Along with the emergence of the unboxing video has come a new marketing opportunity.

Using branded packaging materials can garner lots of impressions for you as yet another happy customer shares the joy of opening one of your packages with all of their friends online. This can work regardless of whether you sell furniture online, electronics or even cosmetics.

Now, before you think you can’t afford to take advantage of this opportunity, consider these cost-effective ways to brand your packaging.

Know Your Customer’s Expectations

Know Your Customer’s Expectations

It’s important to get to know your customer before you settle on a packaging design—particularly when cost is an issue. To maximize the efficacy of your spend, you’ll need to be sure your product hits the customer where they live.

If you’re dealing with high-end clientele and a big-ticket product, you need to make sure the presentation matches the purchase price, or you’ll risk alienating the buyer before they open the item.

On the other hand, if you’re marketing environmentally friendly goods with concern for the planet as one of your key differentiators, your packaging can be more down to earth (so to speak).

Printed Tape/Branded Labels

Still though, within those concerns, there remains room to add a “wow” factor to your packaging with minimal cost outlay. Branded tape and labels are smart plays in this regard.

They can be ordered in minimal quantities—which is great when you have yet to get a handle on the volume to expect. You can adorn boxes using this strategy, without spending a lot of cash printing directly onto them.

Easily personalized, you can print your name, logo, contact information and any other messaging you’d like to convey

Wrap around labels have a lower cost of production compared to self-adhesive labels and allow higher labeling speeds.

Creative Inserts

This is an especially smart way to re-engage a customer after they’ve received their product.

Your inserts should express appreciation for the buyer’s patronage—as well as introduce them to additional products they might like. If you sell furniture online and they just bought a sofa for example, you can include a book of accessories to give them decorating ideas.

In addition to promoting repeat business, such inserts help personalize the transaction and create a more human connection. Plus, it’s considerably less expensive (and gives you more versatility of usage) to put together a nice-looking insert than it is to print custom boxes and packing materials.

Custom Stamping

Until you can afford to have your boxes and packaging materials custom printed, consider going with a rubber stamp. This way you can use standard boxes and still have them ship bearing your imprimatur.

Yes, this will be a bit more labor intensive, but you can always pack the boxes first, then stamp them carefully after sealing them with your custom tape.

Colorful Boxes

Colorful Boxes

Your shipping boxes don’t have to be brown pasteboard. You can buy boxes in all sorts of colors. Just choose one that’s complementary to the color scheme you established for you online presence. This will subliminally tie the look of the package back to that of your eCommerce store, which will be further reinforced with your custom tape, rubber stamp and creative inserts.

It also affords you the opportunity to leverage the look of your eCommerce site to ensure branding continuity throughout the purchase process. This is just as true whether you build a site from a blank screen, or take advantage of one of the free templates offered by a company like Shopify.

Unexpected Packing Materials

Unexpected Packing Materials

Depending upon the nature of your business, you might be able to substitute vintage wallpaper, aluminum foil, old maps, or any of a number of other materials. Get creative with it; think in terms of complementing your brand identity to see what you can do.

These are but a few of the many cost-effective ways to brand packaging. Remarkably, while you might start off doing it this way because you can’t afford to go all out with customization, you might find these methods to be so effective you won’t need to spend a lot of money in this area.