Your Complete Guide to Custom Retail Packaging

A bonus benefit, those who appreciate great retail packaging design willingly share across different social media channels.

Tracy Taylor
Tracy Taylor | 3 years, 4 months ago | Retail
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Did you know customer loyalty is changing? 

According to popular marketing researchers Forrester and McKinsey & Company, the purchasing tendency of customers is gradually shifting from the traditional purchasing funnel. Consumers no longer make purchase decisions solely based on conventional promotional impressions of branded products. This shift made retail packaging and custom retail packaging design increasingly vital for sales. 

For instance, which of these two scenarios makes you feel more appreciated as a valued customer? You go pick up your product, which is in an ordinary-looking brown cardboard box. Or your product gets delivered in a remarkably designed retail packaging masterpiece that’s bearing the brand of the company.

Your guess is as good as mine. 

Though the packaging doesn’t change the purchased product, the retail experiences in both scenarios are not the same. Also, the care and attention taken to put together a custom retail package tells a story in of itself. 

Hence, this article will cover two main takeaways - 

  • Why excellent retail packaging can be the “purple cow” of customer experience.
  • The essence of retail packing design as a powerful marketing tool, such as gift card advertising.

Simple actions, at times, make the greatest impressions. But don’t be carried away yet, let’s consider why custom packaging could make all the difference for your business. 

The Essence of Custom Packaging

retail packaging

There are so many things you could do to boost sales and promote your brand. Social media usually rises to the top of the list. However, not many business owners realize the full potential of packaging on driving purchasing decisions. Here are the two main reasons why custom retail packaging matters for your business. 

Proven to Boost Brand Engagement & Sales

Indeed, packaging has a profound effect on purchasing decisions. Many of us like to attribute our buying decisions to rational decision-making. However, studies have shown that strong emotional components also play a major role. 

Ask any of your customers why they choose a particular product. You can verify, but you’ll likely hear “good value for money” a couple of times. Mind you; “value” here refers to more than the price they bought the product. The concept of “value” in this case is more subjective. 

In 2013, Psychology and Marketing published a report on a study conducted on the brain activity of different individuals who looked at different packaging. The study indicated stronger brain activity in the reward-seeking areas than generic packaging. 

Therefore, it’s not a matter of consciousness. The packaging of your products does affect your customers at a subconscious level. Usually, a well-packaged product creates that impression of a ‘value-added’ product. And who doesn’t want more value for money? 

Hence, if your products are still stuck in the brown box coffin, it’s high time you transformed that coffin with a touch of branded custom packaging. Imagine reading a fantastic story. Then getting to the end, you only realize the author failed to provide a deserving ending. That “is that it?” feeling is exactly what a generic package leaves on your customers. 

Brand loyalty and long-term customer relationships stem from addons like premium packaging. 

Enabling Effective Use of Social Media Publicity

retail packaging

Customer experience got a major boost due to the rise in social media usage. Today, potential clients begin interacting with your brand long before they walk through your doors or visit your website. Hence, brick-and-mortar stores and eCommerce retailers alike can benefit greatly from proper leverage of social media for marketing. 

Visually oriented platforms like Instagram and Pinterest use attractive retail packaging ideas to increase customer engagement and retail CRM. Next time you order retail packaging supplies, ensure you get custom branded designs. These help to catch and retain the attention of your target audiences across several social media platforms.

A bonus benefit, those who appreciate great retail packaging design willingly share across different social media channels. You can call this free publicity, but to the fans, it’s their way of showing they care. After all, sharing is caring. 

Also, video platforms like Youtube have several review channels that are popular for unboxing and product review videos. One major aspect of product review that scores very high points is the packaging of the product under review. 

These reviewers understand the intangible yet essential quality that great packaging represents. Your retail packaging demonstrates your brand’s devotion to customer support, top-shelf quality, and, most importantly, high value. 

How to Design Custom Retail Packaging for Your Business

Having covered the reasons behind the essence of custom packaging, let’s look at the process of retail packaging design. 

Incorporate Your Brand’s Story

You can incorporate the story of your brand into the packaging design. The aim is to inform your customers about who you are in a visually appealing way. This kind of corporate communication is, at times, more effective than written or spoken messages. It feels personal and unique. 

Hence, the uniqueness of your brand has to be clear to you before you sit down with a designer to discuss retail packaging ideas. Questions you want to answer include;

  • What makes your brand unique?
  • What are my core values?
  • What is the ethos that drives your company?
  • What experience/value does your product/service deliver your customers?

Answering these four questions will help you zoom-in on the vital ideas that your help deliver your intended message. 

Ensure Consistency

The consistency of your marketing narrative is key to the success of your efforts. Hence, you need to choose a design that communicates the same message as the rest of your branding items. Otherwise, your efforts to market your retail business will feel disjointed, confused. Customers have a hard time trusting such a brand which has inconsistent retail management.

Therefore, you want to get this part right from the very beginning. Because it’s better to pivot your brand in the right direction when you are starting. As such, all elements of your brand must communicate the same message. 

However, if you are an existing company with plans for a packaging makeover, you might also need to review your branding strategy. 

Select the Right Color Palette

retail packaging

Do you know about 60 to 90 percent of customers decide what products or services to purchase based on color? The kind of color you choose symbolizes a lot about your retail business plan and its values. Hence, you need to understand what different shades of the same color represent. The primary colors usually considered include:

  • Red
  • Green
  • White
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Yellow

Each of these colors has a different significance and tells a different story. Also, they convey different emotions. Therefore, you need to research your colors before putting them to use. 

Choose the Right Materials

Now, you need to consider the materials you will choose for your retail packaging design. Usually, these three factors play a vital role in this selection.

  • Cost and time effectiveness
  • Functionality
  • Sustainability

Together, these factors help you delight your customers while maintaining the boundaries of long-term profitability


To summarize, you can expect the best results from custom packaging when you accomplish these things:

  • Excite your customers
  • Design a perception of “added value.”
  • Position your brand strategically
  • Display the uniqueness of your brand from other competitors

Do you honestly think your current packaging is delivering the most value both for your business and its customers? If your answer to this question is anything other than a resounding yes, you might want to give the ideas in this article a try. 

We’d like to know your approach to retail packaging - Drop a comment in the section below. 

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