When it comes to giving a gift, is it still a case of what is on the inside that matters most - or is there something much more exciting about the packaging it comes in?
We all know the thrill of receiving or buying ourselves a luxurious gift – and these days the experience is enhanced by the array of creative packaging it comes in.
Companies are increasingly aware that they need to woo their customers not only with a fabulous product, but the way it is wrapped must also live up to expectations.
Whether it’s an item bought in a shop or online, how those goods are presented can be crucial in ensuring the consumer’s experience lives on, as well as the beginning of customer loyalty.
And, as shown by the huge rise in people sharing their exciting gift-opening – or “unboxing” - moments on social media, how a product is packaged can be a powerful marketing tool.
Delta Global, a business which specialises in delivering luxury packaging solutions, has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands, including Tom Ford, Coach and Radley.
Its CEO and founder, Robert Lockyer, gives his reasons why he believes that packaging plays the biggest part in the gift-giving process:
Beautiful packaging creates an element of ‘theatre’
Pretty Woman is an example I always refer to when people ask me why I believe packaging trumps the gift itself.
Everyone remembers the iconic scene in the film when Julia Roberts’ character Vivian steps out in her red dress and Richard Gere presents her with a navy suede necklace box. It’s in that moment, when she sees the luxury finish of what is in front of her, that she knows something special is about to happen.
And it is this ‘something special’ that good packaging creates. An element of ‘theatre’ needs to be created because it builds an anticipation that is often more exhilarating to experience than the product inside.
If you’re not yet convinced, ask yourself this: Would you be genuinely excited to open something that is wrapped in a plain black bag as oppose to something presented to you luxuriously?
It creates an emotional connection with the consumer
Similarly, to that feeling of theatre, packaging is one of the few ways in which brands can build emotions with their consumers.
No brand has the resources to hand-wrap and personally deliver its products to customers, which means this personal experience needs to be replaced in other ways.
For luxury clothing company Ted Baker, it’s as simple as a small rectangular branded card included in all purchases signed ‘With love, Ted x’.
It’s a small touch which makes an otherwise giant business feel like a local one. It’s effect? Consumers remember the little things and will be much more likely to re-purchase from them again.
For Tiffany & Co, just one of the many luxury brands that excel at creating emotions, it’s their iconic duck egg colour box which customers love, becoming as coveted as the gift inside.
Sustainability is something we at Delta Global consider in every single one of our packaging designs, which means we always think beyond the presentation of the gift.
Brands need to constantly look at the re-usability of their packaging so that it remains within the person’s home and isn’t just thrown into the bin after being opened.
If brands do it right, then it’s not uncommon for those receiving the product to hold on to the packaging and display it as proudly as they would the gift inside – plus they are helping the environment if they find it another use.
Don’t just assume that because someone has bought from you once that they will again – you need to use your packaging as a way of building your brand.
It’s about ensuring zero brand dilution and guarding your brand values through everything you do, right through to how it’s packaged. Think post-sale how can you produce even less waste? By ensuring your product looks gift-worthy from the off – that way customers will not want to wrap it further.
Try to create something memorable that, if put into a line-up of other brands, is picked out every time without fail.
And there is another means of marketing which makes it even more essential to get your packaging right – the rise in ‘unboxing’ videos on social media.
The world is infatuated with watching their favourite online celebrities unbox their gifts on YouTube or Instagram. People have literally built careers around unboxing products from brands and filming the process.
It’s a simple concept that quite literally starts with the package being held up to the camera. What does it mean for the brands featured? Everything – if the packaging excites viewers. If not, it means that watchers will tune out, or even skip ahead to other, more ‘exciting’ brands.