What Are Custom Boxes? 4 Key Benefits for Your Brand

5 min read
January 3, 2024

What Are Custom Boxes?

When it comes to corrugated packaging, custom boxes are designed specifically for your product based on its dimensions, weight, and shipping requirements. They are also often custom printed to reflect your unique brand elements, logo, and messaging. More than just containers, custom boxes serve as ambassadors, showcasing your brand’s distinct identity and differentiating your product from competitors.

Stanley-Box-Small

In contrast, stock boxes are mass-produced in set sizes (such as 12x12x12) and sold in large quantities to brands.

Stock-Boxes

Unlike their mass-produced counterparts, custom boxes offer a range of advantages that extend beyond mere aesthetics. In this article, you will learn about custom packaging and the ways it can benefit your brand.

  

How Much Do Custom Boxes Cost?

On the surface, custom boxes may appear to cost more than stock boxes if you are comparing the per unit cost. But if you consider the total cost of ownership, it is a different story.

While stock boxes are cheap individually, they can come at a higher total cost. Stock boxes are typically oversized for the item being shipped. Because of this, they often require the purchase and use of a protective void fill, such as air pillows, to fill up that extra space. As a result, you may pay steeper shipping costs because of the larger box size. Stock boxes may also lead to a higher rate of damaged products because they lack a tailored fit. Therefore, the cost of damaged goods replacement must also be factored in. Finally, stock boxes are not optimized to your pack-out process and may be costing you in labor dollars by extending the time it takes for your workers to pack each order.

Moto Pizza Box All Star Game

Opting for a custom packaging program, which considers the entire packaging lifecycle and material usage, often proves to be less expensive overall. Contrary to a common misconception, custom boxes do not necessarily require a separate box for every product. The BoxMaker has designed many custom boxes for brands that can be used to package a variety of products while still delivering operational efficiencies to the company.

Learn how to calculate the true cost of packaging here.

  

Why Should Companies Use Custom Boxes?

Investing in custom boxes is more than an expense; it's a strategic move that yields considerable benefits and return on investment for brands.

Here are 4 key benefits of custom corrugated boxes:

1. Enhanced Product Protection

Damaged products are costly. Think of the direct financial cost of replacing, repacking, and re-shipping a product, the indirect cost associated with customer dissatisfaction, and the environmental cost of consuming additional materials and fuel to repack and ship a replacement product.

Custom boxes can minimize this risk and save money by reducing or eliminating the costs associated with damages. Their custom fit and format are designed specifically for your product, accounting for its weight, dimensions, and transit journey. A structural designer will consider the optimal material qualities needed to maximize product protection and shipping efficiencies, such as flute size and ECT value.

Additional protective elements, like Hexpand or foam inserts, can also be custom designed and added to further improve protection.

2. A Better Brand Experience

Custom boxes serve as a powerful tool for marketing and branding. They are an excellent tool that can be used to clearly communicate your brand’s story, values, and personality at the point of purchase. When paired with full-color print, custom packaging becomes an impactful way to create a lasting impression on consumers.

Viewed through the lens of shopper psychology, packaging influences perceptions and fosters brand recognition and recall. The visual and tactile elements of packaging evoke emotional responses, shaping consumers’ expectations and attitudes toward a product. Consider the stark contrast whenreceiving a plain brown box compared to a thoughtfully branded custom printed box, and how that first impression then extends itself to your expectations of the product inside.

Stock-vs-Custom-Print

3. An Improved Consumer Experience

Not only are custom boxes good investments for marketing before the sale – they also create better consumer experiences post-sale. Custom packaging designed with the consumer in mind can reduce frustration and add delight with a great unboxing experience. A custom box can garner earned media when customers share images or video of their packaging and unboxing experience on social media. Satisfaction spreads quickly, presenting a great opportunity for word-of-mouth marketing if done right.

For e-commerce shipments, custom packaging can help make product returns a smooth process. Structural design elements that are optimized for easy returns, such as integrating a double tape stripinto a mailer box, serve brands well as more and more consumers opt for online shopping. According to Salesforce, 76% of customers who highly rate their returns experience with a retailer said they’d shop with them again because of it.

Return mailers

4. Promoting Sustainability

Consumers today value sustainability, and custom packaging can be a key differentiator for environmentally conscious brands. Corrugated boxes are made from renewable resources, including post-industrial and post-consumer recycled materials, as well as responsibly harvested wood. AStructural Designer can further optimize custom boxes to use fewer materials and eliminate the need for void fills, making them an eco-friendlier choice than their oversized stock box counterparts.

To elevate your brand’s sustainability commitment, you can also custom print on-box messaging to help customers understand how to use your product, how to dispose of it responsibly, and how to recycle the packaging afterward.

  

Case Study: DOMA Coffee

Explore how we helped DOMA Coffee switch from stock boxes to custom boxes, reducing their pack-out time and right-sizing their packaging for their product, ultimately saving them labor and shipping costs:

  

Upgrade Your Packaging Strategy with Custom Boxes

Investing in custom boxes yields significant benefits and advantages for brands. Beyond the added advantage of promoting your brand with custom printed designs, custom boxes are designed to effectively protect your product throughout pack-out, shipping, distribution, and final delivery to your end customer. Custom packaging streamlines your operations, often saving time and money by delivering efficiencies throughout the pack-out and shipping processes.

If you are ready to invest in custom boxes for your products or need personalized assistance with your next custom packaging project, contact our Packaging Advisors today.

Subscribe