How to use packaging to drive new business and repeat customers

Kristi Hines
Freelance Writer

Are you shipping physical products to your customers? Do you have unique packaging? If not, then you’re missing out on a huge marketing opportunity to drive both new and returning customers to your website to make more purchases. In this post, we’re going to look at ways you can use great packaging to market your business. We’ll also look at who is doing it right and learn how you can do it, too.

Why Unique Packaging Makes for Great Marketing

I’ll always remember the moment I was standing inside a UPS facility on Christmas Eve, waiting to find out if some last-minute purchases had made it on time for the holiday. There were three names that stood out to me: Amazon, Zappos, and Chegg. Why, you might ask? Because their boxes were stacked all over the UPS facility. There were plenty of others too, but theirs had the most unique branding—especially Chegg, with their bright orange, which really catches your eye next to common brown and white boxes.

Now there’s a good chance that your average customer will not find themselves standing inside a UPS facility (if they’re lucky). But there are plenty of other opportunities for people to see your packaging, including the following:

  • Sitting outside the door of someone’s house, apartment, or dorm room
  • Sitting on someone’s kitchen table, coffee table, or office desk
  • Pictured on their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram newsfeed, likely because their friend has just received something they ordered or their pet is being adorable while playing with the box
  • Inside a UPS store, waiting to be picked up or shipped out

And those are just a few of many opportunities for new potential customers to see your business’s packaging. There are plenty more opportunities for your current customers to be reminded of your business when looking at packages laying around their house, their office, or their garage.

The point is, packaging can be a great marketing tool, because it puts your business’s brand (and hopefully website link) in front of new and repeat customers. This opens the door to lots of new sales.

Examples of Unique Packaging That Markets Businesses

So who creates unique packaging for their business? Here are just a few great examples.



This creative photo by Noelas (viewed almost 4,000 times on Flickr) shows the usage of Amazon’s packaging to build a robot. It also shows how Amazon places their country-specific website link on their packaging with a call to action arrow directing your eyes towards it. (Read more here about Amazon’s frustration-free packaging and how it impacts customers’ first impression of the product.)



This cute photo by Alpha Chen shows how people love to photograph their pets in boxes. Zappos uses their boxes to feature their website link and their motto of being powered by great service.


— Sydney Stump (@sydneystump) August 28, 2013

In this photo, you can see Chegg’s branded box, complete with bright coloring, showcasing a Twitter user’s latest order. Imagine how many sales they drum up with their website link and caption of #1 in textbook rentals when people see this box outside another student’s dorm room.


Not sure what McPhee is? Anyone who sees this box is going to want to find out when they see the website next to the caption of “Freaking out the squares since 1983.” Aside from being an intriguing caption, it also tells anyone who sees their packaging that they are an established brand!



10448603_727423687296888_4284976736717935261_oPost by NatureBox.

Great packaging can work for your online marketing as well. Naturebox uses theirs in a beautiful cover photo for their Facebook page. It gets people’s appetites going for their snack, and shows how conveniently people can receive them in their mailbox.




In another example of creative photography + packaging, BarkBox shows their target customer enjoying their products, right down to the packaging. With a unique name like BarkBox, there’s almost no need to include a .com.

How to Get Unique Packaging for Your Product

The best part of custom packaging is that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune, and there are a few different ways you can go about it. Here are just a few ideas.

  • Custom Packaging – If you search Google for custom packaging, custom shipping boxes, or similar queries, you will find companies that create custom packaging for your business’s shipping needs. And it’s not as expensive as you might think, according to this post that addresses myths about custom packaging. If you really want to stand out, you can even add a special addition to your package — Flexfire LEDs recently added girl scout cookies to each shipment as part of the company’s innovative business principles.
  • Custom Stickers – Not ready to go with custom packaging just yet? You can also try companies that create custom stickers. Just come up with a design that includes your website address and stick them on to your packaging. If it’s a cool enough design, you can even include a few stickers inside your packages for customers to use and spread your business name even further.
  • Custom Stamps – Not into custom packaging or stickers? Try custom stamps. Just get a large one with your logo and website link and stamp it on each of your boxes before shipping. It’s a cost effective solution for businesses that are just starting out and not ready to invest in bulk solutions.

Dare to be different

As you can see, having unique packaging has its benefits. Plus, thanks to having a handful of options to choose from, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to implement. Just give it a try and start attracting customers everywhere your packages go today!