If you are operating a business, then you probably already know how critical a bustling holiday season is. In fact, for some small businesses, it is the holiday season that can ensure the success of the entire year. The same can be said even for larger businesses that have been in operation for years. A holiday season that is a runaway success in terms of sales can mean ending the fiscal year in the black instead of in the red.
Considering just how important the holiday shopping season is to your business, it is in your best interests to leverage everything you can to ensure your success. For many business owners, this increasingly means choosing seasonal packaging for the holidays.
Is seasonal packaging really worth it? After all, it costs money to design and produce that special packaging. Will you see a good return on investment?
Most companies easily see the benefits of seasonal packaging in terms of increased sales. It is not even necessary to completely revamp your packaging if that does not fit the budget. Instead, opt for a festive digital custom label that lets your customers know that you are sending a little bit of the holiday spirit their way.
Remember that in the period between Black Friday and the New Year, you are likely to see as much as a 60-percent increase in the number of first-time customers. This means that you have a rare opportunity to connect with those new consumers, perhaps even turning them into customers for life.
According to research, American consumers planned to spend an average of $998 on gifts and holiday-related items in 2020. They are doing so in a wide variety of manners, ranging from the frenzied in-store shopping of Black Friday to the less stressful experience of shopping the Internet from the comfort of their own home. The upshot is that whether you are selling online or in a brick-and-mortar store, it’s wise to be prepared for the holiday rush well in advance of Halloween.
A Brief History of Seasonal Packaging
How long have people been wrapping presents to give to each other? As it turns out, it’s been a very long time.
Historians believe that around the second century BCE, the people of the Song Dynasty in Asia had a practice of using ornamental envelopes to enclose gifts of money to government officials.
Such habits did not appear in the western world until far more recently. Christmas cards first came on the scene in 1843, but their use did not become widespread until the 1860s. As holiday cards became more popular, Christmas papers began to be created to go along with them. These papers were extremely expensive to make, so only wealthy people used them.
Printing methods saw enormous improvements by the 1890s, which made wrapping paper more accessible to ordinary consumers. However, it was not until 1917 that the Hall brothers, who were responsible for creating the Hallmark brand, came up with the idea for wrapping paper as we know it today.
It was in that year that the tissue paper that the Hall brothers typically sold for wrapping gifts ran short. Looking for a way to fill the deficit, the brothers decided to sell heavier, decorative French paper as wrapping paper. Usually, this paper was used to line envelopes, but the brothers decided to sell it by itself in large sheets.
This new wrapping paper sold out in a flash. By 1919, Hallmark was mass producing the gift wrapping paper with which everyone is familiar today.
What’s the Connection Between Gift Wrapping and Seasonal Packaging?
Who doesn’t love to receive a beautifully wrapped gift? Additionally, the vast majority of people associate the holidays with fun, happiness and good cheer.
Scientific evidence bears out the importance of gift wrapping and seasonal packaging. Published in 1992, the study’s author concluded that when someone received an item that was gift wrapped it positively affected their attitude toward whatever was inside. Receiving the same item when it was not gift wrapped did not produce the same positive result.
What is the difference between a wrapped gift and one that is unwrapped? The recipients all received the same item, but they were much more favorably disposed to it when it was hidden in glossy wrapping paper.
Basically, people have long since learned to associate wrapped gifts with the holiday season and happiness. While you may not actually gift wrap the products that you sell during the holidays, although you could, using seasonal packaging offers a reasonable facsimile of the joy of opening presents on Christmas morning.
This means that using seasonal packaging gives you a valuable chance to build an association for your customers between happiness and receiving one of your products.
Tips for Creating Seasonal Packaging
Here are some ideas that you can use to create memorable packaging for this holiday season:
- Tell a story
- Encourage impulse shopping
- Create a holiday brand personality
- Take a peek at your competitors – and do something different
- Consider the overall customer experience
- Make it personal
Tell a Story
Every brand tells a story. Make certain that your brand’s personality is getting noticed during the holidays by using distinctive and unique seasonal packaging. You may want to focus on themes like:
Any of these or many others might resonate with your customers during the festive season. This means that it’s smart for your seasonal packaging to not just attract the eye but also the heart of the consumer. Basically, you want your seasonal packaging to tell a story that makes customers want to connect with your brand.
One of the best ways to do this is with an illustration. Ask Mid-Atlantic Packaging for tips on how to tell your brand’s story with its seasonal packaging options.
Encourage Impulse Shopping
Even people who don’t normally impulse shop may be moved to do so when they see festive holiday packaging. When someone sees your product all dressed up for the holidays, they automatically associate it with gift giving and parties. The result is that they snatch up that festive-looking item without giving it a second thought.
Create a Holiday Brand Personality
Usually, your brand’s seasonal packaging will simply be an extension of your regular packaging. If you typically use an eco-conscious packaging style, then it makes sense to do so with your holiday packaging as well. However, you’ll want to give the whole package a more festive air with different artwork or colors that still keep your brand’s identity at the center.
This can be a really fine line to walk. If you want help in designing seasonal packaging that maintains the right balance between your brand and a holiday message, just ask the professionals at Mid-Atlantic Packaging for a bit of guidance.
Take a Peek at your Competitors – and Do Something Different
You want your products to be differentiated from those of your competitor in all seasons, which means that it’s wise to stay informed with regard to their plans for holiday themes. Notice the design elements that they are using. What are the strengths and weaknesses of these elements? How can you improve upon them? Are they missing an opportunity that you can see?
Figure out where your competitor’s holiday packaging is lacking, and then step in to fill the void. A little creativity can mean that you triumph during the festive season.
Consider the Overall Customer Experience
Remember that during the holiday season, your customers may be receiving one or more packages every day. Take the opportunity to be more than just another plain, brown cardboard box. Dress up that box in holiday colors, festive illustrations and merry greetings. Of course, you’ll want to ensure that your brand’s name is prominently displayed as well. When people receive your box in the mail, they’ll be excited to open it up rather than seeing just another ordinary delivery.
Make It Personal
It’s easy for businesses to seem large, impersonal and difficult to reach, but here is a valuable opportunity to let your customers know that you appreciate them. This can be accomplished with the time and attention you take to craft special seasonal packaging, but you also can take it one step further. Add the recipient’s name somewhere on the packaging such as with a cute personalized label or enclose a personalized, handwritten note. Any of these or other small touches communicate to the customer that your company actually cares about them and their experience with your brand.
Get Ready for the Holidays with Mid-Atlantic Packaging
Contact the seasonal packaging experts at Mid-Atlantic Packaging by calling (800) 284-1332 or check out all our different customizable packaging. Our friendly, knowledgeable packaging professionals can help you design seasonal packaging that will be remembered by your customers for years to come.