Finding the balance between elevating a brand’s packaging while meeting the desires of sustainably-minded consumers can sometimes be challenging. In fact, one of the biggest obstacles brands face when contemplating elevating the unboxing experience for consumers is the cost. Is the investment worth it?
Neenah, an Alpharetta, Georgia-based specialty paper products and design solutions company, believes it is. “Today’s consumers have high expectations, and packaging is a major part of the brand experience,” said Michele Pistone, marketing manager, Neenah. “Upgrading a brand’s packaging can play a key role in elevating the perception and experience for the consumer.”
Social media’s impact
Unboxing videos have become a trend in recent years, essentially taking the place of in-store experiences—especially for online-only retailers.
While providing quality packaging has always been a vital part of a brand’s experience, the need has become more prevalent as social media grows. Since its inception, users have been able to upload opinions, thoughts, reviews and more at the click of a button, putting brands and retailers in the spotlight whether they like it or not, according to Pistone.
That’s why Neenah has worked toward expanding its offerings, creating an elevated look for brands and providing a positive unboxing experience for consumers.
Neenah’s manufacturing capabilities allow its customers to choose from an array of custom colors, textures and weights—ranging from lightweight text papers to heavy folding boards, gift card stock and even signage. Additionally, Neenah has on-staff graphic and structural designers who help with design and prototyping, which is “key in selling through to brand decision-makers,” Pistone said.
“The feeling a customer gets when receiving a beautiful package can shape the recipients’ perception of the brand, sometimes creating a customer for life,” she added. “When a customer is delighted with the packaging and unboxing experience, they share and influence others while expanding the reach and exposure for that brand.”
In addition to providing its customers with an elevated look, Neenah offers multiple sustainable products—like the Neenah Imagemax®, a paper alternative used for gift cards, and conVerd®, a recyclable rigid board used for signage—to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers.
However, as innumerable boxes continue to ship out daily—ultimately ending up in landfills—Neenah saw a need to act and take its sustainable offerings one step further.
That’s why Neenah created the NEENAH ENVIRONMENT® Mailer, a curbside recyclable mailer that can provide a premium unboxing experience for shoppers while helping its brand partners eliminate packaging waste. Designed for soft goods, the mailer can comfortably hold garments that don’t require a box or padding protection during shipment and includes a 2.5-inch gusseted bottom that can expand to hold bulky items.
Additionally, the mailer is verified as curbside recyclable*—which is printed directly on the mailer alongside several sustainable certifications—indicating that it is made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) certified pulp and 50 percent post-consumer waste. The product is also Green-e® and Smartway® certified.
“Switching to curbside recyclable shipping materials—and adding extra branded materials—may cost more, but in the end, it provides a much better brand experience,” Pistone said. “Knowing that the brand is making changes to be more sustainable can go a long way—especially when it comes to brand perception and repeat purchases.”
Learn more about Neenah and its offerings here.
*Fiber Box Association Voluntary Standard for Recyclable Wax Alternatives