Does Packaging Really Matter? : The Maker's Business Toolkit

Does Packaging Really Matter?

As a tiny business you have a lot of things to focus on every day.

Packaging is a great way to personalise and brand your work and give your customers a really great experience when they order from you online.

Gift wrapping, enclosing some sweets, coloured envelopes, confetti are all suggestions I have heard but sometimes it can feel like you need to do ALL of these things, all at the same time.

Sometimes it can feel a little bit like that scene from Love Actually where Rowan Atkinson does the ridiculous gift wrapping for Alan Rickman.

Is it all over the top and does anyone really want their order delivered covered in rose petals and finished off with a sprig of holly?

I think the most important thing to consider when deciding on your packaging options is to consider whether it adds to the customer experience, or whether they really don’t care.

Are you “branding your work” or are you really just feeling insecure about your work?

Are you thinking you have to do it simply because everyone else seems to be?

Do you have the time for the extra wrapping (especially important to consider if you don’t have any help packing orders)?

Can you afford to include the extra costs in your prices (and YES you absolutely must recover these costs in your prices)?

Let’s look at some things you might want to consider.

Packaging is branding.

Your packaging gives you another opportunity to emphasise your brand and show your logo, website address, brand colours and fonts etc.

This all helps with brand recognition, trust and just generally getting people to remember you.

Sometimes it can be great to send your products in brightly coloured boxes because everyone remembers the brand who sends out their products in the lovely boxes.

It also can help people to feel good about their purchase. “I knew this would make an awesome gift. Look at the adorable ribbon on this box. Jessica is going to be thrilled by this.”

But can you afford it?

But….and this is a big but, you must account for these costs in your pricing. Absolutely no sending stuff in £5.00 boxes and just absorbing the costs yourself. You have to add it on to your prices. And make sure you include VAT and delivery for those boxes too.

Branded packaging is a great thing to do for your business, but an even better thing to do, is to make yourself profitable. Don’t absorb costs you can’t afford in order to keep up with what everyone else is doing.

Are you doing it to make people like you?

Because we make the things we sell with our own two hands, using our heart and soul, sometimes it can all get a bit weird in the confidence department.

We can find ourselves feeling really uncomfortable and uneasy and we think we’re not good enough to be doing what we do. Maybe we worry our thing isn’t good enough to be selling or we become convinced that anyone who buys it online will immediately want to return it.

And what do we do in that situation? We try to stop people from yelling “this thing sucks!” by giving them a pretty box. We try to fill the not-enoughness with ribbons and tissue paper and confetti and vintage sweets and free samples.

Don’t do it. You are enough. Your lovely product is enough. You don’t need to give so much. Do it if it feels good, but don’t let it become a burden.

If you are struggling with this, check out this fabulous video from money expert Denise Duffield-Thomas about selling your stuff. 

Your packaging is definitely an important element of your brand strategy but it needs to be approached from a solid business perspective, rather than a place of insecurity and comparison.

The packaging you choose has to make sense for your business, both in terms of name recognition and trust, and also in terms of profit.

Make it on-brand and consistent, make it delight your customer, but make sure it works for you too.

Don’t get into a mindset whirl over this or start comparing yourself with others. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. It just needs to work for you and your customers

I'm Nicola Taylor

I’m the founder of Maker’s Business Toolkit and I help artists, makers, and handmade business owners to make more money with less stress.

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