Why Your Secondary Packaging Design Matters

Published May 5, 2020

While secondary packaging may be one of the last things on your mind in terms of repping your brand, it’s also the very first thing your customer (wholesalers, grocery stores, etc.) sees when they receive their product. In simpler terms, first impressions are essential. Let’s talk about how packagers are working to turn a good first impression into an even better, more lasting one—all through robust secondary packaging design.

The Power of a First Impression

While recycled and other alternative materials are growing in popularity, secondary packaging is typically crafted from sturdy corrugated material, used to ship already packaged products like cereal. Above all, corrugated boxes are meant to keep products together and protected on their journey from warehouse to storefront.

But this doesn’t mean that you need to stop at the functional level. Consciously-designed secondary packaging has a place in the world of branding—as an easy way to keep your company and products top of mind. Whether you’re creating packaging for a subscription box, store display, or shipment, a prominent logo or even a bold color scheme can go a long way in increasing brand awareness.

Box Packaging Design: Best Practices

Here are a few things to keep in mind when working to design secondary packaging that will both promote your brand and protect the products inside.

Boost Visibility With Branded Secondary Packaging

Consider the following: a wholesale store stuffed to the brim with shelves of boxes, all proclaiming a brand name of some kind. For our purposes, many of these boxes look the same—brown corrugated outer material, straightforward black text, maybe a label or two. How do you make your product stand out in such a crowd?

The answer is, of course, a stellar and eye-catching product packaging design, which isn’t as difficult to achieve as you may think. Here’s are three questions that can help ensure you’re creating attractive, effective secondary packaging, which will allow you to take center stage in a sea of competing brands:

1. Is your box design conveying accurate, honest information, without being too wordy?

Your Internet-savvy customers are more adept at sniffing out a hoax than ever. When in doubt, keep any claims genuine, and avoid dense language.

2. Does your box packaging design appeal to your target audience?

For example, you may want to consider designing a fitness subscription box with colorful fonts and images, while individually packaged CPG goods might do just fine in a standard corrugated case emblazoned with a brand logo.

3. Are you combining both text and images, and using eye-catching colors and designs?

We’re a visually-oriented species, so does your box packaging design contain at least one compelling, eye-catching image to balance out the blank space?

If you answered “yes” to all of the above, fantastic! And if you’re still at a loss for attractive packaging designs, consider how companies like MunchPak and FabFitFun make their secondary box designs pop. A revealing question to ask of your design team might be, “Are we creating an impression for my customer that is positive, engaging, and memorable?”

Protect the Product

Again, your box’s secondary packaging design is often the customer’s first point of contact when it comes to your product, so you don’t want to risk shipping it out in a flimsy, low-quality container. After all, if the packaging itself doesn’t seem sturdy, what is the customer supposed to expect from the product within?

While it’s important to give thought to labor costs on your end of the transaction, you’ll also want to consider what your customers see when they crack open a case. Consider everything from the size of the box in proportion to the product to the type of tape or glue used to hold everything together. And then, after all that, are the products still easy enough to remove from the box without it snagging or becoming otherwise damaged on the way out?

An excellent first impression can lead to a loyal customer and many, many more years of business. We’re assuming, in most cases, that you’re not greeting the customer at their door and physically handing them their purchase—your packages will have to speak for themselves, and they’ll be able to do that with a dependable secondary packaging design.

Packaging Insights From INSITE

Here at INSITE, we’re committed to developing the highest-quality secondary packaging equipment on the market. Consider what we do as the proverbial cherry on top of your manufacturing and packaging process, leaving your buyers with a positive first impression—and one that will last, too.

We encourage you to reach out to us if you have questions about our case erectors, case sealers, or any other aspect of the secondary packaging process. We look forward to working with you to streamline your packaging process and keep you updated on the latest developments in the packaging world.

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