Boosting Success With Custom Packaging for Small Business

5 min read • May 30, 2021 • Grant Olsen

A box is more than just a container—it’s the first thing your customers will see once it’s been dropped off. The contents might be epic, but it’s hard for people to shake the first impression that your business packaging delivers.

It’s not just your customers you should be considering (though they deserve top billing). Think about the countless individuals who will see and handle the delivery between Point A and Point B. Packaging is a bonus opportunity to promote your business across the country.

Custom Packaging for Small Business

Your business investments should always be guided by impact. What will turn heads and create positive impressions for your business? Even if something is special in your mind, if it doesn’t get results, you need to reconsider.

When it comes to business packaging, make sure the basics are covered and then look for opportunities to take it to the next level.

“The primary job of your box is to protect your product during shipping, so you want to first get a properly sized box that fits your product safely while keeping your costs down,” says Forbes. “Corrugated boxes are available in different wall thicknesses, known as flute sizes. Each flute size had different functions, from shipping durability to improved printability. Always start with your product and focus on keeping it safe. Then you want to think about how to create the ‘wow’ experience. This can be done by putting printing on the outside of the box that includes your logo and the primary colors of your business. A medium to large logo front and center is great industry practice for showcasing your brand.”

When done right, your custom packaging design will stand out from the crowd. It’s like a tangible representation of your unique personality sitting on porches around the country. We all love passive income… and custom packaging design is a form of passive advertising.

Factors of Custom Packaging Design

There have historically been barriers to custom packaging for small businesses. Examples include not reaching minimum quantities, poorly sized packaging, higher shipping costs, and feeling locked into a certain packaging design.

But modern packaging options allow you to navigate these hurdles and improve on the status quo. For example, you can customize the design and the sizing. This allows you to get packaging that fits your products like a glove, saving money on materials and shipping costs. You’ll also benefit from the environmental aspects, as less excess packaging also means less waste. Customers care about things like this.

It’s not unusual for businesses to save enough on shipping through the efficiencies of custom business packaging to cover the expense of customization. And the streamlined packaging can really move the needle with customers. They’ll view your products as premium and be more inclined to loyalty because there will be no mistaking competitors’ products for your own.

Brand Awareness Is Key

Think about the attributes and personality that make your business unique. Perhaps you are innovative like Apple, personable like Starbucks, or fun like Dollar Shave Club. It takes effort and cleverness to foster these strengths within your own walls. 

“Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer,” explains business expert John Williams. “It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, and who people perceive you to be. Are you the innovative maverick in your industry? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? You can’t be both, and you can’t be all things to all people. Who you are should be based to some extent on who your target customers want and need you to be.”

Once you’ve developed your brand, the next major objective is to effectively share it with customers. This isn’t done by telling people what you stand for. You’ve got to show them. Your products are a key vehicle for this, but remember that most products are sold with packaging included. Thus, you need to view the whole package as a prime opportunity to share your brand and build awareness.

Getting Down to Details

It’s impossible to say exactly how much custom packaging will cost for your business. The dimension of the boxes obviously plays a large role in the price, as will factors such as materials, custom packaging design, and volume. But here’s an extremely rough range that you can draw from as you consider the possible costs you might encounter with the 3 main types of packaging:

  • Folding Cartons: This is usually your most economical option. A good price would usually be less than a dollar per box when all is said and done.
  • Corrugated Boxes: Here’s your mid-range price option. You should aim for less than $2.50 for each box.
  • Rigid Boxes: This premium route comes with higher costs. Try to stay under $5 per box once the costs are all tallied.

You have lots of options when it comes to packaging. So it’s essential that you do your due diligence and find the ideal choice for your business. When done right, custom packaging can truly take your business to the next level.

Grant Olsen

Grant Olsen is a writer specializing in small business loans, leadership skills, and growth strategies. He is a contributing writer for KSL 5 TV, where his articles have generated more than 6 million page views, and has been featured on FitSmallBusiness.com and ModernHealthcare.com. Grant is also the author of the book "Rhino Trouble." He has a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University.