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Packaging and Unboxing: What They Are and How to Create a Memorable Experience

Packaging has always been an important element within marketing but thanks to the popularization of unboxing videos, it is now more fashionable than ever.

When consumers shop online, packaging is the first direct contact between the brand and the customer. It is a decisive factor for both branding and customer experience, and can make the difference between a dissatisfied customer and a memorable experience. In this article, we will tell you the keys to packaging and unboxing.

What is Packaging?

Packaging literally means “container”, but in the context of marketing, it means much more than that. The packaging is not only a functional wrapper for the product, but it also communicates the brand's message.

The packaging therefore has several different objectives:

  • Protect the product until it reaches its destination (either the point of sale or the final consumer in the case of e-commerce).

  • Facilitate the distribution and storage of merchandise.

  • Serve as a cover letter for the product to draw the customer's attention.

  • Identify the product and the brand to differentiate itself from the competition and boost sales.

  • Inform the potential customer about the characteristics of the product, for example, suggestions for use, expiration date, etc.

With the rise of ecommerce, packaging takes on a special value, as it somehow replaces the experience at the point of sale. Therefore, the need to be even more creative is generated to create surprising experiences and sensations through the packaging.

For the online consumer, packaging is the first physical impression of the brand, and as such, it is essential in establishing brand image and experience. The best packaging manages to create a memorable impact on the consumer, while respecting the global branding of the brand.

Packaging can become an extra point of interaction with the consumer, for example, providing more information, discounts or a personalized message through QR codes. In short, we have at our disposal a whole world of possibilities to enrich the brand experience.

It is also worth mentioning that the packaging must be in line with the consumer trends of a given moment. At present, sustainability (which translates into recyclable packaging that does not use an excess of materials) and personalization take on special importance.

5 Examples of Memorable Packaging

  • 1) Feast. This brand of submersible watches managed to surprise consumers and clearly show its USP through point-of-sale packaging in which the watch was submerged in a bag of water.

  • 2) Kase Stifte. This packaging managed to surprise consumers with an idea as creative as it is ingenious: Parmesan pencils with a matching sharpener to easily create flakes.

  • 3)Nike. To communicate the lightness of its shoes, this brand has played with the concept of "air". And in turn, it has taken this concept to its packaging, presenting the shoes in an air chamber surrounded by plastic, like a giant bubble.

  • 4) Haelssen & Lyon. This brand of tea wanted to reinforce the daily consumption of its product. To do this, they turned the packaging into a calendar in which each day you could tear off a sheet, pour hot water on it and drink it. The calendar included 36 different flavors to highlight the brand's range of products.

  • 5) The Old Factory. This "lifelong" brand of jams gave a new look to its products with packaging that recreated the main ingredient of each product, with pineapple, peach or strawberry-shaped jars. A very simple way to generate visual impact and provide an image of freshness to a traditional brand.

What Is Unboxing?

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

According to Yahoo Tech, the first known unboxing video is of the Nokia E61 mobile phone in 2006. At the end of that year, Google Trends began recording searches for this term.

Unboxing started charging importance in marketing around 2014. Due to the huge popularity of these videos, brands began to create their own unboxing content and send free products to creators of these types of videos.

Unboxing videos are especially popular in the categories of electronic devices, but today they have spread to all kinds of sectors: cosmetics, toys, food, pet products... In general, any brand that has physical products can incorporate unboxing to their strategy.

For users, unboxing provides the possibility of seeing the products as they are, without filters or advertising retouching, and to get an idea of ​​what they can expect and how they work. They also have a certain component of emotional marketing, since they recreate the emotion we feel when opening a gift or something new. When combined with amazing packaging, unboxing can be a very powerful tool for driving sales.

3 Keys to Creating The Perfect Unboxing Experience

1) Branding

Whatever your industry, branding elements help shoppers find your product on a crowded shelf or on the Google search results page. If they already know and love your products, the packaging will help them identify them and add them to their cart.

Consistent and recognizable elements generate 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 for a special occasion, such as Valentine's Day or Christmas, in which the packaging is in line with the messages and design of your website.

To maximize the effect of branding in your packaging, make sure that all the 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 a personalized note, stickers or a small gift in each package.

2) Functionality

Generating a creative experience in line with your brand is essential, but so is taking maximum 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 chance of damage. To be on the safe side, wrap each item individually so it won't affect the rest of the box's contents if it breaks.

Secondly, as we have explained previously, we must take sustainability into account, since it is a fundamental factor for consumers; in fact, 80% of them would like to see the use of plastic packaging reduced.

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

3) Shipping

Although technically this aspect is not linked to packaging, it is important to take into account how it affects the overall user experience. And it is that, in the end, if a package arrives late or gets lost along the way, it will be of little use that it has excellent packaging.

For brands, this means collaborating with a partner of order processing and shipping management to ensure that inventory is managed properly, that all orders contain the correct items, that shipping deadlines are met, and that packages are treated appropriately during 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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