Custom retail packaging is all the rage these days. The customer is king, and retailers are scrambling to meet their desires. But what does this mean? It’s not just about selling a product in an attractive package. It’s about understanding the customer, meeting his needs, and creating a personal bond with him. So how did we get here? What has led to the recent explosion of wholesale, retail packaging? And what will happen next? Let’s take a look at some history that might help us answer those questions…
Custom Retail Packaging: The Customer Is King
Retailers and manufacturers used to sell their products in plain paper boxes. They were functional but not very exciting. But on the other hand, they didn’t have to be – it was enough that the product was being sold at all! That’s how it went for millennia, until the 1950s when things began to change…
The Birth Of Custom Retail Packaging
Up until this point, stores sold items out of bins or off shelves. Still, some enterprising retailers began selling food in attractive wrappings. A new practice emerged – retail merchandising. This meant that rather than leaving everything up to chance – just putting a display next to an aisle with your product inside – you’d plan where to put your products to draw attention and create a selling atmosphere. Retail merchandising is still considered one of the most important parts of marketing today.
The next big change came in the 1960s with the rise of supermarkets. These stores are much larger than older shops because they appeal to customers’ desire for convenience by offering many different types of products in one place, not to mention bigger and more varied selections. But this presented a new problem: since products were so far apart, how could retailers effectively merchandise their goods? Fortunately, some bright minds discovered that they could use all sorts of techniques to draw attention to certain products over others – bright lighting, attractive displays, and even music could all be used to design a certain atmosphere.
Custom Retail Packaging Is Born
Retail merchandising was the beginning of what we now know as custom retail packaging boxes – but moving products around isn’t nearly enough. Once you start designing attractive displays, you can use those displays to make your products stand out in other ways – with eye-catching color schemes, logos, customized stickers…in short, taking advantage of all the techniques that make up effective branding. And if you brand something well enough (which includes making it look good), then you can increase its perceived value too! This is why companies like Starbucks spend so much money on customizing their coffee cups, for example. When someone buys a cup of Starbucks coffee, he’s not just buying a cup of coffee – he’s also getting an accessory that makes him feel good about himself. In fact, this is really what custom retail boxes have always been about:
In the 1980s, when retailers began selling items in big plastic packages instead of paper boxes, they used fancy logos and designs to show that these products were much better than the competition. So, if you bought a bottle of Coca-Cola in a plastic package in the 1980s. You weren’t just buying a drink – you were showing that you wanted to be associated with their brand! This was especially true in Europe, where shops started selling soft drinks and other grocery items wrapped up like presents on shelves, making them all the more enticing.
Supermarkets have always been fiercely competitive with one another.
You might think that the “prettier than everyone else” approach would be welcome by supermarkets, who could compete on price alone – but you’d be wrong! Supermarkets have always been fiercely competitive with one another, and they hated how their flashy competitors were attracting customers away from them. So, to fix this problem, most of them adopted a new marketing tactic called Private label. This means that instead of rebranding a product with their fancy design, supermarkets simply put their company logo on top of basic custom retail packaging boxes and sold it for lower prices than the competition. For example, since Kraft owned most European supermarket chains, many agreed to sell lots of their products in the same basic plastic packaging they used.
This left many companies wondering how to stand out from their competitor’s –a problem that was only made worse by the rise of large national brands like Amazon and Walmart, which set strict standards for all their wholesale retail packaging suppliers. These standards usually involved extremely high minimums for discounted wholesale prices. Which basically forced smaller businesses to sell everything at lower prices or risk going under. This meant that most retailers now had to compete on price alone – with no room for fancy displays or logos. But as luck would have it, some bright minds discovered something new about branding.
In conclusion, wholesale, retail packaging has always been about branding. Whether you’re putting together a display to make your products stand out or simply designing attractive packaging for your wholesale items, branding is always key. And if you do things right, people will be more likely to buy the product because of its fancy packaging – which means it can command a higher price.