Case study roundup - five neat examples of creative custom postal packaging
At Lil Packaging, we’re lucky enough to work with some amazing brands, with amazing products. We love a challenge, and creating the ideal packaging for our clients — whether luxury fashion or children’s toys — ensures the items inside are protected and presented to buyers beautifully. This is an essential part of any modern brand’s marketing strategy: with packaging to impress, brands can build anticipation and enhance their image — turning a one-off purchaser into a loyal customer.
But what exactly does it take to replace basic with brilliant packaging? With so much competition in online shopping, here’s an insight into how we’ve helped our customers’ packaging stand out from the crowd, and really deliver an unboxing experience to remember.
Eye-catching outer packaging is no use if items don’t arrive in pristine condition. With the world’s most famous model train manufacturer, we found the first rule for custom packaging: always ensure that your items arrive safely, securely, and intact.
When Hornby came to us, the company’s packaging wasn’t quite hitting the mark in their eyes. Model trains sent out in mailer and bubble bags were prone to damage, and when using boxes, the company was going through mountains of filler to bulk out the ‘dead air’.
A more efficient use of cardboard boxes, in the form of our Lil Mailboxes, was the solution. Featuring an easy-to-assemble flip-top closure, they were ideal for the shape of model trains. Tough and available in variety of sizes, the boxes also offered optimum protection, removed the issue of dead air, and were 100% recyclable — slashing the companies need for both void fill and plastic envelopes.
What to take on board from Hornby’s strategy:
- Avoid filler: rubbish detracts from the unboxing experience. As consumers seek out sustainable brands more and more, padding your packages with packing nuts or paper may mean the difference between a return customer and a one-time purchaser.
- Great design is kept simple: a Hornby model train is extremely valuable. To avoid advertising their boxes’ contents, the company opted for a Hornby-red exterior, without any logos. Like an inside joke between Hornby and the recipient, the company’s classic choice of red meant the customer knew what waited inside the box — but no one else did.
Drop Dead Clothing
In fashion, image is everything, and aesthetics are paramount. From your garments to your colour palette and brand’s tone — everything is meticulously thought through. So why stop with your packaging?
Drop Dead Clothing specialises in high-end, edgy, limited edition fashion. This meant that the flimsy, plain mailer bags they used to ship their clothes really didn’t suit. So we upgraded this with our Lil Mailboxes — custom printed with a striking, minimalist, black and red design.
To create a similar type of packaging experience, it’s worth bearing in mind:
- Luxury packaging doesn’t have to be costly: offering reliable protection, the Mailbox is relatively inexpensive and great for shipping clothing. It also frees up some budget for customisation.
- Pop-up opening is shareable on social: want your brand to do well over social? The flip-top ensures a hassle-free reveal and a consistently presentable unboxing experience, which comes across great onscreen.
Natural History Museum
A growing product range is a sign that your business is growing. It also raises a practical problem: how do you provide packaging for different shapes and sizes — without your premises being inundated with cardboard?
The Natural History Museum’s packing area is surprisingly small, tucked secretly away in its basement. However, the online audience for the museum’s eclectic selection of gifts was growing and the limited range of cardboard boxes they had wasn’t working. This meant a time-consuming packing process, with heavy use of filler to fill in the dead-air pockets.
Bukwrap is a close-fitting, high-strength cardboard wrap; ideal for books, art frames, and other physical media. Twistwrap is a similar solution, great for toys, gifts, and other retail-boxed items. NHM introduced both, and the packing process became quicker, easier and less reliant on filler — ensuring that customers now receive better-fitting packages with less damage.
Rough Trade: an iconic brand delivered to your doorstep
For decades, Rough Trade has been an independent purveyor of amazing music. These days, as well as having four UK stores and one in the US, it also caters for vinylphiles worldwide through their online store. So when they needed a way to keep their vinyl out of harm’s way, while still maintaining that iconic brand imagery, they came to Lil for advice.
We settled on our FLP flatpack vinyl mailers, custom printed with Rough Trade branding — including a stunning collage of iconic album covers. Effortlessly stylish, it’s achieved with a single colour print (useful to keep costs down) — and fits seamlessly with the brand’s look.
Cadbury: letterbox-friendly treats
Before you say your margins are too low for custom packaging, our work with Cadbury might surprise you. We all love a selection box, but Cadbury decided to go one better with a mailable box of goodies that customers could send to their loved ones. Using light yet tough kraft cardboard, we came up with a versatile, bespoke cardboard wrap that could accommodate multiple combinations of their famous chocolate bars. And here’s the difference expert custom input can make: the end packaging product resulted in combined mailing costs at less than 80 pence per unit.
So, when considering bespoke packaging, remember:
- It can help keep shipping costs down: working closely with Cadbury, we were able to create a box that measured in at less than 2.5cm depth: the maximum thickness for Royal Mail large letters.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can take your packaging to the next level with customisation, head over to our bespoke packaging service for more information. Alternatively, if you want to find out what we’ve done for some more of our past clients, head over here.