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How to Win Customers Over With Your Product Packaging

October 13, 2020

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Are you happy with your product packaging? Maybe you want to make it fancier but you’re unsure about whether it’s the right time in your biz to invest in elevated packaging. If this sounds like you then you’re in for a treat with today’s episode! We’re talking about the 3 layers of product packaging, the questions to ask to help you narrow down your packaging decisions, and what to consider about packaging as your business grows. 

Let’s be friends! Find us on Instagram @bizbirthdaybash. 

The 3 Layers of Product Packaging 

  1. The actual product packaging itself 

  2. What’s in the shipping box (soft packaging)

  3. The shipping box (hard packaging)

Layer 1- The Actual Product Packaging 

How do you brainstorm ideas for product packaging? What should you keep in mind when you’re coming up with ideas for packaging products?

Packaging is all about function and design. It really is a branding tool too, and almost as important as the product itself!

Here are the questions you should ask yourself when you’re brainstorming about product packaging:

  1. What are you selling? Is it big? Delicate? Liquid? Breakable? Will it require a custom-sized box or is it a standard size? Is it flat? Etc.This is a super basic starting point, but you have to think of all the logistical “musts.”

  2. How are you selling it? Most of us are selling online, so our packaging also has to work with a shipping box/getting beat up in the mail, so this always plays a part in deciding on packaging. (You can open up options here based on layers 2 and 3, which we’ll talk about. Ie, a mug might be able to be in a cute clear box because layers 2 and 3 are custom shaped styrofoam.Or your mug might just be a cello bag with a sticker and because layers 2 and 3 are packing peanuts.) If you’re simply selling in person, you could potentially do something different, like just a sticker!

  3. Is there an industry standard for this? Or can I break the mold?

Let’s talk about greeting card packaging for this. Industry standard is typically a clear sleeve, BUT some eco-friendly companies are making LACK of packaging part of their branding story, and going with ‘naked’ cards with info printed on the back, stickers called kard klasps that hold the envelope in, or a belly band holder. I will say that if you’re doing wholesale, retailers def prefer the sleeves to prevent the card getting all dirty, but YOU DO YOU.

  1. Are you selling just retail? Or retail and wholesale? This is where we get into more nitty-gritty of the product packaging because some things start to matter more when you get into wholesale, like how it looks in an actual store! As a rule of thumb, I think it’s good to always think about what things will look in a store because you’re ready to expand to wholesale easier AND that perspective may spark new ideas. 

Other factors to consider when it comes to product packaging 

  • Shelf-impact — How will this look sitting in a store? How will it be displayed? Does this seem “gift-ready?”

  • Scalability — Everyone’s favorite: can you easily put together 5000 of these if you had to and/or could you outsource it? 

  • Clarity — Is it clear what your product is? If your product has a special feature that’s not immediately clear at first glance, maybe some element of packaging will allow you to showcase that more clearly. 

  • Selling power/elevating your product — Can you take this product to the next level with a packaging upgrade? Does adding an element into the packaging mean you can raise the price of the product? Is there a unique spin you could take on this product to stand out?

  • Material cost/labor cost — Cost will probably be your top priority in the early stages of your business and that’s okay! When it comes to cost you’ll want to decide on things like box vs. bag or sleeve. Bags are always the cheapest option. Can your price point sustain and additional 50 cents worth of packaging? What about your wholesale price? Can you scale back to accommodate this or do you need to raise your price because it elevates your product?

  • Versatility — Can you use this for more than product? More versatile packaging can help you keep costs lower and minimize storage space. 

Identifying the packaging and branding stage that you’re in 

If you’re just starting your product business or you are not ready to invest a TON into your packaging, I think following this method will be super helpful! This is basically how I introduced product packing into my brand. 

Stage 1: Sneakers

The most basic form of packaging. All about being durable, efficient and no fuss. Low cost and gets the job done!

Ex: my acrylic sticks. They are shipped to me in a clear bag with a company sticker on them. 

Stage 2: Wedges

Taking your basic packing and adding a fun branded sticker or an insert. 

Ex. I designed a larger custom sticker that would wrap around the clear bag and have front and back info.

Stage 3: Stilettos

At this level you’re getting fancy! You’re not afraid to invest in extras that will take your packaging to the next level, even if it’s not the most efficient, because it adds value to the product itself. 

Ex: Deciding I hate the acrylic sticks in the bags and putting them in a clear box with stickers and crinkle paper. 

Layers 2 and 3 – Shipping and packaging 

Additionally, you need to think about how your product packaging will affect your shipping process. Here are 3 things to consider when it comes to shipping: 


    • You can source this from a multitude of places, including amazon.


    • We have a ton of vendors and resources in the directory that allow you to customize stickers or order ribbons. Stickers are more on-par for my brand than string or ribbon at this point, so I prefer stickers. They also tie into the brand element!


    • You should include a packaging insert, as well as a sticker on the outside of your boxed package for instant brand recognition!

    • Include your Instagram handle, website, additional info, etc (a little note) on the packaging insert that goes in with your products.

If you’re ready to dive deeper and get your product packing in order for the holidays we invite you to jump in our membership, the A-Z Directory. 

We now have more than 500 members. Our people are super interactive in our private Facebook community and always open to answering questions. We do monthly power hours for our group members in our Facebook group live so you can ask us your questions there as well. We will be in that group with you guys and can answer any questions you have. 

Plus, you get access to 300 vendors that do all these things like tissue paper and wrapping paper and boxes and stickers and string and branding and printing and all of the fun things. We are even doing a couple of bonus power hours for the holiday season! So join in on the fun as we gear up for the holidays! 

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