Creating a valuable product is one thing; coming up with the packaging is another. Unfortunately, it’s easy for brands to wrap their products with the usual carton box and stamp their name on it.
But the thing is, if they don’t play up their packaging game, they’ll risk being overshadowed by competitors that exert that extra effort. Worse, they’ll risk customers forgetting they even exist!
Why is packaging so crucial for businesses? There’s not a single answer. So here, we enumerate the benefits business owners and marketers are missing out on if they don’t get custom packaging.
Promotes Brand Awareness
With several competitors vying for their customers’ attention, brands keep coming up with strategies and campaigns to promote brand awareness. But you know what they say: out of sight, out of mind.
If marketers don’t develop unique ways to reel their target audience, their customers will forget them in seconds. In fact, it takes around five to seven interactions for consumers to remember a brand. So if a product packaging doesn’t get a customer’s attention the first time, it might be too late to get it back.
Take a look at giant companies, such as Apple or Coca-Cola. Remove their logo from product packaging, and they’ll look just like any other tech and soft drink product.
Simply put, brands that can boost their brand awareness efforts are likely to convert visitors to customers. And the simplest things, like stamping their logo in their product packaging, can make the biggest difference.
Keep Products Safe with Custom Packaging
Many startups often start with generic packaging to save on costs. That’s cost-efficient and all, but the downside comes when the packaging doesn’t exactly fit the goods. A standard box isn’t always snug enough to fit most products without adequate padding.
This makes the products prone to spilling or breaking during shipping, which is the least you want to happen when trying to make a positive first impression to customers.
When businesses invest in good-quality custom product packaging, they lessen that risk of breakage and spillage and save on unnecessary costs in the long run. They’ll be able to choose a box size, type, or material that fits their product best, enough to keep it safe and secure during delivery.
There are several packaging styles for products of different types and quantities. These range from big PR boxes to shipping boxes to small individually wrapped products. The key is to choose the right size that best fits your goods.
Enhances Customer Experience
With more and more brands sprouting by the day, it’s more and more crucial for businesses to focus their efforts on customer experience. In a study by SuperOffice, customer experience even outranks pricing and product as the top priority for most companies in the next five years.
This means one thing: consumers are willing to pay more for a more remarkable customer experience. Personalized experiences also encourage buyers to make impulse purchases. If brands don’t bank on this opportunity by customizing their packaging, they’ll be missing out on a lot.
Aside from investing in custom packaging, there are several other ways brands can improve their customer experience:
- Get to know their target audience.
Avoid wasting time second-guessing what they like or don’t like. Getting in-depth knowledge about your audience helps you deliver a more customized experience in the long run. Brands learn a lot about their customers by launching customer surveys and leveraging analytics data, among many others.
- Ask for feedback.
Most of the time, customers don’t share a bad review of a specific product. They simply leave a brand. As a business, you can’t risk customers abandoning you and never coming back. Putting in the effort to follow up with existing customers makes a whole lot of difference.
This doesn’t only help you know which points to improve, but it also makes your customers feel important and appreciated.
Elevate the Unboxing Experience
With the boom of social media, everyone that has a considerable following can be influencers. This means that brands can leverage that following to promote their products and services. This is called influencer marketing, and yes, it exists.
Influencer marketing is under the social media marketing umbrella, which works due to the high trust these influencers have built among their followers. Brands can also consider influencer marketing as social proof to their potential customers.
So how can businesses effectively promote their products via influencers? By personalizing the unboxing experience.
Unboxing videos continue to populate social media platforms these days. People look forward to what products their favorite influencers are receiving and see if they’re worth buying. So this is the perfect marketing opportunity for brands to focus their efforts on improving and customizing their product packaging.
Lets You Stand Out from Competitors
Businesses can use product packaging to let their creativity loose. For example, a lot of packaging companies customize their boxes inside out.
These tips will help marketers and business owners get out of their creative rut:
- Choose your brand colors wisely. Different colors evoke different emotions. For instance, red promotes a sense of urgency. Blue represents security, while brown signifies nature. Brands should ensure the colors they choose for their packaging represents their purpose well. You can use color palette tools to select the hues that best characterize your brand.
- Visualize how it will look on the shelves. Sometimes, a product’s packaging can look good by itself. But when you put it in stores, it may not be as appealing. What do they look like stacked on top of each other? How about when placed beside competitor products? These are essential things marketers should also consider.
- Can customers reuse your packaging? Considering reusable packaging is a great initiative that saves the environment, and customers can find it helpful too!
Start Scouting for the Right Custom Packaging
Investing in custom product packaging isn’t an added cost if you think about the many benefits it offers. It is a brilliant marketing move and a practical way to keep products safe until they reach your customers’ homes. If that’s not a cost-efficient strategy, we don’t know what is.
Typography 101: How to select a brand font
There was a “shower thought” meme circulating recently, pointing out that “accents are just mouth fonts.” All the design nerds at GoDaddy Studio had a good chuckle at that one. But the insight is kinda profound, from the perspective of your brand’s identity, and more specifically, your brand font.
They serve a dual function — communicating information and telling a story. Like an accent, the way in which we receive and decode even basic information is affected by the idiosyncrasies of the voice telling it to us. And this unique tone of voice is a result of that individual’s origin story.
So now the question arises: What unique accent does your brand have, and what can this tell us about you? Your choice of brand font is really the key ingredient to shaping your brand’s voice out there in the world, in line with your story and your graphic style.
Look here, for example, at the same brand name written in three very different font styles. Each of them seems to come from a completely different world, and we know this instinctively, without any additional graphics, images, or words. We read them all slightly differently.
In this post, you’ll walk away with:
- A working knowledge of the basic principles of typography.
- Insights on how fonts can affect your brand identity and messaging.
- The ability to find, navigate, and edit fonts in GoDaddy Studio.
- Your own customized selection of typefaces to add to your brand board.
This information is going to make your creative decisions more tuned-in to your brand. Choosing your hero fonts upfront will also develop brand consistency, and save you loads of time in the design process down the line. We’re thinking long-term here, folks!
Once you know the basics, almost anything is possible.
The art of typography
For most of its existence, typography has been a highly specialized field for professional designers with a thing for microscopic detail.
But with the advent of personal computers and word processors, the average person has been presented with a universe of typographic possibilities for the first time. And these options just keep expanding as the field of typography keeps growing.
Today, most devices come pre-programmed with hundreds of font styles.
It’s an ever-evolving art form, and in as much as there are some unshakable rules we’ll look at in this chapter, typography — like all forms of art — is subject to the tide of trends.
The point to take from this is that — whether we realize it or not — we’re all incredibly finely tuned to the subtleties of typography. In fact, we’re subconsciously snobbish to the extent that a poorly chosen font (Papyrus or Comic Sans anybody?) might rightfully raise a red flag and strongly affect our decision to engage with a brand at all.
Let’s start with some basics and fine-tune as we go along.
It’s important to get some terminology straight at the outset because typography design has its own secret language to describe structure and spacing.
Once you start looking closer at the nuances, you’ll be able to express your choices better (“I like Sanchez Bold, but think it needs some tracking and an option with heavier serifs.”)
First off, the difference between a font and a typeface is confusing. You can use them interchangeably for the most part (we’ll do exactly that in this chapter), but to be absolutely correct and gain some cred with the type geek crowd:
- A typeface is a family of fonts (Baskerville, for example).
- A font refers to any variation of this typeface (Baskerville Regular, Baskerville Bold, Baskerville Italic, and so on).
This is important to know because while some typefaces in GoDaddy Studio have only one default appearance, many of them will have variations in weight and style — i.e multiple fonts within a given typeface.
Anatomy of a font
Typographers clearly personify their creations, judging by how many terms for the bits and pieces that make up letters, numbers and symbols are borrowed from the human body. You might never think of an ear, shoulder, leg, arm, or spine in quite the same way after today. The alternate definitions of beaks, bowls, tails, and spurs might also surprise you.
This diagram identifies the range of components that make up a typeface. The more you learn about typography design, the more you’ll start paying attention to how these little details differ from font to font.
Now let’s consider how we refer to the positioning of text on your canvas, and the spacing between letters, words, and paragraphs.
This diagram illustrates the relative high points and low points of a font from its baseline. The parts of a letter that rise above this are called ascenders, while the bits that dangle below the baseline are called descenders.
The length of ascenders and descenders in a word will influence the relative space between text above or below.
If the ascenders and descenders get too close to each other, the lines feel compressed, and the paragraph would require more effort to read.
In this case, we would need to adjust the leading: the space between lines of text.
This is an easy adjustment to make in GoDaddy Studio, by simply dragging the dial within the Style tab when editing fonts.
When we’re dealing with spaces between the letters themselves, we refer to tracking.
If letters are too close together, the word can be harder to read. Again, it’s a simple edit in GoDaddy Studio, switching to the tracking dial, and adjusting the spacing to add some breathing room, and legibility. You could play around with this as a creative flair for sure, too.
Kerning is similar, but refers more specifically to the spacing between two adjoining letters, and not the whole word.
Sometimes the word will be evenly spaced, but two particular individuals are standing a little too close for comfort. Restoring balance here requires optically adjusting the kerning — or just, you know, closing the gap a little.
The final typographic lingo we’ll run through is hierarchy, and this one’s important because it’s how you’ll navigate the reader’s eye through your design.
In any design with text — an Instagram Story, a poster, a presentation — we can’t simply take it all in at a single glance.
To decode your message clearly, our eyes need to have a starting point, and then proceed in the right order — from point a to point b, c, d, and so on. Without this priority order for the information you’re relaying, your message will be confusing at best, and frustrating at worst.
The idea of hierarchy is most obviously expressed in editorial design, which has its roots in centuries-old newspaper layouts and remains the default today.
Scanning the pages of a publication, printed or digital, the first thing to grab your eye will always be the headline or title. If this piques your interest, the sub-heading might give you a little more context, and if you decide to read on, you’ll dig into the body copy.
These three levels are typically expressed in descending order of size:
This age-old idea still applies to almost all graphic design and branding.
Think about a concert poster, whether it’s on a street pole or your social feed. You’ll only glance at it for a moment.
In this example, there’s an order in which the designer wants us to read the information: a hierarchy from most to least essential. We’ll absorb this information sequentially, so each section ought to nudge us on to the next in a logical way:
The reader moves through text all over the page, but in a coherent order:
- The Desert Foals! I love them!
- Playing live in my town? The price isn’t too steep…
- When and where is the show?
- How do I buy tickets?
This instinctual, instantaneous process simply doesn’t work in reverse, and so the key is to make sure that the most essential information is absorbed first.
There are a few ways to do this as a way to engineer your hierarchy.
Size is the most obvious one: the more real estate the word takes up on the page, the more likely we are to read it first.
Bolder, heavier typefaces will typically get noticed before thin, slender fonts, simply because of the unignorable presence they demand.
All things being equal, a word expressed in a strong, vivid color will always attract the eye more than something neutral, faded, or monochrome.
It’s no different from being transfixed by a single pink flower on a green and brown tree.
Front and center is always a good spot to grab attention, but for more text-heavy design, remember that the (English-speaking) human brain is wired to scan from top to bottom, left to right — making the top left quadrant of the page our default starting position.
That’s enough theory for now. It’s time to use all this knowledge to make some informed decisions for your brand.
Let’s take a gander at the options.
Types of typefaces
All the thousands of font styles in the world can mostly be grouped into five main groups or families.
They’re classified by their structure, but this is very closely related to the context in which we use them.
These quick reference guides include some examples of the relevant typefaces we have waiting for you to try out in GoDaddy Studio:
Serifs are those tiny little extensions that stick out from the tops and tails of some letters. Whether a font has these or doesn’t, will affect its classification.
Serif fonts, as you might have guessed, do have serifs. It’s kind of their thing.
For centuries, pretty much all typefaces were Serifs, and as such, they’re associated with classicism, and tradition — traits that suggest trustworthiness, and authority.
Stylistically, they exude sophistication and grandeur. Equally at home in a headline, logo, or full page of text, elegant Serif fonts are highly practical all-rounders in your brand identity kit.
Sans is the French word for “without,” so sans serifs are fonts without those little doohickies at the ends of them.
Without this added ornamentation, they appear cleaner, more geometric, and minimalist. There’s straightforwardness and simplicity inherent in this, and brands that value these ideas would gravitate to modern sans serif fonts (take a look at many tech company fonts and you won’t find serifs).
Emerging much later in typography’s history, they conjure up associations of modernity and progressive thinking. Sans serifs are supremely legible, which is why you’re able to read this paragraph so easily. They team up beautifully with their serif cousins as a font pairing: an unbeatable combo is a serif headline, with sans serif body copy.
A slab is something we talk about when we refer to enormous, flat sections of stone or concrete. So, in the typography world we can imagine Slab Serifs as exactly that: fat, chunky serif fonts of significant weight.
You’d be more likely to use this for a headline rather than body copy. Their hefty presence makes them impossible to ignore. Counterbalancing a strong slab serif headline with a no-nonsense sans serif for body copy is a solid pairing.
The well-built jocks of the font family, slab serifs project strength, confidence, even athleticism — but not without a sense of playfulness. This might be why it’s the Varsity sports sweater standard.
We’re clearly all in denial about the death of handwriting since there are hundreds of fonts that emulate the O.G typography: pen on paper.
There’s an inherent beauty to the unbroken, liquid dance of lines that sketch words like patterns on a page.
In GoDaddy Studio, it’s a heck of a lot easier than mastering fountain pen technique. Digitized though they may be, Script fonts call to mind the work of human hands. They’re expressive, free and casual, but equally capable of femininity and elegance.
Not always the easiest to read, they make better headlines and subheadings than body copy.
The name says it all, right? Display typefaces, or decorative typefaces, are the big ones you’ll bring out when you really want to get noticed.
They’re for headlines and logos primarily — the main event. These typefaces are elaborate, ornate and playful, with an attention to detail that carries through to our associations with your brand.
Opting for decorative fonts in your brand kit is a considered move; they function as graphic elements, and as such ought to align with your brand’s graphic style.
In the last section, we mentioned that certain typefaces work well with others. We also discussed hierarchy and the idea that copy usually appears at different sizes and lengths in any design.
While you could use a single typeface for all your branding and communication, it’s far more common (and sensible) to have two or three options in your kit of font styles, to use at different positions within your hierarchy.
They can tug in different stylistic directions, compete for dominance on the page, or just seem to exist in different worlds. Font styles that are too similar trouble the eye too, as the reader wavers between reading, and noticing subtle differences between the necks, shoulders, feet, and ears of the two slightly different typefaces.
Font pairing refers to selecting two or three fonts for your brand kit that work in harmony, despite their differences.
Beyond our general advice of choosing a combination that is neither too different nor too similar, it’s difficult to prescribe any hard rules here. Contrast is important: pair chunkier fonts with more slender ones, an expressive typeface with a straightforward option.
The options within your brand kit could also include different font variations of the same typeface: bold, italic, textured, and so on.
Some of the fonts we have in GoDaddy Studio are called duo fonts, which is basically a typeface with two very different expressions designed to work together.
Essentially, it’s a pre-selected font pairing — a two-for-one for the taking.
You’ll need to try out a few combinations to find the magic formula, which will of course hinge on your brand’s style.
As a starting point, here are some suggestions for font pairings we think work particularly well together — grouped according to our 10 graphic styles. Either use these or try subtle variations as you develop a customized combo to add to your brand board.
Bold font pairings
Minimal font pairings
Elegant font pairings
Modern font pairings
Street font pairings
Classic font pairings
Luxury font pairings
Playful font pairings
Organic font pairings
The right fonts for your brand
As we’ve emphasized before, the name of the game when it comes to creating your brand’s identity is consistency: pick them, and stick to them.
Just like your graphics, images, and colors, select font designs that complement your brand’s story and style. That said, trust your gut here. You need to be in love with your brand’s typeface more than anybody else, seeing as you’ll be using it on a daily basis.
Here’s some excellent parting advice from the king of the type geeks at GoDaddy Studio – our senior UX designer, Daniel, who also runs a dedicated font fanatic account @type.bot that we recommend you follow for ongoing inspiration.
Daniel suggests seven key points to consider when choosing a typeface for your brand identity:
- Make sure it’s clearly readable and functional before choosing a typeface based on its looks. It needs to work across many mediums as your brand evolves over time.
- Typography styles are expressive and evoke emotions, so choose a font that is versatile and allows for different moods, depending on what content you need to create.
- Looks are important and cannot be ignored. It helps to distinguish your brand from others. It’s important to think about the unique letterforms and if they hold their own character, plus if they elevate your brand and don’t fall into the generic pool.
- Be consistent with the use of your primary typeface. Experiment with layout and forms and be consistent in delivery of type scale and composition, so that your audience can easily identify your brand.
- Start simple and if you need to grow and evolve your brand, start thinking of a complimentary typeface that accentuates your primary typeface and overall brand.
- There’s a limit. It’s best practice to keep your brand’s font family in the range of one to three fonts that work well together. A good starting point is a single font that’s versatile in its weighting and style.
- When you’re establishing a brand from scratch, a single well-chosen typeface can serve you and your brand well, before having to consider more typefaces (if at all). Start simple and build confidence through continuous creation.
Create your brand new brand with GoDaddy Studio today, and find the perfect fonts to stand out in style.
From clip art to Comic Sans: These screenshots from 25 years ago show just how much the internet has changed
- A report from Morgan Stanley analysts in 1996 predicted the prevalence of the internet.
- It said a person of intermediate web literacy was anyone who simply knew their own email address.
- From clip art to Comic Sans, screenshots show how different the internet looks 25 years later.
- See more stories on Insider's business page.
Morgan Stanley tech analysts Mary Meeker and Chris DePuy knew the world was on the cusp of something big in 1996. They drafted a 323-page report expressing their high hopes for the internet, saying it could be "one of the hottest new markets to develop in years."
Looking back on the report now shows just how far the internet has come in 25 years.
For starters, the report shows how rare some now-common internet activities were in the past. Among 150 million estimated PC users around the globe, the authors estimated 23% had used email for work, 6% had used the web, and 5% had used an online service.
"We feel that e-mail, online/Web access may be ubiquitous for PC users within a decade," the authors wrote. "At a minimum, e-mail should become pervasive. So should Internet/Web access: E-mail is the 'killer application' of the Internet today, and browsing through information services the 'killer app' of tomorrow."
Another marker of the web's progress came from the authors' guide to the report for audiences of varying levels of internet literacy.
Meeker and DePuy defined a novice reader of the report as someone who had "never heard of Motley Fool, CNET, or Yahoo." An intermediate audience was just anyone who "knows [their] own email address."
Take a glimpse at the internet of yesteryear with these screenshots of websites from 25 years ago.
The Weather Channel
The White House
Microsoft Windows 95
1996 Olympic Games
National Hockey League
How to optimize mobile checkout for small business success
In this hyper-connected mobile age, the average person spends almost four hours a day using their smartphones. So, is the average person spending time on your ecommerce site? More importantly to you, are they buying? In this post, we’ll explain why it’s essential to optimize your mobile checkout for your customers.
In addition to reading news content and checking their social media feeds, today’s mobile users like to shop on the go — with studies showing that 79% of consumers made a purchase with their smartphone within the last six months.
As an entrepreneur or business owner, to stand out in your niche, optimizing your website for tablets or smartphones alone isn’t enough — to ensure sustainable growth, you have to make your mobile checkout journey as smooth as possible.
Optimize your mobile checkout design
When you’re optimizing your mobile checkout journey, design matters. Many people make the mistake of valuing looks over logistics — doing so will make your checkout journey confusing, prompting your mobile customers to abandon their purchase and go elsewhere.
Any snags and it’s unlikely that people will complete their purchases.
To make sure your checkout design is swift and responsive, you should:
- Avoid using too many colours, information boxes or dropdown lists. Dropdown lists are especially disruptive to the checkout experience as they require scrolling, distracting shoppers from the task at hand. When it comes to mobile checkout design, minimal is always best.
- Embrace autofill boxes and pop-up keyboard functions to make entering person data and delivery information as frictionless as possible.
- Show your mobile customers how many steps they have to take to complete their purchase by adding a progress bar to your checkout journey — a simple design feature that helps guide people through the funnel, step by step.
- Cement your payment options and payment processes (including the likes of fingerprint and QR code payment if possible), offering as many relevant options as you can without cluttering your page. And, test your payment functionality frequently to avoid any bugs or errors that will drive people away from your business.
- Value your messaging. When it comes to your mobile checkout journey, copy counts. While you should be as sparing as possible, adding a little microcopy to each stage of the process, telling your consumers exactly what to do and why, will increase your chances of closing those all-important sales. Our essential guide to design principles will tell you all you need to know to get your microcopy just right.
Test your mobile checkout process efficiently
Testing your mobile checkout journey extensively (asking around 10 different people at a time to make a test purchase as if they were a customer) and noting any common difficulties or inefficiencies will empower you to fix any pressing issues head-on with a web developer.
Smooth and responsive design is essential, but without regular mobile testing, you’re likely to miss small gaps or performance issues lurking within your checkout journey. If you don’t ensure every last detail of your mobile checkout is fully optimized for success, your competitors will — so don’t forget to test, test, test.
The goods news is: There are two distinct and stress-free ways you can test and optimize your mobile checkout journey for business-boosting glory:
- Mobile testing software: There are many user-friendly UX-based mobile testing tools and platforms available today, designed for checking and analyzing your checkout process and functionality. Here you can invite your team to login and test your designs, adding any feedback either in the platform itself or in a shared document.
- Heat mapping tools: Heat maps are excellent for ongoing testing and refinements as they will show you exactly how your mobile users engage with your checkout offerings.
Heap mapping tools will show you where your potential customers swipe and scroll, using heat-based visuals to show you where people interact most and least on every page. By running a heat map on your mobile checkout journey for specific periods, you will be able to see where people get stuck, get confused or lose interest. You can also see where your designs, action buttons, and design features work best.
Bonus tips to optimize your mobile checkout process
By making your design features as efficient as possible and testing your mobile processes regularly, you will create a smooth, seamless experience that will boost sales and improve customer loyalty. If people are onto a good thing, they will come back for more — if they find your checkout process tedious, they will go elsewhere. It’s that simple.
To complement the tips and advice we’ve already shared, here are some additional mobile checkout optimization tips to try out once you’ve made those all-important initial improvements:
- Offer a guest checkout option: 28% of mobile customers abandon their carts because they weren’t offered a guest checkout option. Rather than making every customer sign up to your business and enter all of their details, offering the option of a guest checkout journey will speed up the journey and reduce the potential for any friction or hesitation.
- Add clear call-to-action (CTA) buttons and “save for later” options: To entice mobile customers to engage with your checkout, you should add clean and clear CTA buttons to each stage of the journey to guide them through the process with ease. Also, adding a “save for later” option to your journey is an effective way of enticing hesitant consumers to come back and make a purchase another time.
- Run mobile audits: in addition to function-based testing, you should also run regular mobile audits (there are several user-friendly platforms available today) to automatically crawl and check for any defects or errors. Doing so will empower you to nip any potential issues in the bud and avoid any costly issues later down the line.
“Mobile is not the future, it is the now. Meet your customers in the environment of their choice, not where it is convenient for you.”— Cyndie Shaffstall, mobile expert & founder of Spider Trainers
The post How to optimize mobile checkout for small business success appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.
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