I talk a lot about packaging…
Usually in the context of coaches, consultants, and other service professionals. How you package yourself—how you brand and present yourself and your services—is a crucial part of successfully marketing your business. It’s absolutely imperative if you want to stand out and attract clients. Generic or boring packaging doesn’t attract attention. And, you have to first get someone’s attention before you can get them to buy.
But packaging has to be more than skin-deep.
It can’t just be in your brand or business name, or on your website. It has to run throughout every aspect of your business. Otherwise, if it’s only skin-deep, it’s what I call “gift wrap.” Not effective if you’re a person or a big business. Customers want and need the confidence that comes with a consistent experience with your brand, from the time they meet you until after you deliver your product or service.
An excellent example of packaging.
This week I ordered a charm necklace from a company called Origami Owl. I’d never heard of the company but apparently it was started by a young girl who wanted to buy a car for her 16th birthday, and it’s since expanded into a party, MLM-type business. But that’s not what I’m writing about today… I’m writing about how well the company has packaged itself across every point of contact with its prospects and customers.
Consistent branding and packaging.
From the product, to the brochure, to the website, to the box the product is shipped in, the packaging is consistent, cute, and clever. It’s fun. It grabs your attention. It doesn’t look like just another jewelry company. As someone who orders products fairly frequently online, and usually sees them arrive in plain brown cardboard boxes or generic padded envelopes, I was extremely impressed when not only did my order show up on my doorstep via FedEx within two days (they estimated 7-10 days), but it showed up in a bright pink box with fun sayings imprinted on it. When I opened the bright pink box, I discovered a little blue Take Out box inside, along with a silk holder to keep the necklace in.
They didn’t have to do all that.
Could they have saved money by just shipping my necklace via regular postal mail or UPS delivery in a brown cardboard box? Yes.
Would it cost less to nix the clever take-out box and silk necklace holder? Of course.
But clearly this company understands the value of reinforcing their brand all the way through the entire customer experience.
And I not only received a piece of jewelry I love, and that uniquely represents me, I have a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling about the company I purchased it from. And of course, I’m talking about it, which I may not have been so eager to do had they not wowed me.
The result? Referrals!
Last night I wore the necklace for the first time and people noticed it.They asked to see it. They asked where I got it. Which, by the way, is exactly how I found out about the company… a friend was wearing a necklace and I asked her about it.
Yes, this is a product and not a coaching, consulting or other service-based business. But it’s a great example of packaging and how it can set your business apart, get people talking, and generate sales. It’s also an excellent example of carrying that packaging throughout the entire business.
So I ask you, how can you do this in your business?
How can you create a brand with personality and carry it through every aspect of your business, from the first point of contact to the delivery of your product or service? It’s not so much about expensive packaging, but rather creating something that speaks to your ideal clients and stands out from the crowd. You can wow with service as much as you can with high production value.
So don’t think that just because you’re a coach or consultant with a limited marketing budget that you can’t do this. As long as you spend the time to get clear about WHO you are and WHAT you stand for, you can outsource any creative help you may need very inexpensively via such online resources as Fiverr.com or Elance.com, or even from a local graphic designer.
The first and most important step is to uncover your authentic brand story—the way you want to be known and viewed—something Origami Owl has clearly done. Then just be thoughtful and attentive to how that plays out through your entire business.
Please note that I have no affiliation with Origami Owl and I get nothing if you decide to order something. I’m just sharing because they wowed me. And because I’m always looking for great examples of packaging and branding to help inspire others.