3 Tips to Using Packaging for Success

May 24th, 2016

Meet the Author

Melisa Zimmerman
Hello I'm Melisa, and I'm NOT a photographer. Okay, I said it, now please don't stone me and don't stop reading. Our relationship works because I bring an outside perspective. As a mom, wife, entrepreneur, marketer and lover of all BIG ideas, it's my mission at Kraft & Jute to help you look at your business from not only a photographer's mindset, but a business and marketing perspective. I love to learn (and spend money) so I've been fortunate to get three degrees, an undergraduate in Marketing, my MBA and also my PhD. How does this make sense with paper and fabric? It makes total sense... and that's what I love about my job at Kraft & Jute. We take something that is blah on it's own. We add in a little of our own special spices, and then we help you understand the importance of using something in your marketing toolbox that EASILY gets overlooked to create and build a better photography business. When you're ready to look at your packaging and marketing materials with more value... we're ready to help! Conquerer of Paper and Fabric! Ruler of Boxes and Bows! Master of Nothing and Lover of Chocolate!

Do you think packaging is only meant to be a concern for major consumer brands, like Coca-Cola, Apple, and Nike? I hope not, packaging is a powerful tool for photographers; a tool that will help add value to your growing business and help make you a big success.

Packaging has a marketing purpose: it’s meant to physically protect, communicate product information, market, provide convenience, and ultimately provide security of the product.  Don’t get me wrong, these are all necessary things in packaging a physical product – but there is MUCH more to packaging, and as a service-based business that relies on selling something intangible, photographers can get more value out of the use of great packaging.  

There are many characteristics that make packaging great.  And with increased competition in the photography marketplace, the need to be different and stand out continues to be a never-ending pursuit for most of you.  Don’t worry, you take great photos, you capture beautiful moments, don’t change that.  Just add these three packaging tips and you’ll boost what you already do so well!

1. Use Packaging To Make You Unique

“The best advice I’ve read is use your personality to help sell your business.”
– Jessica Brees, Wildflower Photography

3 Great Tips for Packaging | via the Rising Tide Society

Photo by Jessica Brees, Wildflower Photography

This is a simple notation, but sometimes it’s the simple things we forget. Like the time you wrapped all of your holiday gifts with the cutest “this is so me” Santa-holding-a-camera wrapping paper and perfectly curled ribbons… then remembered you forgot to put the “to:” tag on every gift after they were all wrapped.  

By being unique with your packaging, you want to accomplish a few of these marketing objectives:

– Be memorable- make your brand stand out
– Be different than everyone else
– Be visible
– Reinforce what’s important about you – your unique selling proposition
– Be appealing (both visually and tactilely) to your target audience
– Choose deliverables that speak you – without you or it actually speaking!

The quest for packaging that reflects your brand can be challenging and time consuming, but when you do find the right fit – it feels good! And looks good too!  This internal confidence of knowing you got something great going on will filter right into you and the service you provide!

2. Boost Your First (and hopefully not last) Impression

“To be successful or even semi successful in the creative industry you have to work your tush off.”
– Johanna Dye Photography

3 Great Tips for Packaging | via the Rising Tide Society

Photo by Johanna Dye Photography

You know the difference in your perception from the hairdresser who cuts your hair in a closet-sized room in their basement with an 80’s blue sink and scissors you silently wonder have been handed down from Grandma.  To the hairdresser who has a warm, welcoming waiting area, fancy salon chair, and rack full of new tools.  The second hairdresser may also work out of his basement, but he’s taken the time to create a professional, spa-like ambiance that you don’t mind.  Both may be of completely equal talent.  However, you instinctively let your first impressions build upon the amount of confidence you have in one hairdresser over another.

Sure, you may have an elaborate photo studio, the most expensive mirrorless gear, and a portfolio of celebrity clients…or you may be taking calls from neighborhood clients at your kitchen table and scheduling booking meetings at the local coffee shop. Either way, you need to put your best foot forward and show just how important your profession is to you.

Great packaging – from your initial sales meeting to the final session thank you note – can help you:

– Stay organized – no one enjoys a sloppy presentation
– Create credibility
– Reinforce your brand
– Present your business professionally
– Stay top of mind by leaving behind a piece of you (so they don’t forget)

3. Let It Speak To Your Value

“When they see our packaging, they see our value.
It is always the little things, and packaging contains a lot of little things.”

– Melissa Cross, A Traveler’s Heart Photography

3 Great Tips for Packaging | via the Rising Tide Society

Photo by Melissa Cross, A Traveler’s Heart Photography

Smitten boyfriends will likely spend $10,000 more on a Tiffany set engagement ring with the Tiffany & Co. name behind it than a similar diamond at a discount store – delivering it with the big question in an iconic blue box.  

The box, by the way, doesn’t cost $10,000.

But the brand knows how to deliver more than a ring; it’s an entire experience that is being delivered to create a level of prestige in their product.  When that lucky girl sees that blue box, she instantly knows that something out-of-this-world is inside, waiting for her to slide it on and show off to the rest of the world.  The suspense grows as she waits for the box’s lid to open to unveil her precious gift.  And she knows, when she flashes the bling bling to her friends, they’re going to ask, “Where did he go?” She won’t be embarrassed to tell them, and their perception of the ring’s worth – incidentally tied to the couple’s love – is of the highest value.  Photography can deliver that same “wow” moment.  

The cliche “presentation is everything” is a cliche for a reason.  And it’s your packaging that helps create the type of experience that gets Instagram likes, awesome Angie’s List reviews, and a whole lot of respect for your business.

Use packaging to make you unique, boost your first impression, and speak to your value.

We believe that photographers should charge prices that reflect the experience you deliver.  And with amazing packaging, your value goes up!

We hope you enjoyed what you read. If you’d like to learn more about how packaging can help you, we’d love to help.  Connect with us!  You can view all the different packaging solutions we offer to beginning and seasoned photographers – and if we don’t have something you want, let us know – we’re creatives too!

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Thank you so much for the reminder! I need to put this on my 2016 goal list to get my packaging together. All the photos here look so-so pretty and definitely shows me how a little box would affect my clients’ reaction and memories about me. Thank you!

I got some great ideas from this! Thank you!