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How to Spruce Up Your Custom Packaging for the Holidays

You’ve got great products, but an extra-special box might help you stand out during the holidays. Mark Wilson, a creative writer at Packlane, is here to help make your packaging look its best this season.

The holiday season is coming and there’s no way to escape it. Your packaging will be a big part of your business during this season and while it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all of the different things that need to get done, it doesn’t mean you can’t be well prepared to tackle this busy time of year.

Creating custom packaging is becoming increasingly important for connecting with your customers and helping to share your brand story. So as the holidays draw near, it’s the perfect time for your packaging to shine.

Holiday packaging is a fun and easy way to get people in the festive mood and will get them talking. And with Black Friday being the biggest shopping day of the year for many businesses, having customers talk about your product both in person and online is a great way to increase sales.

Show Some Loyalty

The holidays are a time for giving, so why not give back to your best customers? Packaging’s most obvious use is to simply sell a product - but more and more companies are getting creative in the way they use custom packaging.

Many companies use boxes for new employee welcome kits. Providing a custom box to new hires is a great way to welcome them to the company. And employees who receive them love that they feel personalized and special.

To build on the idea that people like personalized items that make them feel special, why not reward your most loyal customers as a way to say thank you?

At Packlane, we sent our most loyal customers custom mailer boxes filled with treats like coffee and chocolate. Our customers were thrilled and told us so. It was just our way of making sure they knew they mattered and to thank them for helping grow our business.

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This isn’t only a great way to build loyalty from your customer base - it’s also a great customer relation exercise that allows you to demonstrate how much you value the relationship, and that you are willing to go above and beyond their expectations. When it comes time for them to purchase from you again, they’ll remember the value you’ve provided in the past.

But why stop at just thanking your customers? If your business has grown to the point that you work with collaborators or have even hired your own employees, show them some love, too. It’s a great way to give back for all the hard work and dedication they’ve shown throughout the year. Give them their own custom box with goodies and treats. Or pass them out at your holiday party. It’s a small gesture, but who doesn’t love being rewarded for a job well done?

Make It Exclusive

The holidays are a great time to take your marketing efforts to the next level. It would be easy to just ship your products in plain kraft cardboard boxes, but where’s the fun in that? Why not tell a story with your packaging?

This is the perfect chance to flex those creative muscles and make your product packaging memorable.

One of the ways to do this is to create limited edition packaging that is only available during the holiday season. People get excited when they see exclusive items. That overwhelming feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out) will make customers take notice of what you have to offer. Another way to build that interest is to use discounts for holiday products or to even include coupon codes on your packaging that can be used for future purchases.

For some customers, exclusive holiday packaging will speak directly to a pain point about the need to gift wrap items. With beautiful custom packaging, they no longer even need to worry about gift wrapping because the packaging speaks for itself.

At the same time, this is a great opportunity to spruce up your packaging by using custom holiday-themed tissue paper. You can also add custom bows, ribbons, or tape to the outside. Custom tape is an excellent way to up your brand’s value - and it also offers additional protection to your box. Keep in mind that if you’re shipping items, external additions to your box might not be practical.

Still not sure why packaging is important during the holiday season? Think about your own experiences while shopping.

Picture this: You’re shopping for the holidays and see two similar products on a store shelf. One has plain packaging. The other has custom seasonal packaging. If you were to buy one, which would it be? Drawing attention to your packaging - especially during the holidays - will make customers need your product.

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Get Inspired

While it’s easy to think that all holiday packaging will be red, white, and green, that doesn’t need to be the case. Red, white, and green certainly evoke memories of the holidays, but you can mix it up. Sometimes you just need to think outside the box.

Creating designs for your packaging doesn’t have to be rocket science. With a little guidance, your design can take on a life of its own. And if you don’t have the time to design your own packaging, you can get the help of a professional packaging designer to get the job done.

Packlane’s easy to use online box builder makes designing your custom box simple. We use digital printing on all of our boxes so when it comes time to choose colors, you have a full rainbow to choose from. And you have the added benefit of being able to change your design whenever you’d like and as often as the seasons change.

Using seasonal fonts or creating a seasonal logo will add a little bit of festive cheer to make your customers smile. Finding the right holiday resources and assets can make all the difference.

Consider adding a little snow or trees to your design. Using simple icons and illustrations like snowflakes will add that seasonal touch and help you stay on brand. If you need some design inspiration, browse through holiday greeting cards and gift wrap - you never know where that spark of inspiration will come from.

And if using a holiday theme isn’t for your business, try using a seasonal theme. Instead of using turkeys for Thanksgiving, simply use fall colors such as browns, reds, and oranges. Add leaves to your design so people can identify it with the season but not necessarily with a holiday. You’ll be able to stretch the longevity of your design if it’s seasonal and not holiday-themed.

Here’s a quick seasonal theme checklist for you:

Seasonal Colors

  • Autumn browns, reds, and oranges
  • Winter blue and silver
  • Gold and silver

Seasonal Messaging

  • Happy Holidays
  • Seasons Greetings
  • Happy Thanksgiving
  • Merry Christmas
  • Happy Hannukah
  • Feliz Navidad
  • Happy Kwanzaa

Social Media

It’s important that your packaging leaves a good first impression on your customers. After all, they’re the ones who will be telling their friends about your product and sharing your packaging on social media. Encouraging customers to share their experiences on social media is now commonplace.

Use hashtags directly on your packaging to encourage and excite customers to share it with their friends. Don’t be afraid to incentivize social shares - ask people to use custom branded hashtags to enter giveaways on your channels. It’s as easy as saying, “Share this post with #customhashtag to enter and win!”

If one of your marketing goals is to increase your social media following, your packaging provides the perfect opportunity to share URLs or QR codes that link directly to your social media channels. If you use Snapchat, place your Snapcode right on your packaging. Knowing how to promote your shop with Instagram is another great way to stand out. And now it’s easier than ever to share your Instagram with the recently added Nametag feature.

Encourage customers to share their unboxing experiences on their own social media channels. When they showcase your packaging with an unboxing experience, it’s a way for them to share their excitement and joy for your product. It’s also a way for them to reinforce their purchase and show off to their friends while helping build your brand’s awareness.

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Know Your Deadlines

Prep for holiday sales with the holiday rush calendar. Knowing the right dates for ordering custom packaging is important. If you wait too long to order, you won’t receive your packaging in time to fulfill your customer’s orders.

Mark down these three key dates to get your packaging in time for the holidays:

Black Friday: Order by October 22 to have it delivered by November 16

December 1: Order by November 3 to have it delivered by December 1

Last Chance: Order by November 16 to have it delivered by December 15

For more holiday deadline info, check out Packlane’s holiday landing page.

Wrap Up

The holidays come and go in a flash. Knowing the deadlines you’re up against and being ready for them will make a world of difference between a stressful holiday season or a stress-free holiday season.

By being prepared, when it comes time to package up your beautiful products, you’ll be ready to face the holiday season. And whether you promote your craft by encouraging social shares or creating exclusive holiday-themed packaging, you won’t have to worry about sending boring brown boxes anymore.

Mark Wilson is a creative writer at Packlane, an online printing company that makes the process of ordering custom boxes and packaging easy and affordable for brands of any size.

Packlane offers low minimums, fast turnaround, full customization options, and free online proofs in 3D. Head over to Packlane’s Instagram to get inspired for your own packaging adventure.