyday dress. The new packaging features colorful full body shrink labels, themed for the holidays. The series consists of 3 different designs each with their own unique names: The Caroler, Mrs. Claus, and The Gift Giver. They are available in the 24 oz. size and in the original flavor.

The company is promoting these holiday bottles as collectibles, hoping consumers will want to collect all three. They are counting on the draw of Mrs. Butterworth’s nostalgic presence for those who remember her from their childhood. They encourage consumers to have fun with collecting these limited edition bottles. The goal is to get family and friends involved in the search for this holiday packaging, hoping this will be a fun and exciting challenge for everyone. Keep your eyes peeled for Mrs. Butterworth’s holiday packaging in a store near you and be on the look out for more limited edition bottles appearing on shelves in 2011!

Retro, Elegant, and Glamorous: Limited Edition Bottles

Heineken, Bombay Sapphire, and Absolut have recently introduced limited edition bottles and packaging. Each bottle is uniquely designed with a different story to tell. Limited edition packaging is a great way to produce a positive effect for brand recognition and differentiation in a short amount of time. Lets take a closer look at these creative designs:

Heineken has taken a creative approach with a new design for their 16 oz. bottles. By the plain eye the green aluminum bottle looks simple and sleek, but when viewed under a black light a surprise pattern can be seen. This new design was inspired by the dimly lit night club atmosphere and will only be released in select cities including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Palm Beach, San Diego, and San Francisco.

Bombay Sapphire has taken the luxurious look for its new bottle by integrating the idea of prestige into its packaging. The bottle is handcrafted in high quality crystal and set with crystal stones. It is accompanied with a stopper that is also made out of crystal and has a shape of a crown. The bottle also is laser etched on the inner glass walls with 3D images of the 10 botanicals and the Queen Victoria brand mark. The bottle will then be placed in a bespoke gift box and includes a booklet describing the history of the brand and the design. The bottle was created to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the secret recipe on which the gin is based. Only 350 of these bottles will be available for sale in the UK, Europe, and the U.S before Christmas.

Absolut Vodka has also introduced a limited edition bottle for the holiday season with the hope it will inspire consumers to have fun and party, by adding a touch of glamour. The new bottle has been named Absolut Glimmer and has the look of a cut crystal decanter. The bottle is made out of pressed glass, making it the first time that the bottle itself has been altered and redesigned. The idea behind the new packaging is based on taking chances and designing something that is both bold and innovative.

What is the Recipe for Packaging?

I came across an introduction to the Brand Packaging’s Packaging That Sells V show that is scheduled for October 2009. They say:

“Your packaging is critical to your brand. It’s the last three feet and last three seconds (and the ultimate measure of success) of your marketing program. But, these days, packaging has to do more than just “pop” at the shelf; it must communicate the story of your brand and become an essential part of consumers’ daily lives. Is your packaging powered to do all that?”

This is so very true and good packaging design can help you make your product, your brand, and your packaging an “essential part of consumers’ daily lives.”

Examples of custom, limited edition, water bottles by Evain designed for different audiences.

Examples of custom, limited edition, water bottles by Evain designed for different audiences.

So you may ask, what’s the recipe for creating this type of packaging?

  1. Meaning: The first step in creating packaging that will communicate the story of your brand is to know what story you want to tell. People don’t want to simply purchase your brand they want to be apart of it and by knowing exactly what you want to communicate you can achieve this. Figure out your story and then try to make this visual through your packaging.
  2. Audience: Packaging is an interaction between the product, your brand, and the audience so to better communicate through your packaging you must know your audience. Knowing what they relate to, what issues affect them, and their lifestyle will allow you to create a packaging that centers on these things.
  3. Response: Once your brand has meaning, create a list of outcomes that your packaging could achieve. Think about your audience and what types of emotions, feelings, and reactions the product packing can evoke in your customers.
  4. Stay Informed: The last ingredient in the packaging recipe is to stay informed about your competition. This is a simple task that is often over looked. Staying on top of what the competitors are doing allows you to be innovative and stay ahead.

Put all these things together and your packaging will have a recipe for success.

So when the above quote asks you, “Is your packaging powered to do all that?” Your reply will be, “Yes it is!”

5 Tips to Get Noticed With Your Packaging

You only have a few seconds to catch the shopper’s attention, so what are you going to do with your packaging to not only catch their attention, but to get them to want to buy your product?

Jim George from Shelf Impact came up with 5 labeling ideas to solve marketing challenges:

  1. Highlighting innovative shape. Kids like products that feature fun colors and design in their packaging. Clear Beverage Corp. did just this with their “Kid Fuel” naturally flavored water. They also designed the shape of the bottle to resemble a sports bottle with curves for a child’s small hands to easily grip. They also made the packaging educational. Each bottle has a quiz question and Professor Smart’s answer is revealed after the beverage is consumed and the bottle is refilled with water.
  2. Sizzling as bacon’s main ‘touchpoint’. It is important for the packaging of a premium product to reflect the quality of the product. Tyson changed the packaging of their bacon by adding a label that featured a gold-outlined shield area with red, white, and gold on a blue background, while still leaving room to view the meat. The new design improved how easy it was to find and recognize the brand.
  3. Encouraging participation. Campbell’s made 7.5 million special-edition labels to show the quality ingredients that they use. Along with the new label, they started a program where you enter a code online from your can to receive a free pack of tomato seeds for yourself, as well as 100 seeds for urban communities and schools.
  4. Pulling double duty. Sometimes marketers have to create a package that both attracts attention, as well as protects against theft and counterfeits. Nutrex Research did this by creating a shrink-sleeve label that is both eye-appealing and protects the product from tampering.
  5. Signaling cause marketing. People like companies that help people and allow the customer to help by purchasing the product. Tide showed this with their packaging for the Loads of Hope campaign. They have special yellow caps that read, “You can help”, and it features pictures of Hurricane Katrina victims on the front.

Seasonal Packaging Goes Green

Christmas is still months away, but Nestle is already thinking about their seasonal packaging and going green for the holidays. In the past, chocolate makers have often been known for wasteful and unnecessary packaging, especially for special seasonal promotions. This is the new target to work on, and Nestle is going at it.

Custom-Packaging-Boxes-Nestle-Seasonal-Green-Eco-FriendlyAccording to Food Production Daily, Nestle will be making all of its Christmas selection custom boxes fully recyclable. One change they made was removing the plastic inserts that held the chocolate bars in place and replacing them with a card presentation tray. This way, the chocolate can still be nicely displayed in the custom box and be easily recycled when you are finished with it. This is one step for Nestle to be more environmentally-friendly in their packaging to reduce waste and address the concerns of their environmentally-conscious customers.

Special Events Prompt Custom Packaging

Sometimes a significant anniversary of other event of milestone for a company is a great reason to issue its product in special edition packaging.

One news organization for the travel industry recently profiled new packaging by distillery Glenfiddich who issued commemorative packaging for their whiskey.  This company decided to add the allure of exclusivity by only offering the Whiskey in this special edition box at airport duty-free shops.

For more information visit dfinionline.com

So the next significant event that happens in your company might just be an opportunity for you to package your product in special limited edition packaging as a value-added way for consumers to celebrate with you.