By Brent Hughes, CEO & Owner at Cardinal Boxes, overseeing the company’s vision, strategy and operations. EMBA Alumni at Ivey Business School.
A dream for any business that sells products is to have their product go viral. Anything that can get customers to love their product – tangibly or intangible – positively talk about it and create content around it is a clear gold mine. Unboxing videos are a trend that’s been on the rise for some time. A good unboxing experience can bring that holiday fun of opening presents to viewers any time of year while giving your business free marketing. If you are unfamiliar with unboxing videos, they’re videos of people unboxing and providing a real-world perspective of a product.
According to a 2014 Google Consumer Survey of 1500 people, 1 in 5 consumers surveyed watched unboxing videos as part of their purchasing journey. As recently as 2018, more than half of 24,017 shoppers surveyed said online video had helped them decide which specific brand or product to buy.
This move toward video – and unboxing videos, in particular – makes sense. Many high-production videos of products only showcase the most positive aspects. In an unboxing video, the product is stripped down to an experience more in line with reality. Potential customers can get a real sense of your product. In the same way customer reviews give a real-world view into how people feel about a product, an unboxing video gives your potential customers a window into what it’s like to buy your product without actually having to buy it first.
It is important to understand at what point someone actually watches an unboxing video. According to the Google survey mentioned above, 62% of people who view unboxing videos do so when researching a particular product. It helps fuel anticipation while simultaneously providing useful information about the product. This means this video is being watched by the critical decision-makers during a critical decision-making part of the buying process.
To leverage the power of an unboxing video for your product, it’s crucial to understand that though the video is about your product, it’s more about how the influencer interacts with your product and presents it to their audience. Are they excited at what they see? Are they surprised by anything? Do they feel like they are having a quality experience? Are they impressed with how it is packaged?
The influencer’s job is to give as honest of an opinion as possible but also as interesting as an opinion as possible. This keeps viewers watching longer so the influencer can play to the YouTube algorithm. Your job is to think of every little detail of not just your product but the entire unboxing experience from the moment your product arrives at the doorstep of your customers.
When deciding how to create the best unboxing video, there are a few key strategies to take into consideration.
Prepare The Box
The primary job of your box is to protect your product during shipping, so you want to first get a properly sized box that fits your product safely while keeping your costs down. Corrugated boxes are available in different wall thicknesses, known as flute sizes. Each flute size had different functions, from shipping durability to improved printability.
Always start with your product, and focus on keeping it safe. Then you want to think about how to create the “wow” experience. This can be done by putting printing on the outside of the box that includes your logo and the primary colors of your business. A medium to large logo front and center is great industry practice for showcasing your brand.
Stay In Budget
For those on a tight budget, there are some creative ways to create a memorable experience. You can spend a little time to source the right packaging that is the most cost-effective for your budget and enhance it with customized stickers or tissue paper with your brand name on it to build brand recognition more affordably. If possible, adding a real human touch such as a drawn smiley face or a handwritten thank-you note is an incredibly powerful way to step up your unboxing experience.
Think Of The Experience
When you start thinking about what your box should look like and what should go in it besides your product, remember to create an unforgettable experience. How do you do that? Tell the story of your brand in the unboxing.
Imagine you are your customer, and you receive your product in the mail. Think of every moment from how you hold the box in your hands, rotate it around, etc. What is the opening process like? What do you first see when you open the box? How is it presented? Will the visuals build anticipation? Does the box feel like it portrays the product’s quality? Would you feel like there was something truly special inside this particular box? Or would you simply tear open the box, toss it into the recycling pile and move on?
An article (paywall) from the Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing shows that when consumers think that a company has a consumer-oriented perspective, they will have more confidence in the brand over competitors. This is also a prevailing idea in the concept of brand equity. Based on these ideas, every aspect of your customer experience needs to show you truly care about your customers.
Many businesses pour so much attention on the product itself that when it comes time to ship their product, they just buy whatever generic box they can find to ship to the customer. If you think of the product as a book, then the box it is packaged in is the cover design that helps get the book sold.
If you want to start growing your brand and driving more sales, make sure that your product is packaged in a way that’s worth talking about. Challenge yourself to take whatever you have already created to the next level. It is time to start thinking not just outside the box, but about the box itself.