Opening More Than an Order: Unpacking the Brand Experience

Open magic gift with rays and sparks close-up on a wooden surface

A lot has been written about the effect that packaging has on the “brand experience.” Beyond package design, though, there is the mostly undiscovered territory of how the unpackaging event itself is a part of the customer experience. This represents another good opportunity for customer engagement.

What is the difference between good packaging and unpacking? Packaging has mostly focused on elements of design: What are the dimensions of the packaging? What pictures, logos, and colors are used? Is the item visible? Does the package make consumers want the item? These are all considerations that go into how the package looks when a customer first sees it on the shelf or in a parcel.

But these elements ignore the actual experience of opening a package (or, if shipped, the parcel in which it is contained). This is a shame, because the experience of opening a desired item or order has a profound effect on us. The physical package itself builds anticipation in the customer’s mind, which is released when the item is actually opened and handled for the first time. This is the experience of unpacking.

If this idea seems like so much pop-business-psychology, consider this: The most profitable person on YouTube is an anonymous woman who creates videos unboxing toys she has ordered. And she make roughly $4.9 million a year doing this, with videos reaching a sum total of 2.4 billion views.

Now consider this: You might not have control over the packaging of the products you sell. But you can do several things in the packing phase to get better engagement and a better customer experience:

Put Your Logo on a Box

Don’t just ship bottles, for example. Put those bottles in a sleeve or a box. It might seem excessive, but it is also a way to delay gratification, heightening the experience—not to mention more space for a logo, picture, or brand story.

Another fun thing to try is to create seasonal packaging. For example, for shipments going out around the holidays, use the opportunity to put specially designed holiday sleeves on your products.

Make It Into a Kit

We’ve written before about a kit for a Dark and Stormy, which amounted to putting Gosling’s dark rum together with ginger beer and a decorative glass. The kit is easy to assemble, makes a great gift, and exposes recipients to a drink they might not know to try on their own.

Thus the power of kitting. Done right, kitting can be a tremendous marketing tactic that creates excitement and incremental sales opportunities with customers. And kitting does not need to be complicated. For example, consider shipping bottles of your Zinfandel, Merlot, or Grenache with a sample packet of mulling spices—just so the customer can try something new. Or consider sending a chilling bucket with that Beaujolais or Pinot Noir.

Having pre-made kits ready to purchase is great. But consider surprising your customers as well simply by including some items for free. The money you earn from repeat business from loyal customers can outweigh the items’ cost, if done right.

Place a Message on Top

Imagine how the customer will feel if he or she opens your package and sees an elegant “Thank You” note on top. This is relatively inexpensive to do but can really set the tone for the rest of the unpacking experience.

Another message to include would be something that speaks to the packing itself—a tag saying something like “Packed with care by So-and-so.” This would be a great sign that you care both about your products and your customer, adding a personal element to the package.

Include Extras

We talked about kitting above, which is really just one way of adding something extra to a shipment. But what you add, need not be a pricey product. Indeed, you should vary things a bit. For example, you can add:

  • A coupon good on the next online order
  • A special promotion, good for a limited time (or specific to a channel)
  • A catalogue of your other products
  • A bit of content—for example, a pairing guide, a recipe, or a good story

Most of these items encourage further purchases and make the consumer feel as if he or she has really gotten extra value out of their order. They also enhance the surprise and delight felt during the unpacking event.

Bottom line, don’t underestimate the power of a good presentation when packing and shipping your goods. Every order should be an experience in itself, full of surprise and delight.
Copper Peak Logistics provides craftsmanship fulfillment to the wine and luxury goods industries. We have decades of experience adding a personal touch to shipments, whether one-off or part of a subscription service. For more ideas, contact us.