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Packaging plays an important role in the marketing mix of independent retailers. We surveyed over 200 of them and asked them for their packaging tips. These independent retailers are battling every day against big box retailers and they're succeeding because they focus on unique products packaged in a unique way!
In our survey we found:
- 48% felt packaging helped them compete with big-box retailers
- 64% said that packaging was an important part of their brand
- 49% felt that packaging was particularly important in online sales.
Our customers felt that packaging helped in:
- Gift wrapping
- Customer service
According to Joe Cupido,CEO of Premier Packaging, consistency across the retail experience is important. “Independent retailers should make sure that the branding on their packaging is consistent with in-store branding, online branding and any print advertising they're doing - this contributes HIGHLY to the overall impression that your business leaves on the minds of your customers."
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Here are the tips:
Alletti Jewelry is a one-of-a-kind jewelry store and silversmithing studio based in Omaha, Nebraska. The store offers jewelry that you won't find anywhere else in the area, from silver and gemstone pieces to beautiful engagement rings.
Vice President, Cathy McCarthy offers this advice:
“Make your packaging fun with a cute twist that will remind them of your store every time they see the bag.”
The Grand Rapids Art Museum store offers a wide selection of products with a focus on the aesthetics and environmental consciousness. Whether you are searching for jewelry, art books, or toys for a creative mind, the store at GRAM can help.
Manager Susan Coombes knows the value of brand in packaging:
“Name recognition is what marketing and branding strive for -- well produced and labeled packaging is part of that. Even though my store is part of a non-profit organization, we always use bags, boxes with our name and logo on them.”
And our own Joe Cupido chips in on the importance of color.
According to Joe:
"Color is such a powerful and often overlooked branding tool. Think about the colors that stand for the benefits you offer your customers. For a warmer, friendly experience go for warmer colors - reds, oranges and yellows. For cool sophistication think black or ice blue. Just don't overlook color's impact on your brand!"
Amy Faust started making jewelry in high school and continued through college receiving a Bachelor's of Fine Arts at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Her wish is that each finished piece is perfectly made, contemporary, elegant, refreshing to the eye and highly wearable.
Amy’s advice is timeless:
“Keep it simple and look for inspiration from both natural and urban environments. I love simplicity, color, light, subtle texture and the mysterious connection that art has to nature.”
Sirius Mind & Body is owned by the Cousin family and offers an eclectic universe for unique people. Alcohol-free fragrance oils and hand-rolled incense and a unique selection of handcrafted gifts featuring the works of local artists.
Building customer loyalty is important to Amy Cousin:
“Get your target market to invest in you and your products, and they will remain loyal. Choose a style of packaging that you can make a part of your brand. Definitely avoid choosing packaging products that are about to be discontinued.”
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Joe Cupido starts this section off:
"Create a clear focal point in your packaging - this could be your logo, or perhaps a trademark bow for example. This also means keeping things simple so that the customer's eye goes exactly where you want it."
The Over the Moon Gift Shop is an established retail store offering handmade crafts by artisans in and around New England. The store offers a unique array of handmade gifts tastefully presented within the warm inviting atmosphere of this small, locally owned store.
Christine Dziengelewski places an emphasis on gift wrapping and she has this advice:
“Put each gift in a beautiful box stamped with your logo, offer several choices of wrapping paper with tissue paper to match and finish it off with real ribbon! Some of our customers have told me even if I sold junky stuff, they would still buy from me just for the wrapping!”
Sue of the The Eleventh Hour Gift Shop sees gift wrapping as a great way to reach new customers - the recipients of the gift!
"Use your shopping bags as gift bags so each gift leaves the store in a bag done up with tissue and ribbon with your name and location. It looks fantastic and is a great way to reach new customers who receive gifts for the first time."
Napa Valley Traditions carry numerous gift items that are made in the Napa Valley, designed in the valley, or represent the lifestyle.
Cheryl Richburg of the store says:
“Make your packaging typical of your store and if you are gift wrapping or using bags for the holidays, offer two styles... traditional and whimsical”
Urban Tranquility (TM) creates and offers its own line of hand-crafted aromatherapy products as well as a variety of classes and services based on age old practices such as Meditation, Yoga, Massage, and Reiki to help people take a break from the hectic pace, stimulate their senses and facilitate the creation of their own haven for relaxation and inner peace.
Founder Kim Jones advises on choosing your packaging carefully:
“Make sure that the packaging works with your product. I initially had beautiful dark colored fill paper in my boxes not realizing that unwrapped white soap may sweat and absorb the dye from the paper.”
Corner Studio Jewelers, located in beautiful downtown Sheboygan Falls is the County’s most unique jewelry store. The store offers a relaxed, casual atmosphere that is so hard to find today at most jewelry stores.
Owner Karin Burg says packaging and customer service go hand in hand:
“Customer service and packaging make a big difference. Our customers always comment on how they appreciate that they don’t have to do a thing after they purchase from us - especially the guys!”
At Artizanns in Naples, NY, Proprieter Suzanne Farley, presents over 200 Finger Lakes Artisans making everything from pottery, hand-blown glass, wood works, sculptures, metal, paintings, photography, jewelry, fabric art, all natural candles, soaps and sundries, local musicians and literary artists' works... through to a pantry full of wonderful locally produced food confections.
Suzanne’s packaging contributes to the buying experience. She says:
"Make free gift boxes, wrapping and packaging for items to travel a part of your customer service. We represent over 200 individual artisans - packaging is imperative in creating a fantastic personal buying experience."
And a final tip from Joe Cupido:
"ALWAYS be on the lookout for great packaging ideas, wherever you happen to be shopping. Check in on your competitors' packaging of course, but remember that packaging inspiration can come from unexpected places."
Have you got a great packaging tip or a story to share about your business. If so, we’d love to hear from you and you too could be featured in a future presentation.
Just send your tip or story on our contact page.