Packaging and Unboxing: How to Create a Memorable Brand Experience for Consumers

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By Sol Gonzalez, on 3 November 2022

Packaging has always been an important element in marketing.

When consumers shop online, the packaging is the first direct contact between the brand and the customer. It is a decisive factor for both branding and the customer experience and can make the difference between a dissatisfied customer and a happy one.

In this post, we'll tell you how to get the most out of your packaging and unboxing.

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Packaging and Unboxing How to Create a Memorable Brand Experience for Consumers

What Is Packaging?

Packaging is not just a functional wrapper for the product; it also communicates the brand's message.

It has several different uses:

  • To protect the product until it reaches its destination (either the point of sale or the end consumer).
  • To facilitate the distribution and storage of the merchandise.
  • To identify the product and the brand and differentiate it from the competition and boost sales.
  • Inform the potential customer about the product's characteristics, for example, suggestions for use, expiration date, etc.

With the rise of ecommerce, packaging has taken on a special purpose: replacing the experience at the point of sale. This means you need to be even more creative in order to create memorable experiences with packaging.

For the online consumer, the packaging is the first physical impression they have of the brand. Therefore, it is crucial in establishing the brand image and experience. The best packaging creates a memorable impact on the consumer while respecting the overall branding.

Packaging can become an extra touchpoint for the consumer by providing more information, discounts, or a personalized message through a QR code.

It is also worth mentioning that packaging must be in line with current consumer trends. Today, sustainability (which translates into recyclable packaging that does not use an excess of materials) and personalization are particularly important.

5 Examples of Memorable Packaging

  1. Absolut. The Absolut Vodka brand has always been characterized by the design of its bottles. In fact, their advertising does not talk about the characteristics of the product, but the bottle itself has became desired due to its customized editions.

  2. Festina. This brand of waterproof watches clearly demonstrated its USP (Unique Selling Proposition) through point-of-sale packaging in which the watch was submerged in a bag with water.

  3. Smirnoff. This brand wanted to publicize its new natural and fruit-based flavors. So, they created bottles from which the peel had to be removed. Thus, consumers have to interact with the product in order to consume it, creating an unforgettable experience.

  4. Nike. To communicate the lightness of its shoes, Nike played with the concept of air. In turn, it has taken this concept to its packaging by presenting the shoes in an inner tube surrounded by plastic, like a giant bubble.

  5. Halssen & Lyon. This tea brand wanted to promote the daily consumption of its product. To do so, they turned the packaging into a calendar in which each day you could tear off a leaf, pour hot water on it and drink it. The calendar included 36 different flavors to highlight the brand's product range.

What Is Unboxing?

Unboxing is capturing the process of unpacking products on video and uploading the video to the internet. Usually, the narrator explains the different parts of the product and sometimes demonstrates the product.

According to Yahoo Tech, the first recorded unboxing video was of the Nokia E61 cell phone in 2006. At the end of that year, Google Trends began to record searches for this term.

Unboxing started to gain prominence in marketing around 2014. Due to the huge popularity of these videos, brands started creating their own unboxing content and sending free products to unboxing video creators.

Unboxing videos are especially popular in the electronics categories, but today they have spread to all kinds of sectors: cosmetics, toys, food, pet products, and more. In general, any brand with physical products can incorporate unboxing into its digital content marketing strategy.

For users, unboxing gives them the chance to see the products as they are, without filters or editing, as well as get an idea of what to expect and how they work. They also have an emotional marketing component, as they recreate the emotion we feel when we open a gift or something new. When combined with stunning packaging, unboxing can be a very powerful tool for driving sales.

3 Ways to Create the Perfect Unboxing Experience

1. Branding

Whatever your industry, branding elements help shoppers find your product in the middle of a crowded shelf or on the Google search engine results page (SERP). If they already know and love your products, packaging will help them identify them and encourage them to buy from you.

Consistent and recognizable elements build trust and continuity between different product ranges and purchases. These elements transcend individual products and shape the entire product experience. For example, you can create an exclusive range of products for a special occasion, such as Valentine's Day or Christmas, where the packaging is in line with the messaging and design of your website.

To maximize the branding effect of your packaging, make sure that all elements of the packaging are in line with your brand image, from the box to the protective elements. You can also take the opportunity to add touches that enrich your brand, such as personalized notes, stickers, or a small gift in each package.

2. Function

Generating a creative experience in line with your brand is fundamental, but so is taking the utmost care of the functional elements of your packaging.

First of all, if you are sending fragile items, packaging and shipping are crucial for them to arrive in good condition. Make sure they are well padded and wrapped to minimize the chances of damage. To be on the safe side, wrap each item individually so that it will not affect the rest of the contents of the box in the event of an accident.

Secondly, sustainability must be taken into account, as this is a key factor for consumers. In fact, 80% of them would like to see a reduction in the use of plastic packaging.

The bottom line is that you need to combine these two aspects to create packaging solutions that are safe and robust, but use recyclable or biodegradable materials wherever possible.

3. Shipping

Although this aspect is not technically linked to packaging, it is important to consider how it affects the overall user experience. At the end of the day, if a package arrives late or gets lost along the way, excellent packaging is of little use.

For brands, this means collaborating with an order processing and shipping management partner to ensure that inventory is properly managed, all orders contain the correct items, shipping deadlines are met, and packages are properly handled in transit.

It is highly recommended to implement quality control systems to carefully review each order as well as efficiently handle user complaints about possible problems with shipments.

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Sol Gonzalez