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  • Jason Mills

How To Create Subscription Box Design That Will Boost Your Brand

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

When building a subscription box business, the packaging cannot be an afterthought. Within this booming industry, the subscription box design is almost as important as what’s in the box. Your custom subscription box packaging needs to be different if you want to stand out from the crowd. Here’s what you need to know about subscription box designs in one of the most competitive markets in the world.

Why is Subscription Box Design Important?

It’s no secret that the subscription box business has quickly become one of the most saturated retail channels around. This is a market that requires a loyal customer base to succeed. Remember, almost 40% of consumers will cancel their subscriptions at one point.

Winning customers is the easy part. Keeping them is the mark of a successful business. Creating a premium subscription box design is what separates you from other companies selling similar products. Selling subscription boxes of any kind is a unique retail experience. In keeping with that uniqueness, your business must think about subscription box designs that deliver something different.

The Benefits of Custom Subscription Box Packaging

Why should you invest your time brainstorming subscription box packaging ideas? Understanding what it does from the perspective of the consumer is the first step to creating a stronger business. Here are the main reasons why your subscription box packaging must be tailored to the needs of your target audience.

Enhance the Customer Experience

The market is based not on the products offered but on an experience that cannot be replicated. After all, most products found in these boxes can typically be found independently in a standard retail store. It’s the enjoyment of receiving a subscription box, unwrapping its contents, and exploring what’s inside. There’s a reason why unboxing videos have gained so much traction on YouTube. First impressions are everything, and a great subscription box design will help to create that memorable experience.

Improve Brand Recall

The average person is assaulted by a wave of brand names every single day. How many of those brands could those people quickly recall? This principle also applies to the subscription box industry. With so much competition, you must pay attention to brand recall. Will someone remember you if they stumble upon one of your social media posts? Custom packaging improves brand recall if every inch of your box is dedicated to making your brand special.

Expand Your Social Media Footprint

Online businesses rely on a strong social media presence to boost sales. What separates the most successful brands from the crowd is the visual appeal. All social media platforms rely on catching the eye in a split second because you need to capture people’s attention as they’re scrolling. If you design a subscription box that stands out among a crowded Facebook timeline or Instagram feed, you’re already halfway to acquiring a new customer. Invest in custom subscription box packaging now and reap the benefits later.

How to Create Memorable Subscription Box Design and Packaging

Creating a strong subscription box design template is a multi-step process. Every facet of your subscription box must be carefully thought out and designed to leave an impression. Let’s walk through the different steps to design a subscription box with the ability to sell your brand.

Step One – The Materials

The best boxes start with the right materials; choosing the wrong materials can ruin your products and lead to poor finishes. Here are the most common options available:

  • Mailer Boxes – Heavy and rigid, these are study boxes that are perfect for shipping.

  • Shipping Boxes – Corrugated boxes with an emphasis on product protection. Great for fragile items.

  • Folding Cartons – Better for general product packaging, such as food and beauty products. However, it tends to lack the durability to handle the chaos of a shipping line.

The choice is up to you, but for subscription box packaging, mailer boxes are the most common material used for a reason.

Step Two – The Design

Now we get onto the fun part of creating your subscription box design template. This is ultimately what you will send to the printer. Take note: if you don’t feel comfortable enough to design a subscription box, don’t hesitate to hire the services of a professional graphic designer. Here are the different aspects that should make up your design.

  • Logos and Photos

Your logo should be naturally integrated into your design for branding purposes. You can even use your own photos, drawings, and patterns as part of the overall design. A professional can help you to achieve seamless integration.

  • Colors

Your color scheme should always be consistent with your brand’s aesthetic. These are the colors that resonate the most and bring instant product recognition and help with brand recall (think the iconic red and yellow combination for McDonald’s). Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t play around with different colors for special edition packages, but you should more or less look to stick with your brand’s official colors.

Here are some basic color principles to follow for subscription box packaging:

  • Dark Colors – Sophisticated, serious, and mysterious. Perfect for luxury items.

  • Light Colors – Simple, minimalist, and clean. Ideal for youthful brands.

  • Bright Colors – Fun, eye-catching, and stimulating. Excellent for “fun” brands.

  • Vectors

Vector graphics are a must-have for subscription box designs. Use texts and graphics that are non-photogenic. Vector-based PDFs and Adobe Illustrator formats are the most printer-friendly.

  • Dielines

To ensure that your design is ready for print, request a dieline. This is the 2D net of your design that shows you what your design looks like before you assemble the box. Many businesses skip this process, but it’s vital for ensuring that every design element has been positioned correctly. It’s much easier to fix a dieline than a finished product.

Step Three – Printing Methods

There are three major printing methods. Some small-scale printers stick to one, but occasionally you may have a choice. The three main printing methods are:

  • Digital – Best for small-scale print runs. Ink is mixed and the design is applied directly to the box.

  • Flexographic – The most common print method. Your box design will be attached to a printing plate that spins on a drum. It picks up the ink and stamps each box. Most printers require a minimum order of 1,000 for this printing method.

  • Lithographic Label Printing – Achieve a cleaner, higher resolution print. Your design is printed onto a paper sheet, cut, and adhered to your box. Make sure you choose a high-quality manufacturer for this type of printing.

Consult with your printer to discuss the best printing methods for you. A full-service printing company like Epic Packaging can guide you every step of the way in this respect.

Step Four – Choose Your Size

A common misconception is that subscription box dimensions are based on what you can put in the box, but that’s only part of the story. Subscription box sizes are often decided based on the shipping costs. Many printers have sizing calculators to help you find the right balance between box-sizing and shipping costs. Make sure you’re selecting appropriate box sizes but be cost-efficient when selecting dimensions, or it will hurt your bottom line.

Step Five – Shipping Requirements

Make sure you have clear shipping requirements for your boxes. Know your size, estimate a rough weight, and keep it consistent. Forecasting your shipping costs early can prevent you from serious financial mistakes down the line. Set limits based on geographic area and make sure you’re shipping from a central location. Doing it this way allows you to calculate your ballpark cost-per-subscription. The right decision depends on where your business is and the sort of products it sends out.

Step Six – Sustainability

Think about creating sustainable subscription box packaging. With climate change in the spotlight, green credentials are increasingly becoming a selling point. More and more consumers are prioritizing purchases from companies that align with their values. That’s why if you have a younger target demographic, going green could be the making of your brand. Consider eco-friendly subscription box supplies and educate your customers on how to reuse your boxes to protect the environment.

Step Seven – Additional Materials

Your boxes will likely need additional materials inside to protect your products during the shipping process. If this is the case, factor in how this will impact the weight and volume of your boxes. It’s also worth remembering that these additional subscription box supplies should align with the rest of your brand’s aesthetic. Your fulfillment provider will have several options for protective materials.

Starting Creating Epic Subscription Box Designs Today

Subscription box design is the foundation of successful business in this booming sector. Share social media-worthy packaging with the help of Epic Packaging. Have a high-end image and increase your sales with luxury packaging. We deliver short and long print runs of high-quality packaging with intricate designs and a high-definition resolution. From small to large custom subscription box packaging, Epic Packaging has your back. Make your next design epic, and contact Epic Packaging today to learn more.

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