Miriam Brafman, CEO and Founder of Packlane knows just about everything there is to know about creating wicked unboxing experiences. We chatted with Miriam about what defines a standout unboxing experience, trends she’s seeing in consumer and brand demand, and how COVID-19 has impacted the world of unboxing.
1. What defines a great unboxing experience for you?
Custom packaging may be affordable, but it isn’t cheap. For an unboxing experience to be successful from a business standpoint, it should delight the customer so much that it elevates the perceived value of the product inside and the brand behind it. This is a surefire way to increase customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
2. Why is a great unboxing experience important?
In an age where customer acquisition costs are skyrocketing, cementing customer loyalty is more important than ever. The package your product arrives in is your last chance to make a strong impression. Additionally, with “digital saturation”, all brands are getting fewer impressions online than in the past.
Brands need to take every opportunity to get additional advertising impressions, both online and off-line. Unboxing experiences can also help you get more online impressions, as recording and sharing and unboxing videos on social media is now commonplace.
3. What can really elevate and differentiate one brand’s unboxing experience from another?
Unboxing experiences that stand out from the crowd are those where every panel of the box, inside and out, is carefully considered. If you want to stand out from the competition, it’s not enough to just have your logo and color palette on the box.
The unboxing experience has to tell your brand story. Highlighting the benefits of the product on the inside of the top of the box, an area immediately visible upon opening, can make a strong impression. Reinforcing the benefits will increase customer satisfaction. Differentiators are also good. Both give customers the talking points they need to recommend your product to friends.
5. What trends in the unboxing and branded packaging world are you seeing on the horizon?
The democratization of custom packaging began when digital printing enabled smaller box orders. Now, it’s moving beyond boxes into other types of packaging, such as standup pouches. This will enable smaller merchants to brand primary packaging more heavily, especially food products. We’re also seeing more eco-friendly and low-cost products coming online, such as shipping bags that are made from 100% recycled materials. These are a great alternative to poly mailers which, being made out of plastic, are not environmentally friendly.
6. What are some of the best ways to tell a brand’s story through packaging?
Use the same benefits, differentiators, and other tried-and-true messages that you use elsewhere, but with an eye for word-of-mouth marketing. Keep it minimalist and tasteful. Present the information in a way that will make it easy for customers to share your product and brand with their friends.
7. What are you seeing a rising demand for:
a. On the brand side: Demand for the same custom mailer boxes that have always been popular is strong and growing. Given that more merchants are selling online than ever before, this comes as no surprise. Brands are also looking for packaging that is eco-friendly and is less harmful to the environment.
b. On the end consumer side?: Consumers are also increasingly valuing sustainability. However, it can be difficult to replicate the unboxing experiences they know and love with fully sustainable materials since full-color printing is not always available.
When catering to customers who want sustainable packaging, designers need to be skilled at creating unboxing experiences that do not rely on bold color palettes. For example, our Econoflex shipping box, which is 100% recycled and recyclable, uses halftone printing (requires a single color, typically black).
8. What are some of the most unique things you’ve seen go into an unboxing experience?
The most unique unboxing experiences I’ve seen involve multiple layers of custom packaging. For example, Uprising Foods, which sells keto bread, uses custom packaging for each individual bread loaf and then delivers a box of loaves in a branded mailer box and includes an extra, shareable loaf to gift to a friend. The entire unboxing experience is carefully thought out.
9. How can brands use their unboxing experience to their advantage?
Research shows that customers are more likely to buy a product that has attractive packaging, so show yours off anywhere you can. Don’t limit it to only something an individual customer sees at the doorstep. Share it far and wide, including on your social media, advertisements of all kinds, and of course your website.
10. How, if in any way, has COVID changed impacted the world of branded packaging and unboxing experiences?
With more goods sold online, and so many people unable to shop in person, custom packaging has become more important than ever before. Brick and mortar companies that are now selling online have gotten into the custom packaging game. If you can’t dazzle your customers in the store, you need to do it at home. Additionally, people are more active than ever on social media, and unboxing videos are more likely to be shared.