Imagine receiving a package wrapped in silver tissue paper with a letter addressed to you from the company’s CEO on gold trimmed card stock. Now contrast that with getting a brown box with the items carelessly thrown into a bland box. Which company would you recommend to your friends and family?
Without hesitation, most people would choose the first package: an experience that is memorable, luxurious and personalized. That’s why top companies are investing in customized packaging.
An excellent example of the success of personalized packaging is the rise of subscription box services such as the Menswear Club and LuxeBox. In North America, more than 600 companies provide consumers with customized subscription boxes, and that number continues to grow.
Subscription boxes are a monthly service that gives subscribers a box of hand-selected goodies based on their distinct interests. Often the subscription bundles are themed around a particular group of items such as cosmetics, shaving and grooming or lingerie. Consumers fill out a survey indicating their preferences, and then companies will package their special box accordingly. The survey covers users’ different preferences for items or their skin or body type. It often also includes a note about a customer’s favorite colours. These insights can give companies excellent ideas for creating custom packaging. Let’s say, for example, a client named Charlotte subscribes to your monthly athletic wear subscription box. Based on her preferences (indicated on your sign-up survey), you would know that she has a strong interest in yoga. You would also know her favorite colors: aqua blue and green. Thus, based on her profile you could create blue packaging featuring yoga phrases for her box. Also, since subscribers to subscription boxes have similar interests, you can easily create a series of four different types of packaging based on your client’s interests. This means Charlotte and other subscribers that show a keen interest in yoga would all receive yoga-themed packaging. However, while Charlotte received the blue yoga themed packaging, her sister who is also a subscriber may receive packaging that features the image of a runner. Use the data you collect from your consumer surveys to develop buyer persona’s and create packaging that speaks directly to who your consumers are a person.
Packaging personalization is an amazing opportunity for companies to generate brand loyalty and customize their marketing efforts. In turn, personalized packaging can lead to more referrals, more brand advocates, and greater sales.
Viral Packaging Initiatives
When you walk into any gift shop, you can always find a personalized souvenir. Whether you’re at the Toronto Zoo, the British Museum in London or at the Metropolitan Museum in New York you’ll see customized key chains, magnets, and jewelry with your name on it. People love customized gifts because customized products make people feel special. The elusive and exclusive nature of these products can make everyday products seem like a novelty, in turn increasing sales of standard products. That’s why major companies are customizing their signature products. Take the Share a Coke With campaign. In Coca-Cola Co.’s biggest campaign to-date, the company created a custom label for their Coke cans using the 150 most popular names and nicknames such as “Mom” and “Dad” in key markets.
“Packaging plays a critical role in the Share a Coca-Cola campaign because it connects the physical bottle with online communication channels, including social media and user-generated content sites,” stated Marit Kroon, marketing manager, Europe, Coca-Cola at the time of the product’s launch in 2013. Several years later the custom cans continue to generate buzz in North America as well.
Coca Cola’s successful #shareacoke custom packaging campaign has many lessons for companies in both the food and clothing industries.
For clothing manufacturers, a key opportunity for personalization is through monogramming. Several high-end retailers such as Holt Renfrew and Nordstrom offer monogramming services for leather goods and clothing because high-end clientele value personalization. To attract high net worth clients manufacturers can take customization to another level by personalizing the first thing the client sees – packaging. E-commerce can allow retailers to only create custom packaging on-demand, lowering the cost. That said, while it may not always be cost-effective to inscribe the client’s name or initials on the packaging, retailers can offer the same product with a few variants on packaging such as different colours or patterns based on the top preferences of consumers in their target demographic.
Why customized packaging works:
- It makes products seem more exclusive and novelty
- It creates more opportunities for consumers to share your products on social media and other user-generated products
- It shows customers you understand their interests and needs, in turn fostering brand loyalty