Packing it in

You’ve heard me say that consistent branding is important and the message you send needs to target the right customers, but I haven’t yet mentioned something quite important.

A better brand will make you more money.

And nowhere is this more true than in packaging. 70% of purchases are made based on a decision when the customer is in front of the product, and customers are drawn to products that look good. Something that is packaged in an interesting and eye-catching way will therefore attract more potential customers than its bland competition. (I’m definitely guilty of buying a bottle of wine just because its label is cool even though it may not be the best or most cost effective one.) Packaging is also a key part of associating your product with your brand, through your look, feel, colour and logo and it needs to be memorable, with the right information depicted in a simple and obvious way. In short, it needs to tell the customer what the product is and what it represents in an attractive way.

My first real taste of impactful packaging was not in a shop, but in a mail order situation. I ordered a dress from a small start-up. Used to receiving my mail order clothing in roughly bundled plastic bags, I was amazed when my package arrived (very quickly). The box was clean and white, sealed with a warm orange sticker and inside, my dress was carefully wrapped in several layers of orange tissue paper, finished with a plain white ribbon and with a handwritten note telling me to enjoy my purchase. This didn’t cost the company much to achieve – a dollar and a minute of time – but I became a repeat customer solely on the strength of their presentation.

Unsurprisingly then, packaging is another key area of your business branding. While people may be familiar with your logo or website, there is no substitute for the first tactile impression that a customer gets of your product. It has to be consistent with the rest of your brand message. If your brand is rustic, unbleached card and raffia are in keeping. If you are minimal, a shiny white box will do the trick.

Either way, packaging your product appropriately needn’t be an expensive exercise. If your product is a textile, wrap it in a crisp card sleeve and print up a sticker with your logo on it. Or use an ink stamp. Tie with pretty ribbon, finished with a flower or button. Wrap in tactile tissue or print your own wrapping using ink stamps or paint stripes in the right colours. Buy a range of plain boxes in varying sizes and decorate with a wrap of bright paper. Print up a label for your fresh produce and tie a luggage tag round it. Use cut-out stamps from craft shops to create keyholes through which your product can be viewed.

All of these methods will work if they are in keeping with your brand, because they show that you have thought it through, taken care over it and made it stand out. And if it stands out, you’ve got a great chance of making that sale.


Caroline Leevers is responsible for the Handmade brand, including the website, Handmade Style, the newsletter and the online magazine. When she's not hanging out with the lovely Handmade team, she runs Callie & Co Design, a Canberra graphic design studio that crafts brands for small businesses. Her favourite things about Canberra are the seasons (especially Autumn), the big sky, the coffee and the great events.


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