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Custom Packaging Explained: Uses and Benefits

Custom Packaging Explained: Uses and Benefits

Custom packaging is any packaging that is unique to one brand or entity, that is not universally available in the market. Custom packages are unique in design: graphics, size, shape and features. Customization on packaging gives companies the freedom to create something special and designed specifically to fit their product needs and efficiencies, while addressing their customers’ desires. 

Unlike standard packaging, custom packaging is created through a packaging process, which can vary in complexity based on your packaging needs. Some of the most custom packaging products used by companies include:

  • Corrugated Boxes: sturdy, strong, and durable boxes used to package everyday products such as TVs, computers, appliances, and other retail items.
  • Folding Cartons: inexpensive and lightweight boxes that are collapsible and foldable in design. They are used to package small and lightweight items such as food, cosmetics, medicine bottles/pills, and other items.
  • Pouches: is a flexible type of package that can hold small, lightweight or loose items such as powder, liquids, snacks, and cloth materials.
  • Foam: is packaging material usually added to a package to help fill empty space and hold the product still.
  • Blister Packs: high product visualization and product branding, blister packs are designed to hold a product still against a backing (can be foil, plastic, paperboard, corrugated or other material) with a plastic or thermoform seal.
  • Clamshells: can be made with clear plastic, chipboard, styrofoam or other materials. Clamshells are used to package produce, electronics, hardware, and other retail items.
  • Poly Bags: also known as plastic bags, poly bags are made with flexible material used to carry merchandise, small and lightweight items.

There are many other types of packaging out there to fit any application.

Custom Corrugated retail box with window cut out, sample packs and poly bags
Custom Translucent Pouches

Why Custom Packaging?

Essentially, custom packaging is everywhere and is an essential part of our daily lives, which is why it’s important for you as a custom packaging purchaser to know about custom packaging uses and benefits.

The Uses of Custom Packaging

There are many uses for custom packaging as it is used widely amongst all industries producing or shipping products. In addition to how versatile packaging is as far as:

  • Material options: corrugated, chipboard, paperboard, plastic (LDPE, HDPE, PE, PP, PVC), foam (polyethylene, polyurethane, expanded polyurethane) and many more.
  • Print options: digital, lithography, flexography and others.
  • Graphic design options: logo, branding, graphics, special finishes, product information and more.
  • Structural design options: sizes, shapes, folds (how the package will fold into itself).
  • Features: stackable, sealable, sustainable (compostable, recyclable, and biodegradable options), durability, strength, shelf-life, texture of packaging surface, and more.
Popular packaging materials
digital print machine

As you can see, there are so many different variables that can contribute to the uniqueness of a custom package. As a result, obtaining a custom packaging versus a stock standard package can be quite different. 

Standard packaging can be ordered over the phone, email, or through a purchase order online. This process is very simple, straightforward, and fast.

Custom packaging generally requires you to initially go through a custom packaging process, where you work with a packaging expert on the design, materials, and customization of the package. However, once an order is placed, you can easily order more without having to repeat the process. Depending on the complexity of the project, may warrant different lead times on project delivery.

Product Protection

One of the most important reasons for uses for custom packaging is to improve its product protection. Product protection can be improved by inserts, dividers, partitions, material, and by packaging design. 

Inserts, dividers, and partitions help limit the movement of the package from shifting during transit or throughout the supply chain, which prevents wear and tear. Usually, these items can be made with: foam, thermoform, chipboard, paperboard, or corrugated materials.

Inserts: can be custom made cavities that hold items in place. 

Dividers: are placed to prevent items from shifting upward or downward and allow the stacking of items. 

Partitions: prevent items from shifting side to side and forward to backward. 

The type of material you use and its thickness matters in protecting your package. The packaging material you have should be designed to hold your item without breaking down or becoming damaged. Depending on your packaging application, may warrant you to invest in sturdier packaging materials or a thicker one.

Packaging design is probably the efficient way to improve a product’s protection as you optimize its shape and size to fit the product more effectively, which will limit movement and create necessary room for cushioning products, inserts, dividers, or partitions. 

Ultimately, product protection is vital to the success of promoting a product and branding, as it maintains the structural integrity of the package, which gives consumers a positivity and confidence behind your product. Proper product and packaging protection helps improve the packaging experience for the customer and their perceived value for the product. In addition, it can help prevent you from product shortages, inventory loss, and a bad reputation

Custom box with thermoform insert for electronic device
corrugated box inserts

Branding and Product Promotion

Everyone wants their product to stand on the shelf and grab their audience’s attention, with the hope of them making a purchase. To accomplish this in growing competitive markets worldwide, businesses have adapted by adding uniqueness to their packages by branding and promoting their products through their packaging.

Custom packaging can help businesses improve branding by adding their logo, company information, colors, and content onto their package. Products can gain attractiveness with the right graphic design, color scheme, call to actions, product information, and features. If done correctly, a business effectively communicates their message to their prospective customers based on the packaging design, presentation, and content. 

Some brands even look to portray themselves as luxurious with expensive packaging materials, features, designs, and finishes. Others look to improve their packaging experience for their customers or target the rational consumer with minimal design and features. Nevertheless, custom packages serve the purpose of adding value to companies around the world by helping them reflect their brand in their packaging and helping them achieve their business goals.

custom electronic packaging folding carton

Improved Packaging Efficiency

It can be quite rational to invest in custom packaging to improve your packaging efficiency. Packaging efficiency is limiting the amount of waste and money it takes to produce a package, while maximizing the amount of value that package can bring to a product or brand.

Nowadays, it is more important than ever to limit the amount of waste that products can produce. Custom packaging gives companies the opportunity to decrease their overhead per unit by cutting costs on materials, storage, and freight. 

Material costs can be lowered by selecting the right packaging material and thickness for your product. This will limit spending on unnecessary or excessive materials. 

A packaging’s storage and freight costs can be decreased by optimizing the package’s structural design. The size, shape and the way your package folds can heavily influence storage space, especially if your packaging is stackable or not. Ultimately, the more you can fit onto a pallet and into a truck will decrease your overhead costs.

How Packaging Design Can Affect Your Freight Costs

Packaging Compliance

Packaging needs to be accepted wherever it is sent. This may require the use of custom packaging in order to fulfill government standards or retail requirements. 

Ultimately, the government wants you to use packaging material that is safe for the individual, community and environment. In addition, packaging should be safe for shipping and handling. Depending on your packaging may warrant you to meet specific requirements outlined by local, state or federal government regulations.

Retailers are usually encouraged by the government to push sustainable and safe packaging standards for their products. As a result, many businesses working with retailers have to adjust their packaging to fit the retailer’s packaging guidelines. Typically, packaging needs to be optimized to fit in their store with minimal effort to display their product on the self. In addition, retailers want packages to be made with sustainable material and to be attractive to customers, as it will be placed on their shelves and store website.

Benefits of Custom Packaging

There are many benefits to custom packaging which may be applicable to your packaging such as:

  • Uniqueness: not available in the marketplace
  • Improved product protection: less inventory loss
  • Designed for your product: packaging is made with your product and customer in mind
  • Variety of options: build your package from scratch and select the material, structural and graphic design, and more.
  • Improved customer experience: packaging is unique and designed for your customers
  • Higher perceived value: getting your product to stand out makes it more valuable to consumers.
  • Prolonged shelf-life: using a packaging design and material that is best suited for your product, while making it last longer.
  • Packaging efficiency: optimized packaging design makes your packaging more supply chain efficient, which can reduce costs

There are many other custom packaging benefits that are subjective to your packaging application, goals, and needs. 

custom reclosable bags

Summary: Custom Packaging Explained

Custom packaging is an essential component of everyday life. It is what makes shopping enjoyable or packages worth opening. They are unique in their message, design, shape, and size, which helps us understand a product and brand. Custom packaging is often needed to help improve a product’s protection, marketability, efficiency, and requirements.

There is a wide range of benefits that should encourage you to invest in custom packaging as it can optimize your results and help you achieve your goals. If you are interested in custom packaging for your business and products, then contact Brown Packaging today to get started.

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