noissue custom DTC packaging set by Tarta Gelatina
Building a DTC brand involves more than just coming up with a great product. As a DTC founder, you’re responsible for the full picture, which includes everything from designing a product, to finding suppliers, to post-purchase customer service.
While the onus is on you to generate traffic and online sales, once you acquire a customer or build an email list, that data is yours. This, and the full control you have over your brand, is one of the many benefits of this distribution model.
The downside is that acquiring customers is becoming increasingly more difficult to do with higher ad costs and increasing competition. Standing out in a busy market means putting your best foot forward, and having a strong brand foundation is the first step.
Here, we’ll discuss ways to use custom DTC packaging and printed marketing materials to strengthen your brand in the minds of your customers and meet your goals.
Branding your business with DTC packaging
What makes someone buy your skin cream or dog bed over a competitor’s product? Aside from features, the choice often comes down to brand. Does the lifestyle your brand promises align with that of the customer? Does your visual identity resonate with your target audience? Product and shipping packaging can help tell your story.
Why custom ecommerce packaging is essential for online businesses
Your brand voice, founder story, and mission can all build trust in a customer and help win a sale. But your visual identity is also a strong motivator. When your brand colours and design decisions show up consistently across your website, socials, and packaging, your brand appears more professional.
Boxes, tissue, stickers, and marketing materials can all be customised to your design specs — and it’s an easy way to give your brand that extra polish and build affinity.
Custom DTC packaging can also benefit your business by:
- Protecting products during shipping with a branded alternative to generic packaging
- Creating a unique and shareable unboxing experience (increased chances of generating UGC and reviews)
- Cementing your brand in the minds of your customers
- Alerting customers to new products, promotions, or contests (using Custom Cards)
- Conveying product information like sustainability features or installation instructions
- Linking to landing pages, social pages, product information, and promos (using QR-compatible products) to encourage customers to engage with your brand post-purchase
- Demonstrating your brand’s sustainability commitment (when using sustainable packaging like Compostable Mailers).
DTC packaging essentials
Think beyond boxes! There are many packaging solutions that can be customised depending on your product and marketing and shipping needs. Let’s walk through several DTC packaging options and their benefits, with real examples to inspire you.
Packaging for shipping: Mailers, tissue, tape and boxes
When the outside looks as good as the inside, customers know they’re in for a treat. And as your packages change hands during delivery or get recycled into another purpose, your brand travels with it, sparking curiosity.
Mailers are an alternative to boxes and perfect for DTC brands selling paper goods, clothing, or other products that pack flat. There are a number of options, depending on your needs from bubble mailers for extra protection to compostable mailers that support your brand’s commitment to sustainable practices.
✨ Example to inspire: Designer and maker Joanne Hawker ships her products in branded custom mailers that feature her own art.
Custom boxes give your business a professional edge from the moment your customer receives their package. Boxes are a great solution for DTC brands that sell a single product or products roughly the same size. It simplifies fulfilment and can save on waste (say, printing QR codes or info right on the box instead of including inserts).
✨ Example to inspire: Bridg Shop went all out with custom cardboard boxes branded inside and out. The box’s branding not only adds to the professionalism of the packaging, but sparks delight during the unboxing experience, thanks the customer, and provides care instructions.
If you sell multiple products in different sizes, one custom box isn’t going to cut it. And, ordering multiple custom sizes might be cost-prohibitive. Enter custom tape. No matter what container you use to send your products, you can seal it up with branded tape for the same effect as a branded box or mailer.
✨Example to inspire: Round About Ceramics uses custom tape and stickers to brand its plain cardboard shipping boxes:
There are multiple options for protecting products during shipping, but you can go beyond functional with custom tissue that’s professional, beautiful, and on brand. Tissue is a great sustainable alternative to plastic or foam fill for items that need light protection.
✨ Example to inspire: Illustrator @seekinghana created custom tissue to wrap customer purchases, making the packing itself its own work of art.
Assets for brand awareness: Stickers, cards, hang tags, and flyers
Printed packaging can not only help your products arrive at their destination in style. It can also serve other purposes as marketing tools to build brand, encourage repeat purchases, and promote new collections or events.
Cards and flyers
Printed cards or flyers can be used in multiple ways by DTC brands. They can serve as promotional materials to leave inside local coffee shops or to add to customer orders. Use them to promote new products, share company news, encourage customers to return with a loyalty discount, or share a QR code linking to your latest promotion or giveaway.
✨ Example to inspire: Tabby Ties uses multiple forms of custom packaging to create a consistent brand experience. This includes custom cards that thank the customer for their purchase and invite them back to the website.
While much of your branded packaging will end up being composted or recycled, fabric bags can be reused. Whether you print Custom Totes as giveaways or custom drawstring bags as a replacement for plastic packaging, these items serve to keep your brand top of mind as customers repurpose them over and over.
✨ Example to inspire: Sweet Peach used custom totes as part of an Instagram giveaway to help grow the brand’s audience and promote its core products.
Apparel and accessories brands can use Custom Hang Tags as another vehicle for driving brand awareness. These little tags can also contain product info and/or a QR code that links to the brand’s website or a landing page.
✨ Example to inspire: Supernova Bags ships its canvas bags with bold custom hang tags featuring its brand colours and logo.
Stickers are versatile marketing tools that can be used to brand any size of box, dress up plain mailers, seal tissue wrapping, or act as bonus package inserts for your loyal customers. Custom Stickers are also a cost effective way to create custom product packaging. With stickers, bulk blank boxes or bottles quickly become unique branded vessels for your products.
✨ Example to inspire: Dre Clay Co. dressed up standard candle tins with die cut custom stickers, used as a product label to feature product info, branding, and the company’s URL.
Depending on your product or industry, you may have other custom packaging needs. For more DTC packaging ideas — everything from Custom Foodsafe Wrap to Custom Rubber Stamps — check out noissue’s line-up of products for ecommerce stores and make them your own!