HomeBlogE-commerce TipsPackvertising: using packaging to take it up to the big brands

Packvertising: using packaging to take it up to the big brands


Many brands sink insane budgets into paid advertising and bear little from it. And to make matters worse, paid advertising will only get more expensive.
You need to innovate to compete against competitors with seemingly bottomless ad budgets. Packvertising is one of these innovative methods.

Packvertising – it’s a word you’ve probably never heard but should have.

Simply put, Packvertising is the process of embedding the values of your advertisements into your product packaging.

Many brands sink insane budgets into paid advertising and bear little from it. And to make matters worse, paid advertising will only get more expensive.

You need to innovate to compete against competitors with seemingly bottomless ad budgets. Packvertising is one of these innovative methods.

Outsmarting the Big Spenders

We’ve all made an impulse buy. But did you know that statistically, 70% of us are impulse buyers?

I see, I want, I get.

While this attitude may have problems elsewhere in life, it’s a good thing to leverage in the world of commerce. That’s because it can help you compete with competitors.

When packaging and advertising meet, you get packvertising.

Getting attention and making a good first impression before your competitors do is the core value of packvertising, as it negates their paid advertising efforts.

Combine packvertising with clever packaging design, increasing your chances of getting that impulse buy.

As a result, Packvertising focuses on that first contact point in the store and making an excellent first impression. By grabbing attention and making a good first impression, you can start on the following (arguably most important) step – building a relationship.

But to grab that attention, you need an eye-catching packaging design.

Packaging design 101

Packaging design is designing the way your packaging looks. No surprises there, but packaging design goes well beyond a printed box.

Packaging design is the materials you use. It’s the size and shape of the box.

Packaging design is how the product sits on the shelf next to your competitors. It’s the values that you communicate on your packaging.

If you want a customer’s attention, use bright colours, right?

Not always.

That’s especially not true if bright and bold colours don’t work with your existing brand design. What may work is something more subtle, understated and dialled back.

While square or rectangular packaging tesselates and fits nicely into larger secondary packaging, it also slides nicely onto shelves. It is lost in the noise of everything else going around it.

A peculiar angle that stops your competitor’s products from getting close to you on the shelves is a good packaging design strategy to grab attention.

Traditional Marketing Is Too Crowded

Anyone that’s sat behind a computer with loads of data for an extended amount of time has felt analysis paralysis. There’s a similar subconscious sentiment toward advertising in the modern world.

We’re all desensitised to it.

Shoppers spend less time in stores browsing and perusing shelves, looking for something to buy. But, as you read earlier, we’re making more and more impulse buys.

Corporations know this and leverage it with real-world ads to insane levels. They saturate the space with more and more ads to make us buy this product or that product on an impulse.

But we’re only getting more desensitised.

That’s why nearly half of all internet users use an adblocker.

We’re aware the ads are there, and we trying to tune them out.

So why spend more on ads?

To be brutally honest, a small brand like yours probably can’t. The only way to push through ad blockers is to increase ad spend in the real world, and as we just learned, we’re getting more desensitised to it all.

Experimenting with packvertising costs you very little but gives you valuable insights about the market and the customers.

Using that information, you can outsmart the big spenders.

Marketing directly to your customers (also called direct marketing) offers value for money – and it’s on the rise. Even in restaurant management, packvertising can work the best for takeaway food and beverages and help you increase your sales.

Direct Marketing on the Rise

Smaller businesses can innovate with packvertising and other concepts like direct marketing.

It’s a significantly smaller risk, but the payoff is just as high.

Combine traditional digital marketing methods like social media, content marketing and email marketing, and you’re building the foundations of a direct marketing strategy.

Throw packvertising into the equation, and you’ve got a marketing synergy that can pay off immensely in the long run.

How Packvertising can create a relationship with your customer

What’s the difference between your business and a competitor’s office in a high-rise building?

Well, a lot of things.

But you’re more likely to interact with a customer on a genuine, one-on-one basis. And that’s a great thing because customers want more authentic interaction with the brands they’re buying, as they want to build a relationship.

Packvertising is the first step in building that relationship.

When the customer holds your product in their hands while in the store, they’ve gone from the searching phase to the consideration phase of buying. It’s your packaging design that now builds that relationship, and the copy, imagery and messages you communicate that build that relationship.

But the sale isn’t complete, and rapport is not built once the sale is made.

Packvertising keeps giving to the customer even at home. High end-packaging adds value to the product and, therefore, your brand.

Quality packaging adds value to the customer’s experience with your product. Something as simple as hot stamping can take your product from ‘this is nice’ to ‘this is a lot more than I bargained for’.

Again, this builds the relationship but also paints your brand in a better light when your customer mentions your product amongst friends.

And as we know, word-of-mouth marketing is a potent form of marketing.

What’s more, customers don’t just want to see a product; they want to experience it. And that again is where packvertising combined with luxury packaging design can build something really special.

Loella Cosmetics makeup brushes packaging

In the above image, there’s consistency between product and packaging design. It’s a fine example of elegant packaging design complementing product design to create a consistent and pleasurable experience.

The customer genuinely feels like they’re holding something special and that they’re a part of something special.

The foundations of long-term relationship-building have been laid.

Examples of Packvertising

Happy Socks

Happy Socks sells, believe it or not, socks.

But the company realised that socks could influence our mood. They’re a ‘throw away’ piece of clothing that no one sees. It doesn’t have to be nice, but the wearer feels nice when it is.

The same principle is arguably one of the reasons that lingerie is popular.

Happy Socks created those happy socks, but echoed that happiness on their packaging.

happy socks

Every pair of socks includes customized sock packaging that complements the product.

Limited series of socks let Happy Socks experiment with new ideas and designs.

An esteemed designer like Keith Haring also worked with Happy Socks.

This made the customized, limited edition a valuable collector’s item.

The packaging has become part of the product itself now, with customers knowing the design of the socks inside the box without having to even look at the socks.

The packaging is a vital selling point for the brand.


Rosehire knows the power of social media. And as a brand that doesn’t have retail outlets, they see the importance of user-generated content.

Through the use of influencers and the earlier mentioned User Generated Content, the brand’s customers generate a lot of marketing content.

In the middle of all this content is the brand’s packaging. The company sells stunning flowers, but the packaging in which it arrives is what makes the image complete.

Roses are a plant that grows on a bush with leaves, thorns, bugs and a lot of other stuff that isn’t present when the product arrives.

Encapsulating this perfect little piece of nature is a black box with an elegant gold print. This box and the custom tissue paper separate the dark red flowers from the bush, bugs, dirt and sun from where they came.

This is packvertising meeting an unboxing experience.

It means there’s a mystery box, and the audience slowly discovers what’s inside.

Packvertising Is A Daring Approach To Direct Marketing

Traditional marketing simplifies a product to make it quicker to understand and make it desirable in the shortest possible time.

But it often ignores the purchasing process or what it’s like to interact with the product for the first time. Two points are vital for building that long-term relationship.

The purpose of packvertising is to make the purchasing experience as fun as possible.

As a result, there’s a direct conversation with the customer, who is treated as an equal.

The customer is invited to engage with the product and play with it.

Note how packvertising provides much greater transparency compared to traditional ads.

Thanks to packvertising, the customer knows much more about the product, and that product is made much more desirable.

Instead of hiding the story behind the product, the packaging now highlights it.


Ads and traditional marketing have a high bar to entry and a diminishing return on investment.

You’re fighting an uphill battle against big spenders if you do regular ads. There’s only going to be a higher bar to entry and more diminishing returns.

Packvertising is a cheap, powerful alternative to regular ads.

It engages customers and entices them to play with the product.

Packaging is an underused way to deliver fun stuff. It’s innovation, something more potent and more of an asset to you rather than your corporate competitors.


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