Many adults dream about giving up their day job and launching their own small businesses. While self-employment like that has its attractions, it also comes with a rather fierce level of competition from the other approximately 33.2 million small businesses in America. You must diligently look for every way that you make your small business stand out. One option that far too many business owners overlook is their packaging solutions.
After all, customers take your packaging home with them or get it in the mail. It’s an ideal opportunity to help cement your brand in their minds.
Keep reading for some of the ways that packaging solutions can help you differentiate your business from your competitors.
A lot of packaging material goes directly from a customer’s home into a local landfill, but not all customers are happy about that situation. In fact, many customers now go out of their way to find and even spend more to get products from companies that embrace sustainability.
Small business packaging is one area where you can make incremental steps in that direction. For example, you can start by switching to packaging made from recycled materials. It’s often the easiest switch to make.
You can redesign packing for your products so there is less wasted space. Your packaging takes less material, so there is less potential waste that can end up in dumps.
You can even go in for novel materials, such as corn starch packing peanuts that break down in water.
A lot of small business owners end up creating their own logos and doing their own package design out of raw necessity. They can’t find it in the budget to hire a graphic designer in those incredibly lean first few years.
Once you get a steady stream of customers, though, it’s worth revisiting that choice. Some customers will look past a somewhat amateur design and consider the business for the quality of its products. Some customers will look at those amateur graphics and write a business off as a fly-by-night operation doomed to failure.
Bringing in a professional artist for your marketing collateral offers several benefits. Right off the bat, you get a logo or other images that look professional. It adds an almost subliminal sheen to your business that’s hard to replicate any other way.
Beyond that, though, you typically get all of that collateral in multiple file formats. That lets you import or export those images for use in multiple scenarios.
For businesses that aren’t ready to commit to, for example, getting custom boxes printed up, custom labels are an excellent middle ground. You can import that logo you had professionally designed and use a label printer to run off 100 or 1000 of them.
You can slap that logo label onto the side of every box that you ship out of your business. Not only does it reinforce your brand with your existing customers, but it can also serve as a kind of secondhand advertising for anyone who sees the boxes.
Plus, that kind of printing is no longer the sole domain of print shops. You can find a label printer for small businesses that likely falls within your budget.
If you use sustainable materials, you can also print a label for each box that talks about the materials in the packaging. It reinforces your commitment to sustainability in customers’ minds, which matters to a lot of people these days.
Thank You Cards
While a lot of packaging concerns center on the shipping box itself, you can also find ways to stand out with what you put into the box. A simple way to stand out is with a basic thank you card that goes into every package.
It’s an extra touch that many companies overlook or simply neglect. You can take this option to the next level by personally signing each card, although there are practical limits to that option.
If you ship hundreds of packages each week, you can’t realistically do that. If you sell a small number of high-ticket items, though, you can reserve signed cards for those orders.
The simple addition of a thank you card can help solidify the customer’s relationship with your brand and encourage future purchases.
It’s also a great way to encourage further engagement with your business or brand. You can remind people to, for example, connect with your business on social media.
A variation on the thank you card is the offer card. In fact, your card insert can pull double duty on this front. The card can include a thank you message, as well as provide the customer with some kind of offer.
A fairly standard option is a discount on their next order. You can also provide some kind of exclusive for customers only.
Let’s say that you run a restaurant. You might provide a link to a video that walks customers through preparing a popular appetizer on your menu.
What if your business makes and sells beauty supplies? You might create an exclusive report on mixing and matching your products for the best effect with different skin tones.
The idea is that offer should make the customer feel special in some way. The more special a customer feels, the more likely it becomes that they will talk you up to their friends and provide repeat business.
Packaging Solutions and You
You have many packaging solutions available that can help you stand out. Sustainability is a big deal for many customers. You can cater to that with sustainable packaging.
You can stand out with inserts in your packages, such as thank you cards and offer cards. You can take those up a notch by hand-signing some or offering exclusive content.
You can stand out with custom designs you include on your packaging through custom printing or with printed labels you make in-house.
TCS Digital Solutions specializes in business label printing equipment and supplies. For questions about our products, contact TCS today.