Power of Packaging

Many luxury brands have established themselves through distinct signature packaging. Think Tiffany’s iconic blue box. This shade of robin’s egg blue has become so synonymous with the brand that the color has been named “Tiffany blue”. Of course, what’s inside the box is the main attraction, but what’s outside can create excitement and a lasting impression.

.Packaging matters. It’s a core component of building a relationship between a brand and the end user. It impacts shopping behavior, influences product satisfaction and motivates consumers in different ways.

Packaging design is a critical component in building a brand’s image and identity, whether B2C or B2B, cites the market research firm Franke+Fiorella. High quality printing, distinctive design that supports the brand strategy and unique materials can help engage users and differentiate a brand in a crowded marketplace.

In fact, MWV Packaging Matters research cites that 41% of people globally say packaging is important to their overall product satisfaction. That’s a significant number and it signifies just how influential product packaging can be. Are you harnessing the power of packaging?

Key Touch Point
An integral brand touch point, the packaging you choose goes beyond function to delight the senses through colors, materials, textures, and graphics. “Well-designed and clever packaging elevates and embeds a brand experience in and out of the store,” explains Pam Levine, Levine Luxury Branding, New York. “It plays a big part in perceived value. Beautiful packaging makes you feel good, especially when you’re buying luxury items, and particularly when it’s a gift.”

Packaging continues the branded experience long after customers leave the store. “Packaging plays a role as the final close of the sale and continues to project your image into the homes of the consumer,” says Andrew Kaplan, vice president of sales for Rocket Redbox, Bronx, New York. “It’s a golden opportunity for brands to not only capture the attention of those receiving the gift but also those viewing its presentation.”

It’s important for retailers to personalize their packaging to reflect their brand image, especially small retailers and manufacturers looking for ways to stay top-of-mind, Kaplan advocates. He notes that jewelers have many options in stock and customized packaging within their budget. “A good rule of thumb when determining your budget for packaging is to line up with the average price point of your store.”

Look to match the packaging to the item you’re selling, advises Emily Graffagnino, visual merchandising and packaging manager, Stuller, Lafayette, Louisiana. “It’s not uncommon to have a variety of packaging options in your store. You wouldn’t place a less expensive item in an expensive wooden box, you’d choose something more appropriate.”

Depending on the product category—be it bridal, silver, charms—jewelers are using different qualities of packaging, even different color schemes, while keeping consistent with their brand identity, says Patti Levi, vice president of sales for GemPak, a Quality Gold company, Dallas, Texas. Graffagnino also advises that the packaging match a jeweler’s inventory for the season.

Do More
With traditional packaging there are so many opportunities to add to the packaging to enhance the experience, says Levine. “People don’t expect more than a nice box. This is an area where jewelers can go beyond their customers’ expectations with a gift card, romance card, brand story, designer stories, branded guarantee, logo tissue paper and ribbon, different colors—make your packaging more important and take advantage of opportunities to further promote your brand and products whenever you can.”

It is becoming a growing trend for jewelers to do more in packaging to differentiate their brand in a crowded marketplace. GemPak, describes Levi, uses a lot of European papers in a broad range of colors to wrap its jewelry boxes. “It’s beautiful and soft to the touch, like suede, and not that expensive,” she says, noting that there are many ways to combine colors to always keep your presentation looking fresh.

Up your game, hails Graffagnino. For bigger selling seasons like the winter holidays or Valentine’s Day, jewelers need to do things to make themselves memorable, both during and after the sale. “Don’t be afraid to invest in extra touches that normally you wouldn’t. Jewelers may not offer gift-wrapping all year round but during the holidays when everyone is pressed for time think of the impression that would make. Consider including holiday cards as well.” She also touts tissue paper a must as it contributes to the experience. The receiver can see it, feel it, and hear it crinkle as they open the package. It adds to the excitement of what’s inside the beautiful package they’re about to open!”

Shipping & Handling
Perhaps the biggest change in packaging for the fine jewelry industry is the growth of ecommerce and the fact that more consumers are buying more products online. Jewelers should not miss this opportunity to continue their brand experience through the mail in much the same way they do over the counter.

“Jewelers must consider how purchases arrive at the house,” notes Denise Cabrera, product manager, display and packaging, Rio Grande, a Richline company, Albuquerque, New Mexico. “There are lots of shipping alternatives that can be customized for your brand and cost effective to send, from low profile boxes to jewelry cards in pouches that fit in a padded envelope. Beautiful packaging reinforces the feel good about the purchase.”

As more customers are getting into ecommerce and more products are purchased online, Levi finds that jewelers are easing into expanding their packaging presentation for shipping beyond generic boxes. “Many retailers are waiting to see how well their ecommerce business progresses before investing in special packaging for online sales.” But she reminds that every occasion retailers can leave a lasting impression is well worth the investment!