Choosing Materials for Sample Packaging
Think of product packaging as a brand’s “first impression” with a potential buyer. Even if you have a terrific product, subpar packaging can cause consumers to overlook your merchandise.The psychology of packaging goes far beyond design, colors, and logos. In fact, humans have a subconscious response to elements like materials, weight, and texture that determine their long-term buying habits.
That’s why it’s imperative to choose packaging material that catches buyers’ attention and makes a compelling case for your brand, and why it can also feel overwhelming to commit to a big first order without having seen what your packaging will look like.
In this article, we’ll discuss a wide variety of factors like cost, distribution, storage needs, and sustainability to help determine which sample packaging materials are best for you.
Rigid Gift Box
Give your products a polished appearance and protect your merchandise with a rigid gift box. Compared to folding cartons, rigid gift boxes are made from heavier, sturdier chipboard. First, the chipboard is cut to size, then it is formed and wrapped with a thinner paper that can be printed with artwork.
Rigid gift boxes are shipped fully formed so they take up more storage space and cost more to mail. However, the thicker material and sleek design create the perception of “luxury” for customers.
As a result, many people are willing to pay more for products with rigid gift boxes, which compensates for the additional cost of storage. These durable boxes will hold up under stress, keeping your products safe. Once the boxes arrive, they are fully assembled, saving brands money on labor.
If you sell high-end products like perfume, electronics, or jewelry, consider ordering sample packaging to see if custom rigid boxes are a good fit.
You’re probably familiar with folding cartons— simple paperboard packaging material that offers basic protection for products. Folding cartons are generally made from SBS or kraft paperboard, and artwork can be printed directly onto the surface. Direct printing is an easy and cost-effective way to brand your product. You’ll also save money shipping and storage costs because folding cartons are typically shipped flat.
Folding cartons are a great package material for basic consumer products like cosmetics. It won’t offer the durability of rigid boxes, but it’s a good fit if your products are not breakable. As with all sample packaging, it’s easy to get a few prototypes and trial different colors, sizes, and designs.
Litho Lam Corrugated
If you want to combine low costs, attractive graphics, and durable material, you may want to consider litho lam corrugated packaging.
Corrugated cardboard generally has two exterior layers and an internal fluted layer that increases durability. Brands use corrugated cardboard as the go-to shipping material because it is simultaneously lightweight and resilient. Artwork is typically printed on a sheet of paper and affixed to the outside layer that covers the corrugate.
Even better, you can print directly onto the exterior layer, which makes it easy to brand packaging with artwork.
There are no guarantees in long-distance shipping but corrugated boxes tend to withstand moisture, drops, and fluctuations in temperature.
As consumers see an increased demand for sustainability, brands are turning to recycled corrugated boxes to lower their carbon footprint and prevent deforestation.
The eye-catching printed surface lends itself to unboxing videos. In addition, corrugated cardboard is a great package material if you want to keep costs low and decrease the chances of broken merchandise. It ships and stores flat, so you won’t have to worry about finding excess warehouse space. If you’re really concerned about appearances, work with a packaging company to brainstorm low-cost branding ideas.
Polyethylene terephthalate plastic, better known as PET, is one of the most common plastic package materials. This food-safe plastic can be molded into virtually any shape using thermoforming and is very sturdy after the plastic dries.
PET’s versatility makes it a great option for oddly shaped products. Brands rely on its durability and light weight to reduce shipping costs and keep merchandise safe. Companies that sell edible products often use PET because it is food-grade.
Another great use case for PET is visually interesting products like toys and kitchenware. PET is generally transparent so it allows the product to speak for itself. Consider ordering sample PET packaging or incorporating a transparent PET window into your existing packaging.
Related Content: How to Add "Luxury" to Your Packaging
Point of purchase (or POP) displays are often the first thing you see when walking into a retailer. This broad category includes floor stands, trays, and countertop displays. You might want to consider a POP display if you bring your merchandise to multiple locations like markets or temporary storefronts.
Most designs use both litho laminates and folding cardboard. The laminate makes it easy to print your design or branding on the surface of the display.
Obviously, POP displays are different from the previously-mentioned sample packaging because consumers will not take the display home with them. Use a POP display to create a cohesive brand image for your company as a whole. Highlight different products and consider how your design bolsters your overall brand narrative.
Although they can be large, POP displays ship and store flat. Order an entire sample display or smaller samples to get a feel for materials, appearance, and size.
If you really want to wow prospective customers, consider a custom video box. Using a built-in screen and speaker, video boxes are an innovative solution for attracting attention. Similar to POP displays, you should think of a video box as a means to highlight your products, rather than a traditional package material.
Enlist your marketing team to produce a compelling video that both highlights your product, and displays samples as customers walk by. Samples can include different POP displays that highlight the video box, allowing you to completely reprogram whenever needed with an easy-to-use mini USB port.
Unsurprisingly, producing a professional video can be resource-intensive, but video boxes are virtually unrivaled for grabbing customers’ attention. They can be an especially good fit for products that require assembly like exercise equipment, so buyers can see the product in action.
Find the perfect packaging material to promote your product.
No matter what your company sells, a qualified packaging company can optimize your product with the perfect packaging material. Working with a company that provides a fast turnaround on high-quality sample packaging is a cornerstone of making the significant decision of which packaging will be best for your brand and products.
Folding cartons are cost-effective. Corrugated boxes provide great protection. PET offers potential buyers a glimpse of your merchandise. You can count on POP displays and video boxes to turn heads and attract new buyers. Or if you want to project excellence, consider a rigid gift box.
If you’re debating which type of material is best or simply want to see a well-rendered finished product sample before placing an order, reach out to an experienced packaging company and order no-obligation samples.