Let's start with the basics, I recommend getting a big sheet of paper and a pen and drawing up a brainstorm with your notes to refer back to:
Have a think for a moment about your keepsake business. Is your brand conveying luxury? Is it heavily influenced by environmental issues? Your packaging should reflect your ethos as it is the first thing people see when they receive your product and first impressions matter! Consider the cost implications of 'luxury' packaging and remember that 'eco' packaging might not always be the cheaper option either.
Do your products vary widely in size and construction? If so, you might have to source a range of packaging solutions and this could be tricky. It is much simpler if all your products are similar in size. If you sell something small such as jewellery you will have a wide range of packaging options but if you need to present larger or awkwardly shaped items then this is where it becomes an issue.
Is the product you sell delicate or breakable? Does it need reinforced packaging? Will it be going in the post and potentially be knocked around/stood on/thrown over fences (oops!)? Sometimes you may need to compromise on the beauty of the packaging if it is to withstand transportation but try not to let it worry you as your customer's will prefer their order to arrive in one piece. Delicate products may include fine jewellery, glass items but also fabric items that may snag or catch.
Finally, your brand plays a vital role in deciding your packaging. It's not just about picking a colour box or whacking a logo sticker on the parcel, you have to think carefully. If you already have a clearly defined brand then that is great, however if you don't you will most likely end up frittering money buying 'this and that' as you are undecided on the look you want to achieve. As I mentioned in a previous blog post; branding is about more than just a logo.
So now you have your sections written out clearly you will be able to see the kind of items you need to hunt down. It will involve lots of trawling the internet, craft catalogues and maybe phoning up companies for the best prices but I promise it will be worth it in the long run. Here are some possible suggestions for things to look out for:
These can be very versatile as you can have stickers stickers of your logo, fancy labels for your customer's addresses or your return address or maybe even Thank You stickers. You might even find you can print them yourself on your home printer although it is worth checking prices as it is possibly cheaper to buy in bulk from a professional printing company, they may also be able to offer different types of sticker including removable, transparent, metallic or glossy that suit your brand better.
|Stickers for Tiny Treasures keepsakes|
Stamps work in a very similar way to stickers in that you can use them for so many items. A handstamped tag looks handmade and rustic and may very well suit your brand but if you require a large amount of information it might be better to go down the printed route at least for some of it. If you use the correct ink you can even stamp directly onto products such as wooden plaques or care labels on fabric. It works out very cost effective as stamps can last many years.
|Stamps for Wirelife - Art by Cerysanne|
Swing tags can get expensive if you need only small quantities, the price often comes down when buying in bulk. They look very professional though and are especially good if you have a complex logo or need to include a large amount of text information with your item. Don't forget the string/twine or ribbon you may need to tie on the tags. This final touch can really bring a look together.
TISSUE PAPER/ BOXES
Your product may only require being wrapped in tissue or it might need a more substantial box. Either way you need to think about the material used. Tissue paper is great as it comes in a wide variety of colours and you can even get patterns but it can tear and crinkle easily, you may also need to ensure it is acid free as you don't want it to cause damage to your products. Dark coloured tissue can also bleed colour onto fabrics if it gets damp. Boxes vary greatly in price and quality, if you decide to go with boxes, it is worth investing in the best quality you can afford. As you item is a keepsake, the customer may choose to store it safely in the original box at certain times. A nice touch is having your logo professionally printed onto boxes but this can be a costly set up. A sticker/ stamp or swing tag might be a better alternative.
BUSINESS CARDS/ FLYERS/ LOYALTY CARDS
Finally, one of the most important aspects of packaging is including your business card. A good quality professional looking card is more likely to be kept and passed on. You might even wish to include a flyer or loyalty card if you think your customer may want to come back. A handwritten note on branded paper is a nice touch but try not to go too overboard!
I hope you have enjoyed our little rundown of important packaging suggestions and it has helped you to focus. Remember you are always welcome to send us your photos or questions regarding your packaging and we may include you in a future blog post.
SOME USEFUL LINKS:
The Tiny Box Company - for boxes
Clarise Crafts - for custom stamps and branding
Unwrap Colour - for twine, tags, ribbon & washi
Awesome Merchandise - for branded goods