Small businesses are on the rise in 2018. With the increase in different platforms and ease of marketing, we’re seeing a large success rate in smaller, personal businesses that are hitting the market. In recent years, there is a push for this modern working space where people are able to control their workload, their hours and still make enough money to live a fulfilling life.
In many cases, new business owners are starting their new business ventures on the side and slowly growing their following and sales until they are able to make that their primary source of income. This buzz is gaining in popularity. Many people are finding that they can take their hobbies or passions and turn that into something profitable and sustainable. That’s the dream, isn’t it? Taking something you’re excited about, good at and knowledgeable about and turning it into a way to provide for you and your family.
With a higher awareness and ability to do simple marketing, like online targeted ads and apps for graphic design, small business owners are able to reach their potential clients and audience with just a few clicks of a mouse. All it takes is a bit of extra money and an aptitude for social media to keep your presence relevant.
But there are a handful of things small business owners can do to personalize their brand further. Sometimes, business owners get stuck in the social media and technological world and forget that a little bit of personalization and direct interaction can go a long way in client retention and return customers. And, little do some realize that personalization to your small and specific demographic behooves you. Many larger companies use the marketing tactic of marketing to a large pool of people because their store is applicable to many, but with a small business, your goods and offerings aren’t likely for a mass of people. Getting specific and creating a relationship with your customers is a key component to success.
Adding a touch of personalization and spirit to your marketing campaign doesn’t have to be a complete challenge. One of the simplest ways to create a relationship with your customers is with personalization of packaging. There are a number of ways in which you can spice up your packaging to aid in the success of your small business.
Thank You Note
Don’t underestimate the power of handwritten thank you notes. A thank you note may have been an etiquette suggestion that your parents may have attempted to instill in you as a child, but it’s truly a helpful item to toss into a package before you ship out an item. If you order a pile of well-designed note cards with space for a quick note and your company logo, you can scribble a quick note. This may seem a bit tedious, but showing a bit of gratitude goes a long way, especially if you tell the customer how much you appreciate their support.
Not only will this let your customers know that you–as a business owner–need their support, but you’ll feel great, too. On the note cards that you have printed, you can also shamelessly reiterate your website title and social media handles. This encourages your customers to share their purchases with their pool of friends online, which could lead to further sales. Many small businesses utilize this strategy because they are aware that they have a specific demographic, and what better way to reach your customer base than by positive word of mouth marketing? So, pull out your fountain pens and jot down a quick thanks and toss it into the next package you send. See how it works.
This seems simple, but some great gift wrap can go a long way. If you can make it work financially, try to personalize your gift wrap. If personalizing the wrap with logos and designs seems a bit too much, finding gift wrap that is at least in line with your company’s color scheme should do the trick. In either case, stickers are a great addition to the wrapping. Instead of tape, hold your tissue paper down with a nice sticker that has your company logo on it. Wrapping up the purchases accordingly shows that you respect and are proud of your products.
Taking care to make sure it looks presentable and nice indicates your pride in your work. People who just toss orders into a box with no care of its presentation aren’t showing their customers that they feel good towards their business. This extra step shows your appreciation towards your customer and your product. And in some cases, your customers may be purchasing your items as a gift, so you may also be saving them some time by having the wrapping already in place. It’s a win-win for both your small business and for the client. They expect you to care, so show that to them.
A discount code is one of the best ways to get return customers. And they are usually really easy to give out. Most of the time, it’s just designating a simple code that a customer can use on their second purchase. In many instances, small businesses will give 10-15 percent off the next purchase. This is an incentivized move because you can assume a customer will enjoy your product. If the customer does, then it’s a perk for them to come back.
A wonderful way to provide a discount code is by including it in their package. It can easily go along with your thank you note. Lots of smaller businesses are taking to adding multiple pieces of literature to their boxes because it reiterates the company name and gives the customer many opportunities to commit your company brand to memory. Print a stack of small business card sized insertables with a discount code for their next purchase. Adding that ensures that they hold on to the coupon and will think about navigating to your website again should they need something that you provide.
As an added bonus, think about if you want the discount to expire. An expiry would mean you have to change the code for each customer, so you can make sure the code expires. This also gives you an opportunity to write something else and shows great customer service and another level of thoughtfulness.
Some people are suckers for stickers. A well-designed sticker that isn’t shouting at your clients for more business is wonderful. Something with your color scheme and your logo is a great way to get customers to place the sticker on their computer, their filing cabinet or anywhere else. If it’s well-designed, it’ll be a friendly reminder to visit your site or give you a call if they need your services again. Most clients also realize that printing stickers aren’t the cheapest of marketing materials, so stickers aren’t thrown out with the same gusto as the packaging.
Even if your sticker doesn’t get stuck onto something permanent, there is a big chance it’ll be put in a desk drawer and the next time a customer cleans their space, they’ll be reminded of your brand. It’s the kind of marketing that can personalize your packages and it feels like a gift with purchase.
One of the more overlooked personalization items that small businesses can use without much difficulty are hang tags. A hang tag is on nearly every item in a store front shop, from big box stores to small boutiques. Sometimes smaller businesses forget how helpful these are. First off, it gives the actual business a way to organize and find their items easily, but it also adds a level of professionalism in the eyes of a consumer.
A hang tag can add to the experience for the customer and, these days, it is just as important as the products themselves. Adding penned personal notes, buttons and hang tags reveals a level of care and specificity in your direction and of branding. Customers can feel that they can sense and understand your intentions, and things like hang tags help to develop your brand and business into a place that is reliable and quality for a buyer.
Pay close attention to the package filler you use when shipping. Does your brand claim to be eco-friendly? Is your filler following that rule? Are you going for fun and colorful? Does bubble wrap make the most sense for your brand? These are important considerations when discussing the idea of personalizing your packages and defining your brand. Package fillers are things that customers pay attention to and the more on brand and unique the packaging is, the more likely your buyers will tell other buyers. As a small business owner, paying attention to the details that others care about is absolutely essential to your success.
Bet you forgot about a receipt, huh? Well, a shipping slip isn’t always quite good enough. Many clients are going to prefer an itemized and priced out sheet that explains exactly what they purchased. A majority of shopping now occurs online, so helping your customers keep track of their purchases and what they were supposed to receive helps both of you. Not only will an itemized receipt help in case of a mistake, but it gives them a visual idea of what they’re looking at. How many times have you received a package without a receipt and wondered, “What in the world did I buy, again?” It happens more often than one may think, so let’s help everyone stay organized. It’s a courteous little personalization. And, as always, reiterate your social media, your website as well as your return/exchange policy. It never hurts to cover your steps by printing those types of things on physical paper.
All of these options from filler to hand-jotted thank you notes cost different amounts of money and time. But all of these can vary in style, so select what works best for you. When trying to personalize your small business’s packaging, try to think about what you would want to see when you open a box from a new company.
Putting yourself into the shoes of a buyer is never a bad idea. What things do you care about? What things do you like to see and get excited about? What do you appreciate in a package? It’s all about creating a positive and well-rounded experience for your customers. Those experiences can be altered by your packaging and styling, so be cautious and aware of the way you present your small business. Some simple, extra items can really take your brand to the next level.