Using Your Packaging to Get Lifelong Customers
It’s very easy for your customers to get lost on the internet, even when they know what they’re looking for. One second they’re searching for paleo granola and the next, they’re scrolling through photos of a hip, new fitness blogger on vacation in the Bahamas. It happens to the best of us. That’s why getting someone to buy your product feels like the ultimate victory, because you’ve captured their attention long enough for them to act, but the true victory is in getting them to come back and buy again.
Quality customer retention happens offline, when your product arrives on your their doorstep, and you have their undivided attention for at least one minute. Online, that one minute would probably cost you marketing dollars, but offline, it’s not only cheaper to make a lasting impression, but it’s more tangible and valuable. That’s why at Lumi, we’re all about the physical part of your brand. Whether you’re shipping 50 pieces a month or 1,000 pieces, every package is an opportunity to customize your brand experiences and keep them coming back. Here are some ways to do it.
Tell your story. You don’t have to tell it from beginning to end, but brands can gain a lot of trust and validity by finding new and interesting ways to talk about where and how their product is made. The Nuts.com packaging does a brilliant job of that in a way that’s fun, engaging, and bold. The nuts inside the box are elevated by the brand’s voice, even before people see the cute characters on their product packaging.
Use second life packaging. While your customer is unboxing, they probably cut open some tape, pull back the cardboard, take out the tissue, and then get to your product. Each of those touchpoints is a build-up to what they actually bought — like the drumroll coming up to a big reveal. So why not make that big reveal a little more surprising with a piece of packaging that feels extra special? Bonus points if it’s the kind of packaging that they’ll want to hold onto. We love cotton bags just for this reason.
Any type of second life packaging or container that your customer can use again will feel extra special and remind them of the quality of your product. Bespoke suit company, BLVDier uses custom cotton drawstring bags from Lumi to distinguish their tie packaging.
Restate your mission. Whether your mission is to combat local poverty or make people feel great about their skin, your packaging is the right time and place to restate it loud and proud. As people flock away from big retail stores and pledge their allegiance to smaller, niche brands, the “lifestyle” aspect of any product becomes more important. Your packaging should fit right in with the vibes you give off on your Instagram feed so that when a customer receives a package, it’s a reaffirmation that the brand is the right fit for their life.
Embrace the journey. That sounds a bit cliche, but there’s something kind of exciting about knowing that someone far away made, designed, or customized something and then shipped it to you. That’s why we were so excited to make these bold, custom poly mailers for Local Eclectic. Harnessing the anticipation in the time between someone buying and receiving their order shows that you put care into your specific brand experience. With so many new brands launching exclusively online, your box or mailer is the new storefront, and using your packaging to focus on transit as part of the product journey is a helpful tool in brand transparency.
Make them gram. You can go on and on about how great your product is, but when someone’s friend or favorite blogger posts a photo of it on Instagram — that builds a lot more trust and exposure for your brand. Glossier is a glowing testament to this philosophy. Founder Emily Weiss told Forbes, “You’re so excited to see [the product] and take it out and take a picture of it, like you would food — the perspective of holding your iPhone over a plate of food.” Glossier’s white box and signature pink bubble pouch make the perfect backdrop for a never ending feed of unboxing photos posted by brand loyalists. Whether you go with a signature color or fun copy, don’t underestimate the power of grammable packaging.
Say thank you. Thank-you cards aren’t just for wedding and birthday gifts. It takes a bit more time, but a handwritten (or stamped) thank you to your customers especially the early ones adds genuine transparency and honesty to your product — especially in the early days. If it’s personalized, even better. A lot of people are selling a lot of things on the internet, and a thank-you note is one thing small brands can do that big brands can’t.
Packaging is an increasingly special marketing opportunity that goes beyond the e-mail newsletter or the Facebook ad. When someone buys your product, they’re inviting you into their mailbox. They’re going to have a hands-on experience with your brand, and it’s an opportunity for you to exceed expectations and craft a brilliant offline experience that people will remember. We’re helping brands of all sizes craft that experience at Lumi. We’d love to help you out!