What Every Entrepreneur Can Learn from Apple’s Packaging Strategy

If you’ve ever bought one of Apple’s iPhones or MacBooks, you know the feeling of opening up that box for the first time.

The colorful, life-size image on top. How smoothly the lid slides off. The little touches that show you someone spent an absurd number of hours designing just the packaging for this gadget.

It’s so good that it’s spawned a whole genre of “unboxing” YouTube videos.

But entrepreneurs and start-up founders don’t need Apple-level capital to create great custom packaging for their products. In fact, you can use the same design principles that Apple does to give your customers a great packaging experience.

We’ve helped entrepreneurs at every stage of their business transform their packaging in extremely cost-effective ways. Here’s how you can apply Apple’s packaging design principles to get a lot more bang for your buck.

Show, Don’t Tell

Most of Apple’s boxes feature a single, large image on the front.

No words at all.

It turns out the human brain processes images much more easily than text. When your customers see a picture of your product they can immediately grasp it and start to imagine themselves using it.

But that doesn’t mean you need separate packaging for every product like Apple. What it means is that whatever you want your packaging to communicate, start by considering how you can most effectively show it in image form so it can catch your customers’ attention right away.

Build Anticipation

One quirk of Apple’s big, beautiful product photos is that they actually look better than the product itself. At least when you first see it.

In the photos their products’ screens glow with colorful designs. But when you see the actual product inside its screen is dark and blank.

What those lively images do is help build up the customer’s anticipation. They can’t wait to get their new gadget out of the box, turn it on, and start playing with it.

Consider how your packaging can build a similar kind of anticipation. What would get your customers itching to open it up and see what’s inside?

Confirm the Buying Decision

There’s an old tool in the direct sales world called a “stick letter.”

It’s a written letter (or these days an email) that you send someone right after they first make the leap and become a client. Often it comes even before they’ve received whatever they paid for.

The goal is to affirm that their purchase was a great decision so they’ll stick with you.

The big images on Apple’s boxes act like a visual stick letter. They show the product at its most beautiful, reassuring the customer that they made a great decision before they even open the box.

Now imagine someone receiving your product in its current packaging. Will they immediately get that boost of confidence that they made the right decision?

If not, consider what would help make that happen?

Rep Your Brand

If the front of Apple’s boxes are usually dominated by a single image, the sides of the box are just as direct.

Each side will usually show either the product name, like “iPhone,” or the Apple logo. That’s it. By showing those brands prominently they reinforce them in the customer’s mind.

The more a customer sees and interacts with your brand, the stickier your brand will be to them. And the stickier your brand is, the more likely they are to think of it next time they need whatever your business is selling.

How is your current packaging reinforcing your brand? What would it look like to double your brand’s power on your packaging? How about to 10x it?

The Inside Matters, Too

When you open the box of your new iPhone, the first thing you see is the phone itself.

No manuals. No filler.

Just the product you paid for, right there for the taking.

It’s clear that Apple’s designers gave just as much attention to the inside of the packaging as they did to the outside. Maybe even more.

But you don’t need to hire a team of designers to create a similar effect. The old law that 20% of the effort creates 80% of the payoff comes in handy here.

What relatively small changes can you make to your packaging so the inside is just as great an experience as the outside?

Make it Happen Without All the Extra Expense

When most entrepreneurs think about custom packaging they imagine having to contract a dedicated agency or even hire a designer in house.

But that can bust your budget before you even start production.

Pacific Box Company has a team of designers that work with you to create the perfect custom packaging solution for your products. So you don’t need to spend your time and money hiring outside services.

We’ve helped hundreds of companies apply the best packaging design principles to give their customers a great experience—both before and after they open the box.

If you want to capture some of that packaging magic for your business, get in touch today and we’ll show you what’s possible.

Contact Us

Thank you for considering Pacific Box for your custom packaging and display solutions. We’re looking forward to learning more about your project needs.

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