How to Build Your Brand Through Packaging

  •    Nora is a content marketer at Printful. She recently relocated from Toronto, Canada to Riga, Latvia and spends her downtime reading, running, baking, and exploring what Europe has to offer.

If you own an online business, chances are you put in a lot of time and effort into making your website polished and easy to navigate. But is your brand and personality reflected in each and every one of your orders, too? Are you using custom packaging and pack-ins to your advantage?

The customer experience doesn't end with a click of the buy button. The moment they receive their order is also a critical touchpoint to show who you are as a brand and create a personalized experience.

Here’s how you can do that, using branded packaging and clever pack-ins. And it's full of resources you can use to get started.

But first:

Why should you care about personalizing your orders?

Your customers’ journey does not end with their online purchase. The moment they get their order is a golden opportunity for you to interact with a customer and build brand loyalty.

Believe it or not, customers notice the little things. They'll notice that you spent time on packaging, and they'll appreciate the pack-ins you leave in the order. It's more expensive to attract new customers than to keep existing ones, so take every chance you get to build relationships.

Personalizing your orders doesn't have to eat into your profits, either. There are plenty of services today that can provide affordable packaging and pack-ins.

Let's dive in, starting with 3 ways you can make your orders stand out.

How to create a branded experience for your orders

1. Add a branded element to your packaging

The packaging is likely going to be the first thing your customer sees when they receive their order. So take the opportunity to wow them. Think of subscription boxes as a great example – brands like BirchBox and Trunk Club go out of their way to create a memorable unboxing experience from the start.

Trunk Club's boxes even look like suitcases. Source:

You don't have to be as fancy as these subscription boxes. Even just one branded packaging element is enough to set you apart. You can opt for a custom, branded box, poly mailer bag, tissue paper, sticker, etc.

Always remember that your first priority with packaging is to get the product to your customer safely. But that doesn't mean it has to be bland.

2. Include a free pack-in

Including a small pack-in (or insert) is a great way to show your appreciation and make your order stand out. Even a handwritten thank-you note can go a long way. Again, that's because customers notice the little things.


Whatever you include, it should be lightweight so it doesn't impact the shipping weight and costs. And it shouldn't be too expensive to make either, so it doesn't eat into your profits.

Consider pack-ins like these:

  • Coupon card with a discount on the next purchase
  • Business cards
  • Stickers
  • Magnets
  • Bookmarks
  • Postcards

Pro tip: If you don't have the time or resources to include pack-ins in all of your orders, then consider at least doing so during high-spending seasons. More purchases means more opportunity to build relationships and increase the likelihood of loyal customers.

3. Create custom receipts

This is a small and often overlooked detail, but fairly low-effort and cost-effective to implement!

There's not usually a lot of space on the receipt, but if you don't want to include a handwritten note or other pack-in, this is a convenient space to add a short message or your logo. For example, print-on-demand drop shipper Printful leaves space on all receipts for custom messages and logos.

Consider offering a discount code for future purchases, or just a quick thank you for visiting your store.

Resources to get started on personalizing your orders

If you're not sure where to start, check out some of these services to get your customized packaging and pack-ins!

Packlane - Your go-to place for customizable shipping boxes with tons of variety.

Pakible - Go here for customizable boxes, mailers, and more.

Uline - The standard for all things packaging. While most of their products are more utilitarian, they offer some customizable options as well, like tape and tissue paper.

Sticker Mule - They're best-known for their stickers, but they can also do magnets and buttons.

Vistaprint - Find all sorts or printed materials – business cards, bookmarks, flyers, and more. - Another easy-to-use source for business cards and paper marketing materials.