Marketing today is an effort to connect with the consumer in a meaningful, authentic way, and to inspire feelings of trust and loyalty to a brand. Many brands pay close attention to this goal at every step of the purchase funnel, but often leave off at the final step: unboxing.
The consumer’s final experience with your brand before using the product is when they have the package in their hands, and are unwrapping it to reveal what they have purchased from you. This can be a powerful experience and an opportunity to engage with customers in a very real and very meaningful way, leaving a positive impression that will encourage customers to share their experience with others, either through word-of-mouth recommendations, or on social media feeds.
Unboxing at heart is a simple process, but one that can have a strong impact. As the unboxing experience grows in importance, many customers are coming to value packaging and unboxing as equal in importance to the products themselves. Both satisfied and unsatisfied customers take to social media to express their thoughts and share recordings of the experience. Unboxing videos are becoming increasingly popular on platforms like, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. Which means that unboxing is important, and can be especially beneficial to small and medium-sized businesses.
Well-branded unboxing experiences are a way to enhance perceived product quality, build brand awareness along the supply and delivery chain, and emotionally engage with consumers. But it doesn’t have to put a large dent in a marketing budget. A range of low-cost options are available that can enhance an unboxing experience and work for businesses of any size, no matter what the campaign or requirements of the product launch.
Brand the Box
If your business is involved in creative products or design, a branded box is especially key. The box is a chance to showcase the creativity of your company before the customer even lays eyes on what’s inside it. Specialty boxes, creative logo placements or unique designs can elevate the box to something more than just a container for product. If specialty printed boxes are beyond your budget, consider applying custom labels, custom stickers or custom decals to plain boxes as a substitute.
Include Free Swag
Everyone loves free swag, and including giveaways in the box can leave a strong, favorable impression. Initially, growing businesses may not have the profits necessary to make large investments in unboxing experiences. But including branded swag doesn’t have to be cost-prohibitive, and it can work wonders in creating a great impression on the consumer opening the box. Even something as simple as placing branded, custom stickers inside the box can be a cost-effective way to make an impression on a customer while providing a method for raising further brand awareness if they are placed on laptops, guitar cases or cellphones.
Other potentials include cross-sell inserts such as informative flyers or coupons that can not only add some flair to the box, but can build brand loyalty through encouraging future purchases, or spreading key information on your brand’s mission, goals or ethics. Use inserts to offer important information on upcoming promotions, new products or other relevant company news, and include links to the company website and social media handles. These can be viewed as evergreen backgrounders, or as up-to-date bits of information that are customized to individual marketing campaigns. Whichever purpose it is, these inserts can help customers better understand your company and brand, and build a sense of trust.
Don’t forget that pulling free swag out of the box is a perfect moment to capture on video and post to a social media feed.
Don’t Forget the Packing Tape
Creating a good unboxing experience is an exercise in attention to detail, all the way down to the packing tape that holds the box together. Whether the box is plain or whether it bears a design or custom print, customized packing tape can add to the overall aesthetic. Packing tape doesn’t have to be just about aesthetics, however. This thin strip that surrounds the outside of the box is ideal real estate for advertising information on upcoming promotions, promo codes, new products and other messaging. Packing tape is also a fantastic visual reminder to customers that they are receiving a quality product from a business that cares about every aspect of the customer journey and experience.
It’s never out of fashion to be grateful for a customer’s business. A note of thanks in the box, whether it’s handwritten, on a small card, printed on a label on the underside of the top of the box, or included in another creative way such as printed on wrapping paper or on a sticker that holds the wrapping paper together, is a small gesture that can reap large rewards. At the end of the day, the customer can choose another brand. They know it, you know it. Thanking your customer shows them that their business is valuable to your brand, and this can help build a sense of appreciation, which can translate into loyalty and trust.
No matter how you create a special unboxing experience for your customer, whether it’s free swag, a specialized design or printed packing tape, the impression made in an unboxing experience is a lasting one. Maximizing this, even with minimal investment, can have significant returns. Showing that you care about the customer experience all the way through the funnel until they open the box can build feelings of loyalty and trust, which are important elements in garnering return business.
Written by Andrew Witkin.
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