Shrink wrap? A cardboard box? Some of those annoying packing peanuts? When you think about product packaging, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
For me, it’s all about the customer experience.
Anyone can throw items in a box (and by anyone I mean Amazon, Walmart, and every other big box retailer). But as a small business owner, you have a chance to make your product packaging something more—something amazing.
It’s those little touches--the unexpected details that get people excited about buying your products, make them want to tell others, and keep them coming back for more.
If you’ve ever received one of the packages I’m talking about or spoken with someone who has, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Cookie Crowd makes ginormous gourmet cookies. Because they’re delicious, they could’ve just gone with some simple packaging. But they didn’t.
They added some yarn, included a tag with their name and website, and also make it possible to include a handwritten note along with your order (see image above). Something you’d expect to see at a fancy local bakery, not something you’d expect to get in the mail.
It’s been a few years since I received my first order and I still have one of the tags. That’s right, I kept a tag from their “Scout” cookie (their ultimate s'mores cookie) just to remind me of how awesome they were.
I’m going to go out on a limb and guess the cost of the yarn and the extra time it takes to put the finishing touches on their product packaging is far outweighed by the reaction they get from their customers.
MOO.com is my go-to source for business cards. Their quality is second to none. But what I love most about them is how they use their product packaging to create an amazing customer experience.
I’m already excited by the time I place my order. I don’t need any more convincing. I’m not going to suffer from buyer’s remorse. Yet, they still take the extra time to include whimsical messages that immediately bring a smile to my face.
Whether it’s a “Yay!” sticker on the outside of the box, or a slick little sleeve that says “Your moo mini cards are inside. Open them. Quick!” they’ve got me hooked.
And of course I can’t talk about product packaging without mentioning the Nest Learning Thermostat.
Founded by two former Apple employees, they immediately understood the importance of creating an unforgettable customer experience—all the way down to their packaging. I don’t own a Nest (yet), but I did witness just how much of an impact their product packaging can have on one of their customers.
I was at the Apple Store chatting with one of the associates when he mentioned he was moving to California to work at Apple headquarters--the mother ship.
Unprompted, he said the thing he was going to miss most was his Nest Learning Thermostat. That’s when he started to go into a play-by-play about what it was like taking it out of the box for the very first time. How the thermostat was packaged and how excited he was as he opened it—they couldn’t pay for a better endorsement.
Here's a quick peek inside their product packaging...
It’s easy to think a customer’s experience is over once you make the sale. But that’s definitely not the case.
Your product packaging—from the way it’s shipped to the way your customers feel once they open the box—can be just as important as the product itself.
Small touches they’re just not going to get from Amazon and other big box retailers. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a ton of money. Just look at the examples from Cookie Crowd and MOO.com.
Product packaging is another reflection of your brand AND your small business.
How are you going to create an amazing customer experience?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
By: Shawn Graham