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Insights: Articles & Resources by Oliver Inc.


How to Customize Your Packaging to Promote Branding

Whether utilizing decorative effects, special coatings and materials, or personalized features relevant to customers, customizing your packaging promotes branding by reinforcing your company message, building affinity, and delivering memorable experiences.

    4 minute read

It’s helpful to think of your brand as the emotions you evoke for consumers. Wherever they encounter you, whether in a retail store, on a website, or social media, each point of contact is a chance to remind them who you are and what you mean to them. These are opportunities to tell your story—and how they can be part of it. 

Now, brand reputation is fragile. Taking years to build, it can be thoroughly deflated within a few weeks. Building brand identity requires consistency and discipline, to the point that consumers can easily recognize your brand by merely the color, font style, or type of imagery. When all three are brought together in your packaging materials—and reinforced over an extended period of time—you’re able to clearly communicate your values, company history, and what makes your brand unique.  

Here are several things to consider when using custom packaging materials to promote your brand.


Reinforce Brand Messaging

Choosing the right packaging materials can contribute additional value to products. For example, decorative effects on folding cartons invite consumers to further consider the product inside. 

Debossing and embossing create depth, enabling your brand to quite literally stand out among the others. Sturdy boxes can imply importance or a certain gravitas. Use of earthy tones and textured materials might reflect your company’s eco-consciousness. 

Luxury food brands often employ special coatings including metallic-looking finishes, such as silver and gold, to signal their refined quality. This typically requires foil stamping or cold foil, which bring a metallic shine to packaging.

In the case of the CBD industry, many are leaning into the more natural aspects of the product, using tree-free paperboard options or other eco-friendly packaging materials

The decorative elements in beauty product packaging tend to align with notions of refinement and exclusivity. Their posh or chic design suggests the brand is informed about consumers’ lifestyles. It’s a personal touch that says, ‘We understand you.’

There are many factors to consider. But how does a company approach custom packaging specifically for a promotional product? It’s reasonable to worry that personalizing or temporarily modifying packaging to fit a promotion could compromise the integrity of a brand. It runs the risk of confusing customers or diluting your visual narrative. 

However, if done right, it can strengthen your brand. 


Craft a Campaign

Consider, for example, Skittles’ 2020 ‘Give the Rainbow’ campaign. In a show of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, the popular candy brand’s parent company Mars Wrigley removed all colors from its packaging—and the individual candies inside—while adding the slogan: ‘Only one Rainbow matters during Pride.’ 

Mars Wrigley U.S. Vice President of Marketing Hank Izzo said: ‘We believe that giving up our rainbow means so much more than just removing the colors from our Skittles packs and we’re excited to do our part in making a difference for the LGBTQ+ community . . . not only in June, but all year long.’

A feat perhaps only achievable by an incredibly well-established company and brand, this campaign drew a lot of attention and generated the colorful discussion hoped for. It also shared their values. 


Build Brand Affinity With Personalized Packaging 

Variable data printing is another avenue for custom packaging to consider. Traditionally expensive and less efficient, the process makes more sense with modern technology—enabling your company to produce personalized messaging on packaging materials. 

Reflect on Jones Soda for a moment. The Seattle-based soft drink company features images primarily submitted by consumers on its soda bottles. Rather than utilizing a traditional submission process, it launched the online ‘MyJones’ campaign in 1999, giving customers a chance to buy a 12-pack of customizable bottles with an image of their choice—a memorable way to foster brand loyalty. 

Imagine how long those Jones Sodas are going to sit on desks or in kitchens, as picture frames for customers’ beloved memories—with the brand wrapped up in all the joy and nostalgia.


Customize Packaging With a Multi-layered Experience

Custom packaging can deliver a multi-layered experience, as well. Include printed marketing collateral within your packaged components to give consumers something tangible to hold onto for a while. This can be a sticker they can affix to their daily accessories (such as a laptop), or flyers that are likely to sit on their counters as reminders of their experiences with your brand.  

Or take, for example, the all-natural dog food manufacturer Sundays for Dogs. Its customized packaging includes a hand-written note and the dog’s name and photo on the front of the box. This campaign is further nurtured by inviting consumers to share their personalized boxes on social media.

It’s easy to see why more companies are trending toward personalized marketing and customized packaging. This opens up many possibilities to promote your brand in a way that suits your company’s narrative, values, and uniqueness. Plus it’s a fun way for consumers to engage with your brand.

With expertise across industries and decades of experience in printing and packaging, Oliver Inc. can help you determine the right customized material options to emphasize your brand. You’ll get packaging solutions your company can be proud of. Contact us today. 

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