Packaging a punch!

Written by  //  June 18, 2014  //  Daily Juice  //  No comments

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Regiments with productsPackaging! Oh my! I have bought MANY things just because of gorgeous packaging. Maybe you have TOO?!

It’s tricky getting the packaging of our own stuff right though isn’t it?! YES! So I spoke to packaging wonder-woman Gwen Blake, Managing Director of Boxer & Co to get some tips.

Here they are PLUS she’s super-kindly given us three copies of her fab new book ‘Packaging A Punch’ to give to YOU! Details at the end!



Gwen, just how important is packaging when it comes to selling a product?

Well the Marketing Managers of large supermarket brands know exactly how crucial their product’s packaging is to its success. They pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into researching what makes their target customers tick and then making their product stand out on the supermarket shelf. They know that getting their packaging right can be the difference between their product’s success and failure.

But WE only have miniscule budgets. What can we do?

Of course you don’t have the budgets those big companies have, but there are lots of things you can do on a shoestring that will really help your packaging.

For a start, you need to think about the four main jobs that your packaging needs to fulfil.

  1. It needs to protect your product during transit.
  2. It needs to prolong the life of your product.
  3. It needs to present your brand to your customers.
  4. It needs to encourage sales.

Right, so looking at those one by one. What do we need to think about in regards to PROTECTING our product?

There’s no point in making the most beautiful and delicious cupcakes in the world if they can’t be safely transported home by your customers.

Ask yourself and your customers; is your packaging really up to its functional job? Speak to your customers and find out if the box you gave them with their purchase came up to scratch. Did it get their items home unscathed? Maybe call a couple randomly to check, or do a couple of test car journeys yourself. You’d be amazed at what a difference this simple thing could make to customers making repeat purchases from you.

Ok. Now what about prolonging the LIFE of our product?

If your product is food-based, you’ll want to ensure your packaging helps it to stay fresh as long as possible. Have a look around for the best containers possible – how do they seal, how to they re-seal? Does the product stay in the pack in people’s pantry or is it a fresh product that people take straight home and devour immediately? You’ll need to think and explore how your customers use your product to come up with the best solution to this challenge. If you’re making ice cream cakes – will the boxes fit in the standard freezer or cause your customers an ice cream headache?!

I get that we want our packaging to present our BRAND well to our customers, but what should we be looking out for?

Your packaging is such a critical brand touchpoint and says a million things to your customer about how you run your company. It’s important that your packaging presents your brand to your customers in the light that you want them to view it. The most important thing here is that it’s professional looking and well executed.

When Amelia McCarthy came to my agency, Boxer & Co. and asked us to re-design her Yummia brand Bircher Muesli packaging, it was with the specific purpose of presenting her brand in a more professional light, so she could approach bigger customers. She’s now stocked in Woolworths and Thomas Dux and her dollar spend on the professional packaging job has more than returned to her.

Yummia packaging by Boxer & Co

Yummia packaging by Boxer & Co

Kathryn Sutton, Founding Director of Sparkle Cupcakery credits her packaging as one of the most important elements of her business.

“Our customers rave about our packaging all the time.  When we first opened, we were unsure of the reaction we would receive. At first, customers LOVED the packaging and weren’t so jazzed about the cupcakes! I’m glad to say that shortly after we opened, we corrected our baking errors and the quality of packaging and contents are now a great match. We’ve had customers reuse packaging for their own home-baked cupcakes and pass them off as Sparkle, which I think is hilarious. I’ve seen Sparkle packaging in the home of friends, kept years after they ate the cupcakes, which is really lovely. I’m extremely passionate about brand and our packaging, the way we communicate what Sparkle is all about, is a very important element.”

Sparkle Giftbox

Sparkle Giftbox

And how can we get our packaging to encourage SALES?

If your product is going to sit on shelf and attempt to attract customers, you need to ensure your packaging works as hard as it possible to present your product in its best light.

A well designed pack will create some sort of ‘blocking’ on shelf. This means several packs working together to create an impact bigger than the sum of their parts. This can be done with a strong, solid colour that’s consistent across a whole range, or by shapes on the pack that create an impactful pattern when lined-up next to each other.

Packaging in a strong colour makes a statement about your product. Whilst words can portray more rational qualities like ‘no artificial colours’ or ‘high in fibre’, they are less powerful than, say, an olive-green coloured pack which says ‘I’m natural, well-balanced and trustworthy’.

Make sure you research the colour of your pack and be aware of no-no’s, such as blue being unappetizing and colours that have become to mean something in a category, such as red meaning dark chocolate and blue, milk chocolate. Consumers shop by colour, whether they know it or not.

You need to pick one thing that your pack is trying to say and say it well, using graphics, fonts, photography and colours. For example, that one message could be ‘Health’ or ‘Authenticity’ or ‘Quick and Easy’. Try and say too many different things with your packaging and you’ll end up saying nothing very well.

You don’t have to engage a specialist brand or packaging consultancy to help with your packaging first time around, but it might be something you consider once you’re seeing positive cash-flow to help take your business to the next level.

♥ Thank you Gwen! ♥

Packaging a Punch!

Packaging a Punch!

 Gwen’s book ‘Packaging A Punch’ is available from but you can WIN a copy! Just take a look at this week’s Snacks (if you don’t get it you can register here, it’s FREE!) and the details will be in there!

Gwen Blake is the Managing Director of Boxer & Co. packaging design agency and author of the recently published ‘Packaging A Punch’. Gwen has experience of helping both big supermarket brands and small entrepreneurial start-ups to create packaging that ticks all the right boxes.

PS. Gwen sent me the books and look how BEAUTIFULLY they are wrapped!


What a lovely parcel!

What a lovely parcel!


new snacks2

Fancy getting a weekly Snack of sweet stuff for your small business? Just pop your details in below.



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