How to create a memorable unboxing experience (infographic)

By Simon Pleass

A fundamental aspect of business in the 21st century is the concept of user experience. Don’t dismiss this as counter-intuitive if you already operate a business model with tangible components such as a restaurant or a retail company. For all areas of every single business in existence, sustained attention to detail is a sophisticated yet often overlooked aspect of marketing.

When it comes to expansive business practices the concept of a sensory experience is a branding pillar because it helps customers recognize you on a qualitative level. This is especially the case with the emergence of massive brands that are known as much for their design appeal as the coveted items their customers pay for.

One example of this is the news made when the man who began Apple’s “precise and polished aesthetic” announced he was stepping down. Of this cult designer’s obsession with packaging as much as the product itself, Adam Lashinsky says, “To fully grasp how seriously Apple executives sweat the small stuff, consider this: For months, a packaging designer was holed up…performing the most mundane of tasks – opening boxes.” No matter how much Apple customers love their iPhones, it’s their iconic white boxes and metallic font that’s built the brand.

A way small business owners can tap into this value niche while still adhering to their wider operational plan is to find ways to enhance the end-to-end customer experience. With the decline in brick and mortar frontages as e-commerce rose up, in many cases the singular physical brand experience your customer will have is with the goods they order. In order to build an emotional connection that prompts purchasing or reinforces your brand values, eliciting a positive reaction is paramount in all details. Furthermore, this is innately tied up in human psychology as seen with the rise in ‘unboxing’ videos across social media; it shows just how much buyers as well as the broader consumer audience enjoy the journey – in fact, a YouTube search for “Unboxing” returns more than 90 million results.

Human beings love stories and interacting with your brand through the packaging is part of the emotional, experiential purchase ‘story’. Strategic and intentional packaging can be used to communicate your brand with a narrative that could be unexpected, humorous, joyful, or even educational. This exact revenue opportunity was measured in a 2018 McKinsey study with Fast Company reporting that, “Between 2012 and 2017, companies that prioritized design increased both their revenues and their shareholder returns at nearly double the rate of design-negligent counterparts.”

To begin the process of differentiating your business from competitors and ditching the boring or single-use packaging, here are some starting points for revitalizing your approach:

-Assess your company values to see how you can ensure this side of your business is embedded in your product packaging. One industry that’s leading the charge in this arena is start-up beauty brands with billion-dollar ‘unicorn’ Glossier including their customers in all phases of their shipping preferences down to conversations around sustainability.

-Have a value-add that solidifies your brand and your customer’s place as a stakeholder. For example, digital publication Gritty Pretty uses its online shop arm as a way to reinforce its brand to customers with a complimentary official cotton dust bag that wraps their products rather than plain tissue paper or plastic.

-Consider personalized components to cultivate memories and foster connection. To do so, some small businesses use handwritten notes, follow-up discount codes in the box, usage recommendations or advice, or even samples.

In conclusion, the packaging may be the first touchpoint for your customer or what encourages them to return to your business, therefore this ultimately needs to be viewed as a vital component of your value proposition. To keep building on the discussion in this article and to help you comprehensively update this component of your business process, 2Flow designed a infographic ‘How To Create A Memorable Unboxing Experience’. Read on for more facts, statistics and advice for your business.


Simon Pleass is the managing director at – an outsource fulfilment partner specializing in handling inventory based in Dublin, Ireland.



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