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 In today’s intensely competitive economy, it’s critical that entrepreneurs find innovative ways to distinguish themselves from the competition.

Of course, it’s important to offer superior products and services, but it’s essential that businesses pay attention to using better marketing tools.

One of the most important of these tools is the packaging that you choose for your products. Custom packaging is one of the most valuable and impactful marketing choices that you can make. This is especially true if your business largely happens online and you do not have an opportunity to personally interact with your customers.

Not so long ago, obtaining several smaller runs of different packaging designs was costly and time-consuming. For small businesses with limited budgets, it simply wasn’t realistic to get really creative with several different custom packaging options.

Today, that has all changed. New technology has made highly customized packaging more accessible to businesses of all sizes. Take advantage of this fact to help cement your share in the market and improve brand loyalty.

Why Does Personalized Packaging Matter?

The most reputable and technologically advanced packaging manufacturers today have access to variable data printing software. This makes it possible for customers to place a single order that encompasses multiple unique designs.

Customers can create a collection of designs that can be uploaded to a high-end printer. A certain number of each design can be requested and efficiently produced.

This ability to affordably and easily customize your packaging is a fabulous way to make each and every one of your customers feel extra special. If you really want your public to have a positive perception of your brand, this is one of the best ways to do it.

Imagine receiving a package in the mail or via a delivery service. When you open the package, you see your own name inside and perhaps even a personalized message just for you.

That’s definitely not the kind of experience you’re used to having when you get packages delivered to your home or office, which means that when it happens, it really stands out in your mind.

The possibilities are practically endless. Consider adding something about the origin of the materials that are used in your products or the story of your company. Maybe you can add a little something that celebrates your customer’s birthday or feature a photograph of your company’s hometown.

With personalized packaging, you create a point of difference between you and your competition. This is made possible by the flexibility of variable data printing and similar technology. You don’t have to worry about meeting order minimums, and turnaround times typically are lightning fast. This makes it possible for you to take advantage of up-to-the-minute trends or create packaging that reflects a special offer from your website.

Niche Targeting

Even though all of your customers like, admire and use your products, this doesn’t mean that they are all the same. In fact, you probably already know that your customers may occupy numerous niches.

Perhaps you have a segment of customers who haven’t ordered from your company for six months or longer. Another segment just completed their first order. Yet another group of your customers make regular monthly orders.

Personalized packaging allows you to target each of these and any other niches that you can identify. You might use special packaging to celebrate a customer’s first or 100th order. When it’s been awhile since a regular customer last made an order, and a new one comes in, make certain to toss something special into the package like a coupon or other incentive to make certain that they will order again soon.

With personalized packaging, you can target your customers through their orders just as you would with an email or direct mail marketing campaign.

Easy Ways for Small Businesses to Personalize Packaging

Are you an entrepreneur who’s is growing a fledgling business? If so, then you have a rare opportunity to make connections with your customers through the packaging that you use. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Include a handwritten note
  • Include a freebie
  • Choose something other than a box
  • Toss in a coupon
  • Add your customer’s name to the packaging

Let’s take a closer look at each of these options.

Handwritten Notes

It really doesn’t get any more personal than this. When was the last time that you received a handwritten note from a friend or family member?

Chances are good that it has been a long time. Nonetheless, you remember the way it felt to receive something that someone sat down and put some actual time into making just for you.

You can bring that feeling to your customers when you include a personalized, handwritten note in their order.

This can feel a little intimidating. After all, a handwritten note is a really personal thing. However, these can be very fun, short and easy notes.

For example, be certain to address each note using your customer’s name. You might add some remarks about the specific products that the customer ordered, and about how you hope that product helps them to solve a problem or perform as expected.

Finish up by saying that your customer should let you know about any questions or concerns. Three or four sentences total is really all that’s needed.

This is a highly personalized touch, and as your business grows, it may stop being feasible for you to include handwritten notes in each of your orders. You might delegate this task to other team members or continue it only with long-time customers who have been with you from the beginning.

Include a Freebie

Everyone loves to get a little something extra for free. The options here are practically endless. Here are just a few ideas:

  • A ballpoint pen
  • A wristband
  • Chocolates
  • Stickers
  • A deck of playing cards
  • A ping pong ball

Whatever you decide to toss into each package, make certain that it is personalized with your company’s name, logo and contact information. The more brand-specific you can make these items, the more likely they are to leave your customers with a lasting impression.

Choose Something Other than a Box

Cardboard boxes, whether large or small, are the obvious choice when you’re looking for sturdy but affordable packaging. Of course, you don’t have to just use a plain brown box as you have a world of options for colors, designs, text and more.

However, you might get an even better response from your customers when you decide to use something other than the expected cardboard box.

Many retailers decide to use poly mailer bags instead of boxes. This can be a really good solution, but don’t go the easier route of just using plain white or gray bags. Make certain that your mailing bags are adorned with your company’s name, logo and website at the very least. If you can give your poly mailer bags a unique look, your customers will look forward with anticipation to their next order.

Of course, cardboard boxes and poly mailer bags are not your only options. Consider more unusual alternatives like pizza boxes that are printed with your company’s information or mailing cylinders with colorful stickers.

Remember that the more creative you are with the packaging that you choose, the more likely you are to make a positive and lasting impression on your customers.

Toss in a Coupon

The major theme parks and cruise lines have been offering “bounce back” deals to customers for decades. Basically, these are special discounts and offers that are made to people who are currently traveling with the company or who recently returned from a vacation.

The idea is to convince the visitor to become a repeat customer by providing an irresistible discount. That is exactly what you can do when you include a “bounce back” coupon in every package that you mail to a customer.

The nature of the deal can be anything that you choose from a percent off discount to a buy one get one offer. If you like, you can put an expiration date on the coupon. A shorter expiration date may induce the customer to make another order much sooner than they might otherwise have done.

Alternatively, you can choose to not use an expiration date on your coupons so that your repeat customers get an extra incentive to shop regardless of when they return.

Add Your Customer’s Name to the Packaging

Have you noticed in recent years that big brand names like Coca Cola and Snickers have been printing packaging that has people’s names on it?

There’s something really fun and special about being able to pick up a can of soda that has your name on it. It feels like that soda was made just for you and nobody else on the planet.

This is an excellent reason to print personalized bags, boxes, stickers or other packaging that has your customer’s first name right on it. They won’t believe their eyes when they see it, but they will certainly feel that whatever is inside the package is meant just for them.

Ask Mid-Atlantic Packaging for Assistance

If you are interested in personalizing your company’s packaging to make your customers feel special, then get in touch with Mid-Atlantic Packaging. We have dozens of options and ideas from which to choose, and we can help you select a variety of packaging designs that will make your products stand apart from the competition.