Presentation is everything. Let me say it again “Presentation is everything”. That can’t be stated enough. If you are an emerging brand in the indie t-shirt industry right now you either have to come with it or find a comfortable place in obscurity. The market is full of great small to mid-size brands with a growing number of power companies. Getting noticed isn’t as simple as building a site with great (notice I didn’t say good) product photography and cool t-shirt designs. You really need to look outside the t-shirt box and find ways to wow your fans. One way to achieve the wow factor is with your product packaging.
Often overlooked, product packaging is your brand’s first physical interaction with your customer. Creative and well branded packaging can make the difference between creating an active fan or a passive one. Active fans post photos, tweet about your new releases, tell their friends and show up at your events with a fist full of dollars. Passive ones are a little more fair weather. Which type of fan do you want?
Creative packaging doesn’t have to break the bank either. It just needs to communicate your brand, aesthetic and message. Here are a few creative packaging ideas that won’t empty your pockets but will require a little of that DIY spirit.
- Stickers– Most brands include stickers inside of their package as swag. But what about putting them on the outside of the box? Stickers are fairly cheap and many companies offer a variety of sizes, finishes, colors and shape options. If your budget is extremely tight and you have decent drawing/ design skills you can create your own using contact paper or some similar adhesive. If your budget allows for some wiggle room hit up a company like Sticker Mule or Sticker Robot to handle your printing needs. The time investment upfront depends on your design skills and how complex you want your sticker to be. However after that you can brand a box or mailer in seconds.
- A Custom Stamp– Like the sticker idea, designing a stamp will depend on your brand aesthetic and design skills. A stamp can be small enough to stamp in the top corner of an envelope or large enough to stamp on the top of a box. If you’re really creative you can carve your own stamps and stamp branded elements all over the box in multiple colors. Many companies online offer custom rubber stamps (check out rubberstamp.net) as well as some local print shops and places like staples. A quick google search will return dozens of tutorials on stamp carving.
- Screen Printing/ Stencils– This idea requires much more physical effort than the others but with the right execution you can create truly unique custom packaging. You may also spend a little more money buying supplies. All of these methods require you to spend time creating a nice logo or other branded elements. Screen printing your packaging will allow for greater details and more crisp designs. However, stenciling has a less complex set up and greater flexibility in accommodating different packaging sizes. Teaching screen printing and stenciling is beyond the scope of this article but there are dozens of sites dedicated to these topics. Most of the supplies you’ll need can be easily purchased at craft or hobby shop. Replacement supplies for the Yudu machine are perfect for your screen printing needs.
These are just basic ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Standing out in a sea of brands is increasingly important for achieving success. Remember you aren’t just selling a product you are creating and experience. Your product packaging is the beginning of that experience. Make it worth your customers hard earned dollars.