Recently I was given a wallet produced by Melbourne-based accessory company Bellroy, and was immediately taken by the product packaging.
As a packaging design super nerd (and as someone who has personal business experience in this area), I’ve been known to keep the packaging of a product much longer than the product itself. I may or may not also be known to get emotional (read “upset”) if a product’s package experience doesn’t live up to my expectations.
Packaging a product, while it might seem like a costly investment, can be an extremely effective way to elevate your brand position. You can use it to communicate key messages, engage (and more importantly, connect) with your customer and of course, protect your products during transit and beyond.
When setting the prices of your products, consider the cost of packaging as a segment within the cost of goods, so that you can budget accordingly to invest in the packaging your product deserves.
Bellroy — packaging to impress
Bellroy’s mission — Inspire better ways to carry. Use business as a force for good. Help the world, and our crew, flourish.
These mission statements are embodied not only in their products but across their entire brand experience.
Bellroy is a certified B Corporation, a group of companies using the power of business to help solve social and environmental problems.
So why am I telling you this back story? Well, other than the fact that it’s impressive information, I wanted to give you context on the Bellroy brand values, so you can understand why I’m so impressed with their packaging.
From the moment the packaging was in my hands, I felt engaged in a positive brand experience. First of all, not a piece of plastic in sight, something that’s difficult to manage in packaging design, especially for businesses that manufacture with any kind of volume who also distribute products globally.
Attention to detail was reinforced with the discreet tagline, “Considered Carry Goods” stitched into the seam of the packaging, with easy-to-use perforation along the barcode tab for removal, an appreciated touch since barcodes are unsightly, especially on gifts!
Branding is visible yet subtle, an embossed logo on one side of the box and the full brand name on the other. To open the packaging, you simply flick open a dusty-pink tab that is slotted into die-cut cardboard, eliminating the need for scissors, which also allows you to re-close the package with ease. The pink tab matched the colour of the wallet itself, a detail if utilised across other products would be somewhat next level!
I told you I nerded out!
Once the package is opened, the product slides out with ease, with no extra padding or plastic or wrapping. Inside the wallet is a double-sided card that details the features and benefits of the product, uses the opportunity to promote their B Corp status, with a final call to action to explore other Bellroy products.
The whole experience filled me up with feel-goods, and I hadn’t even started using the wallet yet!
While I’m sure that creating bespoke, custom packaging is a dream for many makers, it’s not always within their means, especially in the early stages of selling.
Designing packaging that functions as effortlessly as that of Bellroy requires a team of designers, engineers, customer experience specialists and high-end packaging manufacturers to make it happen. Not to mention the cost.
A solution to this, as I touched on above, is to incorporate the costs of your packaging into your pricing strategy and consider the design of your packaging part of your product development. Keeping in mind the philosophy of “form follows function”.
Regardless of budget, it is possible to design your product packaging with consideration to your brand values and value proposition, and really, it’s a must!
If your brand espouses high quality and luxury products, how would your customer feel if they received a package from you wrapped in plastic or polystyrene, with no special details?
There are many creative ways you can bring your brand to life through packaging, from gift wrapping products in brand colours, to stamping your packing boxes with your logo. Consider including printed postcards with campaign imagery within each delivery.
Think about some ways you can level up your brand experience!
The question is, do I keep the packaging?