During the holiday season, premium packaging is an important differentiator among brands. The widespread adoption of omnichannel shopping habits means that your brand has more opportunity for sales, but less opportunity for a brand awareness play.

After all, if you push products out to marketplaces like Amazon or allow for social commerce via one-click buy buttons, you are earning a new customer, but that customer didn’t really experience your brand. All of those transactions take place on the marketplace platform, not on your own branded site. Premium packaging is one way to make up for this loss in brand awareness.

Once you develop your preferred packaging and incorporate it throughout the fulfillment process, the next step is to encourage social sharing. BirchBox does a great job at this, using their YouTube channel as a means to get their customers excited about upcoming items.

Here are three tips to guide your customer engagement strategy via your packaging this holiday season.

Understand Why Customers Share and Watch Unpackaging Experiences

According to a recent packaging study, consumers are motivated to share purchases on social media for a number of reasons. Of the 39% of respondents who have shared an unboxing video, 59% did so to show off their purchase. Another 54% wanted to make recommendations to friends and family.

Other reasons for sharing consumers noted in the study include:

  • Reviewing the product
  • Informing other consumers
  • Providing feedback to the company

It is equally important for brands to consider the factors behind social viewing. Of those who have watched an unboxing video, the study found that 72% did so to learn more about a product. After watching an unboxing video, respondents were also more likely to feel positive emotions toward a brand or product. More than 50% felt intrigued about products featured in an unboxing video, 41% felt excited and 31% were impressed by what they saw.

Consumers are already turning to unboxing videos for product education, and brands can use premium packaging to ensure the image conveyed is exciting and persuasive. Leading into the holidays, the promotion of unboxing videos is a strategic way for brands to increase awareness and positive sentiment around their offerings. At a time when shoppers are under pressure to please everyone on their gift list, the extra information on social media and in reviews from other shoppers will increase both engagement with and trust of your brand.

Create an Unboxing Experience and Package Worth Showcasing

Premium packaging play an important role in if customers share your product and brand experience on social. Be sure, then, that your packaging well reflects your brand. Think through the entire unboxing experience when creating your packaging. What should a customer see first? What should be their last memory? Brands that are intentional about guiding customers through their unboxing experience have better control over how shoppers feel about products. The opening process should be fun, memorable and worth sharing.

Re-engage with Consumers who Haven’t Shared

According to the Dotcom study, the 60% of consumers who have never shared products on social media are willing to do so. These consumers need just a bit of extra motivation. Start with giving shoppers the opportunity to share. Of those who had never shared an unboxing video before, quality of product, incentives to share and unique, visually appealing packaging ranked highest as motivators to start sharing.

Consider including inserts within the box with instructions for hashtags to include in photos. As an incentive, those who post to social with the hashtags are entered in a contest. Whatever the specific rules to interact may be, retailers can encourage positive social media interaction if they provide the imagery and calls to action.

This holiday season, use premium packaging as part of your growth strategy to gain net new customers based off of social media validation. Existing customers will remember and promote the brand they love and undecided shoppers will be convinced to purchase –– all of which will grow your business well into 2016.

Growth is the hallmark of success for any business. Yet, the very activities that lead a thriving business to gain a foothold in the marketplace may create surprising tax compliance risks. Before you take expansion too far, understand how it affects your tax obligations and what you can do to keep risk in check.

Photo: Flickr, Sheila C.