You've done your market research, know your customers, and are ready to see your product on store shelves. Choosing the right partner to manufacture your custom retail boxes is critical for ensuring your products move from the shelf to the register and out the door. Asking questions before committing to a packaging partner will ensure your needs are met and you are maximizing your ROI.
In 2022 we've seen record inflation, increasing interest rates, and high prices. Some news outlets, such as Bloomberg, are predicting that a recession is imminent. In tight economic times, when consumers are spending less, it becomes even more critical to take all precautions to ensure your product gets noticed and purchased. This includes working with a packaging expert that can help make that happen. Here are some questions to ask when choosing a custom retail box manufacturer.
It doesn't matter what else the company offers if they can't make your packaging the way you want. Not all packaging manufacturers have the same printing and box-making capabilities. Retail boxes can range from small cosmetic boxes to large television boxes. And graphics can vary from simple single-color vectors to full-color, photo-quality images. Ensure they have the equipment to create the packaging you need.
The quality of the print can make or break your packaging. The type of printing you need may depend on your graphic elements, run size, and budget. Your custom packaging can be printed using digital, flexography, or offset printing, as well as a combination of these. Being educated on the differences can help you decide which you need.
Digital printing accepts files from a computer and doesn't require special plates to create photo-quality print. Digital printing is typically the most cost-effective for smaller runs. But volumes are increasing as technological advances are made.
Flexographic printing uses flexible photopolymer printing plates where each color requires a different plate. The number of colors will depend on the equipment's capabilities and the manufacturer. Flexographic printing is fast, making it ideal for large jobs. Traditional flexographic printing prints vector files and cannot print photos. However, new technology is making it possible to get a near-litho quality print with the benefits of flexographic print for high volume orders.
For offset printing, also called lithographic printing, the image to be printed is transferred (offset) to a rubber blanket and then to the substrate to be printed. Offset printing is a high-quality technique used to produce magazine-quality prints. It is generally used for high-volume orders to make it economical. However, offset printing is used when your packaging needs to stand out with foil stamping, embossing, spot gloss, or other embellishments.
Sometimes you may want to do a mixture of techniques to create the perfect custom packaging.
Color consistency is related to printing but deserves its own spot on this list. Inconsistent color from run to run, product to product, or from different printers can diminish your brand equity. It is vital to work with a packaging partner that can ensure your colors are consistent whenever or wherever they are printed. One way this is achieved is through G7 Master Colorspace certification.
G7 is a global specification created by Idealliance for achieving visual color similarity across all print processes. G7 Master Qualification is granted to a physical facility and indicates that it has calibrated specific equipment and systems to G7 standards.
Of course, your partner should have experience making primary packaging, but it is highly beneficial if your packaging partner has experience with top retailers. Some retailers have specific requirements for packaging. For example, Walmart’s Supplier Quality Excellence Program (SQEP) requires suppliers to provide the right product in the right condition with the right invoice at the right time (the 4 rights). This program has specific packaging requirements, corrugated board and carton specifications, transit testing for some items and other criteria. A partner with retailer experience can ensure you meet retailer-specific requirements, which can save you time and money from having to redesign your packaging.
If you need assistance with packaging design or refreshing new ideas, look for a packaging partner with both graphic and structural design capabilities. Packaging that doesn't capture attention won't sell products any more than packaging that falls apart. Both are equally as important.
A partner that proactively assists with packaging design to ensure you are getting the best packaging for your product and budget is invaluable. A quality partner will have experience with various materials and processes and will help you strike a perfect balance and optimize your ROI.
Sustainability continues to be a hot topic. Consumers are demanding greener packaging – that which can be recycled, is made from recyclable materials, and uses less materials. Corrugated packaging is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately for many, sustainability has become an empty buzzword, and we are bombarded with claims that turn out to be nothing more than greenwashing. Look for a partner who makes a concerted effort towards sustainability with processes and materials. For example, Mako-Board™ is a plastic alternative that is 100% fiber-based and 100% recyclable.
A lot has changed in the 72 years since Dusobox first opened its doors, but one thing has remained consistent, our commitment to providing exceptional custom packaging for our customers. We take pride in turning packaging challenges into success stories. We differentiate ourselves from others in several ways:
Get ready to differentiate your brand from competitors. Contact us today!