“People do not buy goods and services . They buy relations, stories and magic.” – Seth Godin
I don’t know about you, but so often I feel bombarded with information, adverts popping up on my screen, and social media feed, someone proclaiming they have found the ultimate solution that will change my business and life for the better. With more information, choice, and social media connections I somehow find myself more isolated than ever before. But the truth is, we as humans are hardwired for connection. We search for meaning and connection instinctively. So while we have so many options and choices in front of us, what really draws us in and makes us loyal customers is the connection we make to the brands we love. Branding and storytelling, is the best way to establish a true long lasting connection with our clients. Branding is so multifaceted, but one of the ways you can tell a story is through your packaging. I think the thing I love most about packaging is the tangible connection you are able to make with your clients. How you can have multiple senses involved, and how it solidifies the overall client experience.
Recently I purchased a coat, from an expensive retailer. Not one to normally splurge on clothes, I decided that this coat was going to be an investment piece to add to my capsule wardrobe. I had saved up for months, and had finally decided to make the purchase. I believed in the product I was buying, it was made from natural wool fibres and naturally I was excited for the delivery. After a few days my coat arrived, to a very underwhelming unboxing experience, and needless to say I won’t be purchasing from the store again. Not because of their anti climatic packaging, but because it didn’t leave me feeling connected to their brand or story, and in all honesty I was appalled at the amount of plastic received in my parcel. I am relatively new to shopping for clothes online, as a very tactile person I always prefer shopping in stores to feel the fabrics and try on before I buy. As a small girl, my mum and dad would occasionally spoil me with a luxury purchase from my favourite clothing store. I remember how the store assistant would carefully wrap my new clothes with so much care. Softly folding the garment and wrapping it in the softest tissue paper, adding a small sticker and oh so gently placing it in a luxurious grey shopping bag. I would proudly carry it out of the store, feeling so special and excited to wear what was in the bag. This is how I expect to feel when shopping online, that the experience is almost as good, if not better than the actual product I am purchasing.
Packaging, printing and the bond it can create are key pillars in what we do in the Molly and Tom Studio. We specialise in helping small service based businesses, mostly photographers, coaches, graphic & interior designers but also smaller more artisanal brands create a tangible extension of their brand to solidify their client experience in order to build connection and trust within their brand.
We want to help build relationships between you and your clients, so that you can grow your small business and build a brand that will be remembered for many, many years to come. We want to show you that packaging can enhance your brand, and communicate your values, vision and purpose. This is something that is becoming more important, as many consumers are becoming disheartened by global companies and their lack of values and company policies.
Here are some things you need to consider before designing your packaging:
WHO YOUR SERVICE OR PRODUCT TRULY RESONATES WITH:
We tend to get very inwardly focused when designing packaging, but I suggest you first consider who will be receiving your beautiful parcel. What do they believe in, what do they value, and more importantly what message would you like to cement in their mind.
Write these down, and make sure that the materials & packaging you choose communicate these values, ideals & messaging. If you struggle with how to creatively communicate this through printing & packaging I would encourage you to think of how most of your clients would tend to dress. One of the ways we tend to express ourselves as humans, is through the clothes we wear. So when designing your packaging, think about what your client would wear. Would they be casual cool, perhaps they are more natural – and would wear mostly linen or cotton, perhaps they are very glamorous, and they would wear very luxurious fabrics such as silk or cashmere.
Let’s think about a natural, very organic brand. Their clients are probably more conscious about sustainability and the environment. So, this brand may choose recycled or sustainably source papers & boxes. Natural textures, recyclable or compostable stickers would be perfect. Even our plantable seed paper options would work perfectly for a more purpose driven, sustainable brand.
Or perhaps another brand’s clients are more minimalist, they are the jeans & crisp white t-shirt type – then you could possibly look at very minimalist packaging design – think embossed thank-you cards, or white tissue paper and a gold foil sticker.
START TO THINK ABOUT YOUR PACKAGING AS AN EXPERIENCE
Your customer journey begins way before your final delivery. Don’t let all that hard work, and purpose be destroyed in your final delivery. Write down five key emotions you would like to create in your overall client experience, and make sure your packaging represents these five emotions. For example, our five emotions we like to convey in our client experience are:
We use these emotions when designing our packaging. For example, our thank you cards convey a sense of connectedness, that we are connected by the fact that we are also small business owners, trying to make a difference in the world. We like to create joy, which is why we carefully wrap each item in recycled tissue paper. We also like to make them feel empowered which is why each order comes with a little quote, encouraging our clients to feel empowered and in charge of their destiny.
Start to visualize your client opening your package. Think about how you would like them to feel as they open the box, and dive deeper layer by layer.
ALWAYS CONSIDER YOUR BRAND VALUES
Your brand values are your north star, a guiding light, that should guide you when making any decision within your business. As I mentioned previously, make sure your packaging reflects your brand values.If your brand values are quality, craftmanship or luxury, you need to ensure these elements & values are reflected in your packaging. Think back to the high-end store experience – and how the cashier wraps your gorgeous new jumper in the most luxurious paper, with a branded sticker. The label is foil pressed on a thick, luxurious card stock. It’s put in a perfectly sized carrier bag, branded with the clothing label’s brand so you walk out of the store with your head held high, proud to be carrying the bag around because it represents all that’s inside. That’s exactly the experience you want to create for your clients!
CONSIDER YOUR BRAND’S COLOUR PALETTE
If your brand is very monochromatic, let that show in your packaging. If your brand is all about being fun and whimsical, let this be reflected in your packaging. Bright colours, holographic foil and quirky prints can echo your brand values & style.
AND REMEMBER THAT YOUR PACKAGING CAN BE ANOTHER FORM OF MARKETING
We live in the age of social media, where everything is shared online. If you have stand-out packaging, chances are your client will post about them while opening your parcel and the product inside. This is the best form of marketing, as it’s endorsed by someone who your new potential client knows and trusts.
Your packaging is the easiest way to communicate all that your brand stands for, so don’t let it be an afterthought. Be intentional about the materials you use, the finishing techniques and most importantly who your client is and their values.
Are you looking for small scale artisanal packaging to enhance your brand? Take a look at our portfolio, we would love to help communicate your brand value & aesthetic through our intentional packaging products.