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If you take a look at Instagram, you’ll find over 475,000 posts tagged #unboxing. And since 2010, YouTube videos with “unboxing” in their title have increased 871%. There is no denying the power of social media when it comes to your packaging!

To harness it, though, it’s helpful to understand exactly what makes packaging shareable on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Quite simply, you could say that consumers are looking for a unique unboxing experience. But that begs the question: what makes for an amazing unboxing experience? Here are some important elements to consider when designing your custom boxes or mailers, as well as a little user generated packaging inspiration.

Including fine details that speak to the ideal client

To create an extraordinary branded packaging experience, you want to speak to the person opening the box on a personal level. And to do that, you need to understand just exactly who this person is: your ideal client.

You’ll want to know everything possible about them, from their age to where they live to their beliefs and their struggles. If you have a clear vision of them, then it’s not only infinitely easier to catch their attention—you can also make more informed decisions on everything related to your packaging, like the copywriting to the colors you use.

Take, for example, the toys from TAIT Design Co. are proudly made in the U.S.A. Not only do they cleverly mention their products are “Made by hand by humans in Detroit,” but they include a circular shape on their boxes, a reflection of the shape and size of the yoyo inside. These instantly capture the child at heart in all of us, and boast an American pride.

And when you consider that 73% of people share information on social media in hopes to connect with others who share their interests, then this also means their user generated content can help you reach other potential customers as well. Those little details transform the experience into something delightfully personal and much more shareable.

Using the available space wisely

When designing your custom mailers or boxes, no space should go overlooked. This doesn’t mean you need to cover every square inch with graphics or text; instead, it simply means you want to design every detail with attention and care.

It helps to consider the box as a whole as well as each of the small sections of it, like the sides or the inside flaps. This is where creating a memorable unboxing experience is especially easy with Packlane—we offer double-sided printing so you can print on any of the surfaces, outside or in. SYPCOFFEE did a great job communicating to their ideal client with some teaser text on the outside as well as more personal information inside, creating a truly memorable opening ceremony.

Having an on-point color palette

In 2017, it’s predicted that around 223 million people in the U.S. use smartphones. When you think of the average consumer, this person won’t be hiring a professional for the content they put online. Instead, they’ll pull out their smartphone, snap a few pics, and post it on their favorite social media platform.

A strong color palette helps express your company’s values and brings them to life. This goes beyond bright colors that pop on the screen. When thinking about how to make your packaging social media friendly, you need to find the balance between something that is eye-catching but also true to your brand.

So what colors will you choose for your packaging to create a cool unboxing experience? Luckily, Packlane prints in CMYK, so truly any color is possible. We especially enjoyed printing Seed to Serum’s, which got a bit of a golden touch using only our CMYK printing. The result, inspired by the healing power of rose quartz, is dreamy and subtly feminine.

Providing a tactile experience

Communicating texture on a screen that fits in the palm of your hand definitely poses a challenge. But while textures won’t necessarily translate to photos all the time, it truly enhances the experience of holding the box in person. This magical feeling is what will prompt a consumer to share on social media.

Consider the way a Packlane box with a silky Dreamcoat finish might feel: luxurious and sleek. What about our signature Kraft boxes? Down-to-earth and cozy. It’s a small—yet very noticeable—difference in photos, and the materials play a part in highlighting different aspects of your brand. And no matter what finish you choose, Packlane uses high quality materials, so it will always feel just as beautiful as it looks.

Imagine receiving wedding photos in the mail after the big day. It’s certainly exciting, and Ashleigh Bing has taken it a step further to make it a truly luxe experience. With matte black boxes, it feels velvety and looks extra elegant to the recipient.

Featuring fonts that speak for themselves

Just like the other design elements that go into your custom packaging, font choice is a physical representation of your brand. Yes, there are the words it will spell out—but how does your font speak for itself?

For the sake of social media, consider what your packaging will look like photographed by the consumer and shared on a tiny phone screen. An extravagant, flowery script might be incredibly challenging for people to read, so choose a font that offers both form and function.

Statusphere takes a simple, clean approach to their packaging, and their font choice. The geometric logo is reflected in the modern, skinny sans serif font that is extra large and easily noticeable from afar.

If you’re worried about what text will look like on your final packaging, Packlane offers a 3D preview to let you get a sneak peek. You’ll get the chance to view this immediately so that you can make edits and changes, perfecting it for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more!

Adding in social media handles or hashtags on your packaging

If you want packaging shared on social media, then don’t be afraid to encourage sharing. After all, social media is intended for just that: to be social. By encouraging consumers to join in on the conversation, it gives you the unique chance to get the word out there without having to do the legwork.

User generated content also lets you interact with your own clients and make your brand feel more like a community than just a product you sell. You may consider sharing posts from your consumers on your own social media platforms, since people actually consider it to be more trustworthy than branded content.

An example is bright and bubbly Oui Fresh, which has all around adorable packaging, with playful graphics and fresh font choices. Inside, they clearly have their hashtag listed so there’s no question what to do when you receive this lovely box in the mail.

Bottom line: extending the brand experience

If you want your customers to share your custom packaging on social media, you want to think of it as more than merely the box a product comes in. Imagine the possibilities you have to expand on the ethos of your brand, think of the ways in which you can pleasantly surprise the consumer, and design custom packaging with every small part in mind.

When you’re ready to take your client on this journey, explore Packlane’s interactive design lab and start creating packaging for your company. And don’t hesitate to reach out—we’re happy to help you make boxes or mailers that will give your consumers the full brand experience.

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Mark Wilson
Inbound Marketing Manager
Mark Wilson is the Inbound Marketing Manager at Packlane and the Editor of Packlane’s custom packaging blog. He’s passionate about email marketing, copywriting, and blogging. In his spare time, he reads too many email newsletters.
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Mark Wilson
Inbound Marketing Manager
Mark Wilson is the Inbound Marketing Manager at Packlane and the Editor of Packlane’s custom packaging blog. He’s passionate about email marketing, copywriting, and blogging. In his spare time, he reads too many email newsletters.
follow me
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