With a record-breaking number of small businesses formed in recent years, new brands are looking for every advantage they can find. Apart from product quality and customer service, your packaging is a powerful way to gain an edge and rise above industry rivals.
Packaging should be central to any small business strategy, whether selling goods to retailers or directly to consumers. It’s a chance to stand out, distinguish your brand, deliver a strong user experience, and keep shoppers returning for more.
Let’s check out 12 ways to make your packaging better than the rest and turn your small business into a resounding success.
1. Discover Flexible Formats
The old advice to think outside the box applies literally here. Standard containers made of paperboard and hard plastic are still good options for packaging, but flexible materials are more popular and effective than ever.
Before you commit to the typical lineup of rigid packaging options like cartons and boxes, check out some of the newer flexible packaging formats making waves in the small business world.
Materials like flexible polyethylene and Mylar have emerged as solid and versatile alternatives to the usual rigid formats, especially in industries like snacks, ingredients, cosmetics, components, cannabis, and other small business favorites.
Give customers a product with a distinct look and hands-on experience while benefiting from barrier properties and safety.
2. Outstanding Shelf Appeal
The power of shelf appeal can never be counted out, even in a retail landscape that balances brick & mortar with ecommerce and alternative shopping channels.
Even in click-and-collect markets, the appearance of your product matters, and packaging should give a strong first impression no matter the setting.
Knowing this, small businesses should emphasize the shelf presence and visual appeal of packaging to connect with shoppers immediately. Packaging should be attractive, inviting, and easy to engage with, including clear writing, instructions, and labeling.
It’s not always easy to translate shelf appeal into words, and some packages have that wow factor that can’t be measured numerically. We suggest testing out a few package types to see how they resonate with potential shoppers and discover the winning formula for yourself.
3. Unique User Experience
Innovative packaging is more than a sleek logo design and user-friendly format. The best small businesses give consumers an original experience with their product — that includes the style and structure of the packaging from start to finish.
Dymapak’s Twistspenser dispensing pen is a prime example of a packaging innovation transforming how users engage with an entire product category. While the format is similar to other applicators, its minor tweaks and design features give the Twistspenser an edge over the rest.
Customers will reward you with loyalty and recommendations even if you can make the user experience just 5 percent more convenient or enjoyable.
4. Familiar Brand Look and Feel
Branding begins with promotional materials and an online presence these days.
However, the packaging is where your brand’s best attributes are in the spotlight, allowing shoppers to interact face-to-face.
Once you’ve created a complete set of branding elements for your company, ensure these are applied to every type of packaging you develop. This will allow customers to gain familiarity with your brand and all its unique features.
When partnering with a packaging supplier, be sure they offer a complete set of customization features, including print capabilities with your logo and brand colors.
5. Ready for All Distribution Channels
The rise of new and varied distribution channels is good news for any small business, allowing you to scale quickly with fewer roadblocks.
However, this also means you’ll need a multi-tiered packaging strategy to bring products to market in a suitable format, size, and context.
For instance, a single order of your cosmetics product might make sense in a small twist-off tin container, but what about a large multi-unit package for a wholesale or retail setting? Don’t forget mailers and subscription boxes should also be part of your ecommerce plan.
In a multi-channel commerce world, one type of packaging isn’t enough. Be ready with several packaging plans based on the shipment size and the situation.
6. Interesting Interior Details
Your product experience is more than just scooping it off the shelf and breaking open the package for immediate consumption. Today’s customers value the unboxing experience like never before, savoring each moment and the small details within.
Including interior design details in today’s retail packages is a testament to this trend.
Brands now include hidden gems like messages, images, and easter eggs that build connections with customers and remind them that more fun is always around the corner.
When designing your packaging plan, see what interior printing options are available for your containers, pouches, tins, or any other format you have in mind. It’s a great way to distinguish your brand and keep customers returning.
7. Discrete and Private Packaging
Some products are better suited for a discrete and subtle packaging format, such as cannabis or other adult-oriented items. In these cases, small businesses can benefit from packaging that doesn’t draw as much attention and prioritizes functionality over visual flair.
Cannabis products, for example, can be elevated with minimal packaging that exudes quality and a premium feel. The product must be protected and kept private, ideally with opaque packaging and smell-proof barriers that keep everything under wraps.
In competitive markets like cannabis, discrete packaging may be the difference maker as brands strive to set themselves apart.
8. Proper Labels and Compliance
Navigating regulations around certain products is not the most exciting part of running a small business, but like taxes, it’s unavoidable.
Because industries like cannabis are changing fast in different regions throughout the country, it’s best to leave labeling needs to a trusted packaging partner. That way, compliance doesn’t become another part-time job on top of running your company.
If your packaging supplier can handle all the details of labeling and warning compliance for your packages, you can focus entirely on driving your business forward without worrying about legal issues. Ask any successful owner; that peace of mind is invaluable.
9. Durability, Longevity, and Preservation
When retailers are customers comparing products head-to-head, reliability is crucial. Buyers want to know that the product is built to last from the inside out, will hold up throughout the supply chain, and will fulfill its purpose until the end.
The truth is that many products are still flimsy and unreliable. This is your brand’s chance to raise the bar and deliver goods with sturdy, durable packaging for every stage of the journey.
This is especially important when dealing with perishable goods like foods, sensitive supplies, and cannabis. Think about longevity and durability to get a significant advantage in these markets.
10. Encourage Reusability
Single-use packages are still the most common and convenient. However, premium packaging inspires buyers to reuse and repurpose containers for different uses around the home and beyond.
Consider a decorative tin for specialty tea from abroad — you wouldn’t just ditch the beautiful container if you could use it for extra storage.
The more attention and investment you put into your packaging upfront, the more likely customers will keep your branded items around for the long haul, benefiting everyone
11. Step Up Sustainability
There’s no hiding that sustainability is required for businesses moving forward. The only question is: will you make the shift now or wait until the competition has a leg up?
While sustainability is a company-wide endeavor, it’s pretty easy to manage in terms of packaging. You’ve got options in flexible and rigid packaging that support recyclable solutions, and options like the Secure Sack Eco ensure no trade-offs in quality and function.
Position your small business as a leader in sustainability from the start, and you can gain an authentic following of eco-minded individuals that support you.
12. Ensure Child-Resistant Features
Safety is non-negotiable when breaking into any new market. The last thing you need is a compliance violation or an incident that tumbles into a PR nightmare.
With child-resistant features built into your packaging program, you can rest assured that each unit is tough and tested for safety in all retail and household environments.
The best child-resistant mechanisms are virtually impossible to open by children under five, meaning parents can avoid the risks of accidental ingestion in the house.
Putting safety first shows your brand is tuned into customer needs and the regulations at play in your industry.
Dymapak Is Your Trusted Packaging Partner
As a small business fighting for a position in competitive markets, there’s much to account for. You may not have considered the power of packaging to set your company apart, but this guide shows just how important it can be.
By working with a packaging supplier like Dymapak, you can streamline your entire packaging strategy, checking all the boxes discussed here and gaining a critical edge in a challenging new retail world.
Reach out today, and let’s give your products the star treatment they deserve.