cool ideas marketing blog

The Joy of Packaging

Presentation is important – and can be profitable, too! Danette Gossett, From Good to Great
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sponsored by Bay State
In the promotional products business it’s all about the promotional item – or is it? There are so many ways to extend the “gift” and the brand message. Yes, many items come in a nice gift box, tube or tin and sometimes it’s automatic. However, if it’s not automatic, are you inquiring if it could include a gift box even at an additional cost?

Presentation can mean so much to the recipient. And depending on the reason for the gift, the packaging should reflect that message. Obviously if it’s an inexpensive item that you are giving out to everyone walking by your booth at a trade show you don’t need to have a gift box. But you do want the item to reflect the quality of the brand being promoted.

When you are purchasing or recommending a promotional item, are you taking into consideration that this may be a gift (thank you for the business, referral or introduction of a new product or brand, or recognition of a job well done)? If so, shouldn’t it be packaged as one?

Packaging doesn’t mean just placing the promotional item in a box and thinking it’s complete. It can go far beyond that to further the message. For instance, the box itself could be imprinted with a message or logo. If the item needs to be protected within the packaging, maybe it has a foam or cardboard insert that could be imprinted?

What about including a logoed card and message in the box? That is easily designed and printed. Many vendor partners are more than willing to include items within the promotional item if they are delivered on a timely basis.

And what about actually wrapping the promotional item packaging? So many options here – logoed gift wrap, gift bags, ribbons & bows, stickers and tissue. We have many clients that have all of those packaging elements on hand so when a VIP is visiting or a sudden event has been planned they can wrap up an appropriate item easily.

We just produced a fabulous holiday gift for a client that included a very high end leather writing pad and pen. It was gift boxed (blank, no logo) and we took the writing pad inside and wrapped it in branded tissue and then sealed it with a gold logo sticker. The presentation said it all. This was a gift of appreciation.

sponsored by American Apparel

However, packaging isn’t only for gifting. What about when you are sending a package to solicit business? Packaging matters here even more because you need the package to be opened and your message received.

I ran into an old client (she had moved out of the area four years ago and is now back) recently at a charity event. As she was introducing me to her new company CAO (Chief Administrative Officer), the first thing she said was, “You should have seen the direct mail packages they used to develop for us.” Amazing. The direct mail programs were a small part of what we used to do for her previous company, but that’s what she remembered the most. Why? They were packaged for impact and got results.

The message started when the package was received because we would include a teaser message or image on the mailing label that was intended to entice the recipient to open the box. And yes, we didn’t just put the branded promotional item in the box. It was presented in the box. We’d use the logoed tissue or some shred in the logo colors and always had a card with a message included.

For example, we did a series of mailings for a cruise line that highlighted the many new benefits of cruising with them. One promoted the fact that you could get lobster every day on their cruises (it was limited on their competition). The inside card headline read: Can you EVER have TOO much Lobster? This was designed for reporters to get them to write articles about the initiatives. The phone would ring within minutes of the package delivery seeking more information.

And let’s not forget items that don’t need to be boxed… presentations and proposals. I have to admit, I think a company that gives out blank folders or slaps a label on a folder is not necessarily putting their best impression forward. You can do so much with a folder today. A tasteful logo hot stamp or deboss, all over color design, special die-cut shapes, pop-up sections and more. That way, the folder is selling just as much as the proposal may be.

So when you are putting together your promotional marketing plan don’t stop at the promotional items and think your plan is complete. Remember, the packaging is not just a delivery mechanism but can be an integral part of the sales message.

Danette Gossett is the founder of Gossett Marketing, co-founder of Promotions Rescource LLC and co-author of the best-selling book “Transform” with Brian Tracy. Danette utilizes her more than 30 years of advertising agency and corporate marketing experience to develop effective promotional campaigns and products for her clients. or and follow us on twitter @MarketngTidbits.