4 Tips for Designing Memorable Holiday Packaging

The holidays might still be a few months away, but it’s never too early to start your holiday prep!

We all know that the holiday season is one of the most hectic times of the year for small businesses. There are shipping deadlines to be aware of and marketing campaigns to plan.  There’s also the matter of channeling a seasonal vibe into your order fulfillment!

 

Why holiday packaging is a valuable investment

Custom-branded packaging is a great strategy to enhance the customer experience at any time of the year, but it is especially valuable during the holidays. Why? Because the holidays are the opportune time of the year to pick up new business! According to Deloitte’s 2018 holiday insights, 75% of consumers are open to shopping with new brands during the holiday season. If you want to turn these first-time shoppers into long-term supporters of your brand, making a great first impression on delivery is vital. 

Consider these stats: 

  • A survey by Shopify last year found that 52% of consumers dislike gift-wrapping themselves over the holiday season because it ‘takes too much time’
  • According to Prego, premium packaging improves the value perception of a product by 45%
  • Dotcom Distribution’s study ‘Unwrapping the Customer Experience’ found that 40% of consumers would share photos or videos of a package on social media if it came in ‘gift-like’ branded packaging

In sum, holiday packaging isn’t just about creating attractive parcels. It also helps to add value to your offerings, provides seasonal marketing opportunities, and provides a valuable service to your customers!

 

Why should I start thinking about my holiday packaging now?

We get it. It’s still only September, which seems way too soon to be thinking about the holidays! When it feels like businesses are pushing forward the start date of the holidays with every passing year, it’s tempting to ban the H-word from your calendar for a few more months.

However, we all know that retailers can’t think about the holiday season in the same way as consumers. According to the National Retail Federation, up to 40% of yearly sales for small to medium-sized businesses are made during the holiday period (roughly mid-November up to the New Year). So, why leave anything to chance? Being organized is the key to a less stressful holiday period! 

Fulfilling your holiday packaging needs, in particular, isn’t something you can leave to the eleventh hour. Creating your holiday packaging involves more than just considering your seasonal design.

 

Early Considerations for Holiday Packaging

Figuring out your packaging needs. First off, you need to decide what packaging elements you want for your orders. While you might not be changing your core packaging design, you will want some seasonal additions. There are a lot of different options out there, from bows and stickers to personalized greeting cards.

Finding a supplier. As with any manufacturing need, finding the right packaging supplier for your business can take time. It can also be more complex in the case of custom-designed goods, as there are MOQs (Minimum Order Quantities) to take into account. 

Turnaround times. There could be a large window between your holiday packaging going into production and you receiving it, especially if it’s being manufactured overseas. 

When you add up the time to takes the complete all of these steps (especially when you are a small business juggling a lot of other responsibilities!) it’s clear organizing your holiday packaging isn’t an overnight job. 

The earlier you start, the less stress!

 

4 Tips to Create a Winning Holiday Packaging Design

 

1. Stay on-brand with your design

We often think of the holidays as being all about snowflakes, candy canes, and other traditional symbols. However, making this the centerpiece of your holiday packaging design is a mistake. Although this might be seasonally appropriate, changing up your regular packaging design too much will dilute your brand identity.

Adopting generic imagery also makes it harder to stand out from the crowd. Your brand is unlikely to be unique and memorable if Santa Claus is your motif! 

The key to a winning seasonal packaging design is adding a holiday twist that keeps your packaging fresh and interesting but without dominating important brand elements. 

 

2. Set a budget

It’s easy to get carried away when designing your dream holiday packaging! So before you start, you need to have an idea of how much you are comfortable with spending. Don’t forget: When you add a new packaging element into your design, whether it’s a wax seal or a seasonal gift with purchase, this also adds to the overall cost of your festive unboxing experience

For those who can’t afford a full seasonal revamp, there are still plenty of low-cost options available to channel that holiday vibe. For example, holiday-themed custom stickers can be used to decorate the outside of boxes or wrapped parcels, and add very little extra time to your order fulfillment.

There are also custom options available for regular packaging accessories. Holiday-themed packing tape is a great investment as it’s a necessary part of securing orders. (noissue’s eco-friendly custom packing tape is being released this month, so stay tuned!)

 

3. Think sustainably

We tend to associate the holidays with gift-giving, as symbolized by all of those lovely beribboned packages in marketing campaigns. However, the dark side of the season is the amount of waste this tradition produces. 

There is an extra one million tons of waste per week thrown out between Christmas and New Year in the US alone, and the majority of this is discarded packaging!

In 2019, being a responsible retailer means considering how you can reduce your environmental footprint. As consumers grow more conscious about protecting the environment, an unsustainable holiday packaging design could harm the integrity of your brand.

Taking just a few small steps will make a big difference to the eco-friendliness of your holiday packaging:

  • Use as much recyclable material as possible e.g. paper and cardboard.
  • Provide reusable packaging for gifts instead of single-use wrapping paper, such as cloth pouches or boxes.
  • Eliminate plastic when you can, especially soft plastics since they cannot be reused and recycled.
  • Enclose a note inside packages encouraging customers to reuse decorations such as ribbon

 

4. Encourage people to share it!

Seasonal packaging offers your brand a fantastic online marketing opportunity. With the power of social media, a limitless audience can see and admire your holiday packaging design. So, consider creating a brand-specific holiday hashtag to encourage customers to share photos on social media. By turning your packaging design into a seasonal campaign, this allows you to maximize your investment and give your brand some extra traction. It’s a great way to spread some holiday cheer, and to give potential customers an extra reason to purchase!

Advice for prepping for the holidays can be summed up in one phrase: always be prepared! The sooner you start planning, the better a season your business is likely to have. Holiday packaging is an often-overlooked part of season marketing, which is exactly the reason it helps to give your brand an edge in the competition for holiday spending. So, consider getting out a notepad and jotting down some ideas for this year’s seasonal packaging design – you will be grateful for it later!

 

Beth Owens is the Content Strategist and resident unboxing expert at noissue. Their premium custom tissue paper is acid-free and FSC-certified as being socially and environmentally responsible in its production. Their low minimum order quantities and 3-week turnaround is great for businesses of every size!

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