Category Archives: Packaging Innovations & Technology

Our favourite Cardboard Crafts for Halloween

It’s almost that time of year – when the ghouls and ghosts come out to haunt us and trick or treaters visit.  With Halloween fast approaching, we’ve been exploring some of our favourite cardboard craft projects with used packaging to make spooky decorations, creepy costumes and petrifying haunted houses.  We’ve selected some of our favourites and detailed them below, so round up any leftover packaging and get crafting!

Halloween craft ideas

Source: https://pixabay.com/en/halloween-witch-s-house-the-witch-2893710/

All Hallows’ Eve? 

You don’t have long to get your decorations up, pumpkins carved and costumes crafted!  This ancient day dates back over 2,000 years, where it was celebrated as a Celtic festival called Samhain to mark the end of Summer.  It was believed that it was at this time of year when the space between the world of the living and the dead blurred, and spirits would crossover at this supernatural time.  Originally known as ‘All Hallows Eve’, over time the name evolved into ‘Halloween’ as we know today.

It’s more popular than ever too, with an estimated 25%* of us carving pumpkins and spending over £25million on them across the UK.  But if you have any leftover packaging around, we know the value of a good cardboard box and after use they are great for craft projects.  You can make some impressive Halloween decorations (even a cardboard pumpkin!) with some basic craft materials and a bit of creativity to save money and reuse materials.

Spooky decorations for your home

With a few cardboard boxes, some tape, glue and cutters there are no end of creations you can craft to add a spooky feel to your home.  We’ve selected a few of our favourites below and listed the instruction videos so you’ve got everything you need to get started!

Cardboard Pumpkin Head

If you want a spooky pumpkin but don’t want to carve up a fresh one then take a look at this brilliant cardboard alternative.  Taking a couple of cardboard boxes, you can cut out the entire shape from cardboard with a knife and then glue these together to make the impressive pumpkin head shape.  Once you have it constructed, you can decorate with a bright orange paint and any other creepy decorations. Place a sheet of crinkled foil inside and you can illuminate it with an electric candle light for your very own jack-o’-lantern made from packaging!

Cardboard pumpkin head

Spooky Sweet Dispenser

For something a little simpler, this sweet dispenser made from a cardboard box by Box Yourself is a great little craft project to add a creepy vibe to your treats this Halloween.  It’s easy to do and you only need a cardboard box, some paints, glue and a cutter to craft some facial features.  It’ll be a great addition to any house this Halloween.

Cardboard spooky sweet dispenser

Cardboard Tombstones

For a haunting outdoor decoration take a look at these striking cardboard tombstones. So simple to make by taping a few sheets of cardboard and newspaper.  Once you have the structure made, you can paint and decorate, adding creepy fun messages on the front for all to see when they approach your door.

Cardboard tombstones

PET-rifying Haunted Houses

Finally for the pet lovers out there (and we have quite a few in the office!) we love these cardboard haunted pet houses.  We’ve listed a couple of our favourites below, whether you have a dog or a cat you can make a great little home for your furry friend with a spooky feel.

The DIY haunted dog house simply takes a few cardboard boxes, a bit of crafting and sticking to bring together a single or multi story haunted pet house.  For decoration, you can be as creative as you like with pens and paints – they’ve even added cobwebs in the video below.

Cardboard dog house

If you’re a cat lover, then this PET-rifyingly cute house takes a large and a medium sized cardboard box and turns them into an impressive structure.  In the video they add roof tiles, shutters, gnarled trees and fencing with extra pieces of cardboard and paper which really enhances the spooky feel.

Cardboard cat house

Please do let us know of any favourite Halloween craft projects of your own, post them in the comments below and we’ll be sure to take a look.  If you’re a regular user of packaging and cardboard boxes and need any advice selecting and purchasing packaging, then our team of Packaging Specialists will be happy to help and answer and questions you might have. Simply visit www.rajapack.co.uk or contact our team on 0800 542 44 28, or sales@rajapack.co.uk.

*https://www.finder.com/uk/cost-of-pumpkins

How to use Packaging Tape

Packaging tape is an essential for anyone who intends to post cartons or boxes and seal them securely.  It’s the glue that holds packaging together; strong, versatile, easy to work with and apply.  But how can it best be used? Is it recyclable? What exactly is a pistol grip dispenser?

These are some of the questions we answer in today’s post, with a focus purely on packaging tape.  We’ll be covering everything you need to know, including how it’s used , how to apply to boxes and remove it safely, as well as how to use tape dispensers to save time and effort in sealing.

How to use packaging tape

So, how exactly do you use packing tape?

Packaging tape is one of the simplest and easiest packaging items to use but must be handled correctly – you could quickly end up in a mess with a lot of tape wasted if you’re not careful! We’ve included some tips below on how to use packing tape to ensure you get the most from it.

Firstly, make sure it’s packaging tape that you’re using – not cellophane tape (Sellotape), paper masking tape or craft tape.  Packaging tape has been designed for sealing boxes and cartons with a strong and long lasting stick and is made from a strong, bonded material.  This strong bond will ensure the tape won’t peel off during shipping or storage nor will your parcel pop open which could have disastrous consequences.  Always make sure you’re using the right tape for the job.

In most cases the packaging should be applied using a tape dispenser. This doesn’t just make it a lot faster and easier it actually makes sure that the tape has been applied properly without any crinkles or the tape sticking to itself. The pressure of the tape dispenser helps seal with the tape to the box or surface.

There are many different types of packaging tape available, ranging from heavy duty to low noise, cross filament, vinyl, polypropylene and more.  It’s a topic we have touched on before though we do understand it can be overwhelming due to the different properties that each tape offers.

Evaluate what you are going to need the tape for, considering factors like where it will be used (indoor or outdoor), the weight of the contents, the materials to be bonded together and the range of items to be sealed.  You can find our full range of tape online but if you need help and advice then do get in touch with our Packaging Specialists who will be happy to help you find the right tape for your needs. Simply contact our team on 0800 542 44 28, or sales@rajapack.co.uk.

Packaging tape at Rajapack

If you’re regularly sealing boxes, cartons or parcels with tape then a dispenser can make this process a lot faster and easier.  It can affix tape in one smooth action, saving time and energy, minimising wastage and improving efficiency.

Packaging tape dispensers come in many different types. The most common is the pistol grip dispenser and that will be the one we are focusing on today.  With an easy to grip, comfortable pistol-like handle, they offer everything you need to dispense, stick and cut tape in one small, robust tool.

To operate, first load the roll of tape onto the dispenser reel.  Ensure the tape fits snugly over the reel and stays in place.  You’ll need to make sure that the sticky side of the tape is facing the floor, downwards, as this will be how the tape is dispensed and sticks to the surface you’re taping. 

Once it’s loaded, feed the start of the tape reel into the dispenser. Take the sticky end of the tape and pull this through the narrow dispensing slit.  This will be a thin channel that leads to the front of the dispenser and into the cutting teeth where the tape is fed through as it’s operated.  There may be a lever clip present to pull down and secure the tape in place.

Many dispensers feature a small adjustable screw in the centre of the reel which will allow you to adjust the resistance and tightness of the reel, so make sure this is adjusted as required to allow the tape to spin freely with some resistance.

With the tape fed through, you are ready to seal your first box and set up the dispenser for continuous use.  Ensure the surfaces you wish to tape are clean and free from dust and dirt.  Stick the end of the tape to the surface where you wish the tape to start, and then pull the pistol grip along the length of the area to be taped.  The tape should run off the reel and give you a nice, clean and straight seal.

To cut and finish, simply tilt the pistol grip handle towards the surface, front first.  This will engage the cutting teeth across the tape, slicing the tape and leaving the next section of tape ready to stick on the front of the reel.   We’ve included a useful video below which demonstrates this process clearly .

How to use a packing tape dispenser

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ6MOm9xDHE

All you need to know about packaging tape 

With many different types of tape available to buy, customers have many questions about the safety, use and environmental impact of tape.  Below we’ve answered a few of the more common questions we regularly receive about our range of packaging tapes.

Is packing tape recyclable?

The good news is that yes, packing tape is recyclable.  Even better is that it can be recycled along with the cardboard boxes that it’s usually found on.  Many recycling sites remove the tape from the cardboard and recycle these separately, but you can help them by separating these yourself prior to disposal – we’ve included some information about that below.

Is packaging tape recyclable

What temperatures can packaging tapes be used at?

Most packaging tapes can be used across a broad range of temperatures, up to higher heat levels of between 35 and 45°C.  Below, we’ve detailed the recommended temperature limits across a range of tape types, provided they are applied correctly to clean cartons and are kept out of direct sunlight:

What temperatures can packaging tape be used at

Once tape has been applied to a carton, lab tests have shown that the sealed cartons can stay closed across a temperature range from –10°C up to 100°C, provided that the tapes have been applied by hand or machine, under normal conditions to clean cartons free from dust and moisture.  These are wider limits that tape can be used at, but we don’t recommend you rely on them and stick to the recommended temperature ranges above.

How to remove packing tape

Once you’re finished with a carton, as we learnt earlier that it can be recycled along with the tape in one piece, but it’s better to separate the two before disposal if you are able to.

If you can peel off a short length of the tape, then the rest of it should easily separate from the carton.  With the loose end of the tape in one hand, securely hold the carton in the other and pull the tape off along the direction that it is stuck.

It should separate in one smooth motion, though be careful of other lengths of tape that may cross over it.  Sometimes two or three lengths may be stuck over one another at joins or over corners, so make sure you’re removing the top length of tape so it will separate easily.

If you need to know how to remove packing tape residue from surfaces that have been secured with tape, then there are a few solutions that can help.  First, we recommend treating with warm, soapy water.  If the residue is not too firm then usually this can work as a quick and simple solution.

If the tape residue is tougher or has been stuck for some time, then try something stronger.  We recommend rubbing alcohol, methylated spirits or spraying with WD40.  Applying to a cloth and then rubbing the residue should lift it easily – do take care though and ensure that the surface won’t be damaged by using one of these formulas.

How to tape packing boxes

Finally, we’re going to wrap up with some information on how to tape packing boxes.  There is a tried and tested method to seal a box that will ensure it’s secure and safe, with all seals covered and reinforced.

The method that we use is called the ‘H’ seal method – when it’s complete, as you can see from the picture below, the tape spells out a letter H.

This method ensures that all seals are securely taped over with no risk of opening.  It also helps to make the box tamper-resistant, as any removal of tape will leave a lasting mark on the box and be clear to see.

Once your items and contents are contained, close all flaps of the box fully.  Once closed, tape up the long centre seal first along the length of the box, ensuring that there is some tape running down the sides of the box to secure it firmly.  Make sure the flaps are shut tight for a strong seal.

With the long flap secured, tape along the two outer edges where the flaps seal finishing the letter H and securely taping the box closed, folding it around the corners and down the sides.

How to tape packing boxes

If you’d like more information about packaging tape, our range of tape dispensers or the many different type of tape that we offer simply get in touch with our team of Packaging Specialists who will be happy to help. Simply visit www.rajapack.co.uk or contact our team on 0800 542 44 28, or sales@rajapack.co.uk.

 

New Product Launch: Potato Based Packaging Protection

Following Earth Over Shoot Day earlier this month, we’re continuing with our environmental theme to help you go green. Take a look at the AirWave Void Fill Pillow System, one of the most revolutionary and eco-friendly packaging machines we’ve seen. This environmentally friendly packaging product uses left over potato peelings to make void fill packaging that can easily be composted at home!  To find out more about this innovative product and what it could offer your packaging operation, read on.

The AirWave - Eco-friendly packaging made from potato
Capturing air to protect packages
 

Air cushion packaging is very effective void fill, with a range of machines and cushion sizes available.  Rather than using physical void fill material such as packing peanuts, Kraft paper or tissue, air pillows are lightweight (being 98% air and 2% cushion), small and easy to store and can be made up in seconds with the right equipment.  Not only that, the abundance of air makes the contents of the pillow filling very easy to source!  The use of plastic which all pillows are made from, has been the only environmental concern to date…that is until now.

Turning potato waste into protective packaging with the AirWave

You may already be using air cushions in your packaging operation with a Mini Pak’r or a similar machine.  Small, compact and highly efficient, these machines are only slightly larger than a standard laptop so even a small packaging operation could easily support them.  They quickly produce air cushions for filling space in parcels and cartons, preventing items moving during shipping and keeping the contents safe and secure.

Operationally, this efficient AirWave works in a similar way to other air cushion machines; quick, quiet and compact, it can produce enough cushions for four packing stations with up to 8 – 10 metres of cushion per minute – a lot of volume from such a small machine!  It’s able to produce both air filled cushions or quilts which are inflated and sealed in one smooth process through the machine, running at ≤60dB it keeps things nice and quiet.

Giving potatoes a new lease of life

Air pillows have been historically made from plastic which can be difficult to recycle depending on the facilities and services you have locally.  The AirWave is an industry first which uses a biocompostable biopolymer material as its air cushions – with no plastic in sight! The AirWave void fill biocompostable pillow film is 100% plastic free, meaning it’s naturally sourced material will fully break down in a normal compost environment.

Giving potatoes a new lease of life into protective packaging

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/doyland/4985322023/

The fun part is that these biopolymers are made from potato! They’re completely formed from natural potato peelings and other waste by products of the potato processing industry – it’s this source of material which means they are able to completely break down in the environment.

Potato peelings can be given a new lease of life once their work is done providing protection to parcels and products all around the world.  After they have been disposed of and made into compost, they can then be used to help grow new potatoes in the garden!

The science behind potato air pillows

AirWave pillows are household-biodegradable, meaning they can be disposed of in your normal compost that you’ll find in a residential property. No special disposal method is needed at all and they won’t have any negative impact on the quality of compost, making them ideal for home recycling. Finally, the pillows fully comply with standards for compostability (EN 13432) which means they’ll degrade by 90% physically within 12 weeks, and biologically within 6 months.

Eco-friendly protective packaging made from potato wasteSustainable packaging - Pototo waste can be made into protective packaging

Images sources: https://morguefile.com/p/1058151
https://www.flickr.com/photos/facilitybikeclub/3321732096/

We’re very impressed with the environmental innovation that AirWave has brought to the protective packaging industry, it perfectly aligns with our strong stance on environmental protection and helps our customers go green. For August we’re offering a discount of 10% off all orders of bio pillow film rolls, so hurry to take advantage of this limited time offer.

If you’d like more information about void fill packaging, air cushion machines or are interested in being one of the first to try out our new AirWave pillows on your packaging line, simply get in touch with our team of packaging machine experts who are on hand to help.  Visit www.rajapack.co.uk or contact our team on 0800 142 26 46, or machines@rajapack.co.uk.

Spotlight on Rajaprint: Custom Printed Tape

It’s been over a year since we launched Rajaprint, our online packaging tool for customers to create their own bespoke printed packaging.  We’ve chosen to feature it in this post as we’re offering some unmissable discounts on orders, with full details below.

Custom tape has been so popular that we’ve decided to revisit what makes custom packaging so important, and find out exactly how much custom tape we have printed!

custom-tape

Custom packaging can increase profits

Over the past few years, we’ve seen custom packaging become more popular as many businesses are looking to every avenue to maximise the customer experience.  Personalisation and customisation have always played an important role in this, but it’s only recently that we have seen this extend so far into the world of packaging.

We saw more evidence of this first hand at the Internet Retailing Expo in April, where many business owners we spoke to were looking for ways to give their products added stand out.  It’s also a topic we’ve covered on the blog before, looking in detail at how custom packaging can increase profits for businesses.

Giving customers more control over their packaging

Last year we developed Rajaprint Tape following feedback from customers that custom packaging was going to be the next packaging must have for many.   It can provide many benefits to SME businesses, who don’t want the large expense of specialised branding campaigns.

Rajaprint gives customers complete control over their customisation, allowing them to tailor it exactly how they want.  Just some of the features include:

  • 11 different types of tape, with over 124 different options
  • A wide range of tape materials including Vinyl, Polypropylene, Cross Woven, & Low Noise
  • A simple 3 step process, all completed online
  • Quick turnaround time, typically 2 weeks from sign off to delivery

So just how popular is Rajaprint custom tape?

In short, very! We’ve worked out that the amount of custom tape we’ve printed for our customers, and it’s staggering, take a look at some of our fun facts below.  In just over 12 months:

  • We’ve printed over 1,500 miles of custom tape – that’s enough to stretch from Land’s End in Cornwall to John of Groats in the Highlands and back again!
  • We’ve printed over 300 different bespoke tape designs through Rajaprint for our customers in just over a year, and many have returned for repeat orders.
  • Our most popular type of tape has been standard vinyl tape, it’s ideal for many applications. Polypropylene has been a close second, followed by low noise (perfect for packaging in libraries!)
  • The most popular colour has been white – lots of our customers use white tape for added stand out on their traditional brown packaging.
  • Company information and logos has accounted for over 75% of our custom prints! Business details, branding and straplines on packaging tape can all help to enhance the experience for the recipient.

Rajaprint has gone from strength to strength since we launched, it’s why we extended it to include Rajaprint bags last year – so many customers are looking for new ways to stand out from the crowd with tailored packaging.

custom-tape-and-bags

Custom printed packaging at unbeatable prices

Right now, we’re offering up to 40% off orders with free tape customisation in one or two colour print (with orders over 360 rolls).  For those repeat orders, we’re also offering free artwork, so if you’re looking for a bit of extra impact and personality from your packaging, then please get in touch today, we’d love to help.

 

Introducing the RajaSafe™ Impact Protect Box

With so many of us shopping online, the need for innovative packaging solutions has never been greater. Under the Sale of Goods Act, products damaged in the post are the responsibility of the seller, not the buyer, which can leave many businesses out of pocket. The bottom line is that inadequate packaging costs your business money. And even if your packaging is up to scratch, unscrupulous, heavy-handed couriers can be unavoidable.

It’s difficult to estimate the number of parcels that are damaged in transit each year. With giant postal sorting warehouses continuously running conveyor belts full of packages, sometimes accidents are unavoidable, and packages can accidentally slip off the line.

As the No 1 in Europe for packaging solutions, Rajapack has been working to solve this problem. So it gives us great pleasure to announce our revolutionary RajaSafe™ Impact Protect system.

Boxes with bounce

RajaSafe bouncebox-banner-april-fools (2)

Our team of technologists have been working on developing and improving this innovative new packaging solution. Corrugated card is combined with isoprene and styrene-butadiene compounds. This creates resilient, pressure absorbing properties which give the boxes a slight bounce on impact.

RajaSafe™ Impact Protect technology is designed to give maximum protection to heavier, bulky items, such as flat-screen televisions, as these can be the hardest to handle. The ‘bounce’ is engineered to be more apparent the heavier the package, as these are generally the items requiring the most protection.

We showcased the new range of RajaSafe™ Impact Protect boxes at the Packaging Innovations 2016 show earlier this year. We carried out demonstrations to show the degree of bounce for each item placed inside the boxes, and we were blown away by your feedback.

“This new technology from Rajapack demonstrates one of the greatest innovations in the packaging industry since the introduction of personalised packaging. As a company we are acutely aware of the need for affordable, contemporary, resilient packaging solutions; RajaSafe™ Impact Protect is the technology this industry has been waiting for.”

– Anabelle Fool, MD, CBB Systems

How it works

At Rajapack, we are committed to creating eco-solutions that can be recycled or in this case reused. The main component of our RajaSafe™ boxes is styrene-butadiene, an artificial rubber compound commonly used by large tyre manufacturers. Heralded for its abrasion resistance, this compound, as well as giving our boxes their boing, adds a resilience that was never before available with cardboard. This means the boxes are sturdy enough to be used long past the lifecycle of an ordinary cardboard box.

We use Solution-SBR, created through an anionic polymerization process, to coat the inner wall of our cardboard boxes.  Using Solution-SBR gives us greater control over the polymer, allowing us to tailor it to our needs. This compound is what gives the boxes their bounce, and offers maximum protection to the items inside.

RajaSafe bouncebox-sales (2)

Rajapack is constantly striving to create a better product for our customers, with RajaSafe™ Impact Protect technology we hope to bring you peace of mind. We will be offering this technology in our postal box range, and are currently working on introducing it to our complete range of cardboard boxes to include more bulky items such as TVs or guitars. When combined with our other innovative packaging solutions, the RajaSafe™ Impact Protect system is guaranteed to be your number one shipping solution.

The evolution of postal packaging

The UK postal service has undergone many changes since it was first established an astonishing 500 years ago. And at the same time, postal packaging has evolved too. Materials, transportation, and the way we shop have all had their impact, and the future promises even more changes.

A brief history of post

This year, the UK postal service celebrates 500 years since Henry VIII first established postal towns across the country to build a formal postal network. Just over 100 years later, the first public postal service was established by Charles I in 1635.

It wasn’t until the 19th Century that reforms put forward by Rowland Hill transformed the post into something we recognise today. He introduced the Penny Black, the world’s first adhesive stamp which made all mail a uniform price.

Penny Black

In 1883, under Postmaster General Henry Fawcett, the Parcel Post Service started for the first time. Previously, people could only send packages privately via stagecoach or rail.

Now that people could send parcels cheaper and have them delivered by an official Postman, the need for parcel packaging grew and with it, an industry was born.

Transportation and package protection

The Royal Mail was always looking for faster and more efficient ways of delivering mail. Transportation played a key role, so as technology progressed delivery methods could evolve too.

Horse driven coaches were initially used, replaced by bicycles in the late Victorian age when the numbers of local Postmen grew. The 1830s saw the first mail railway services, and in 1850 Royal Mail ships were commissioned to deliver post by sea. But a true international mail service began with the arrival of air freight which became dominate in the mid 20s.

Horse and Carriage

All this change had an effect on protective packaging protection, as goods travelling longer distances needed better packaging to protect the products for the journey ahead.

Kraft paper was invented in 1879 and to this day continues to be a cost-effective form of protection, providing an internal cushion for products being sent.

By the mid-20th Century foam structures became increasingly used, with the use of lightweight and tear-resistant polyurethane foam. Today, it comes in a range of options for packaging of all shapes and sizes.

Bubble Wrap is a trademark of Sealed Air Corporation, which first used it in packaging in 1961. Three years later, padded mailers began to be manufactured by Jiffy Packaging. They have been so effective that they’re still going strong 55 years later.

 Going the distance

The first Royal Mail Airmail service began in 1919, flying between London and Paris. The service was quickly extended to Holland, Belgium and Morocco. But it wasn’t until after WW2, that Airmail really took off with the rapid growth in commercial aviation.

Air mail

With long-distance mail delivery now possible, packaging needed to adapt again for global travel. The need for security, element-proofing and durability was the driving force behind the development of plastic mailing bags made of polythene, the same material as carrier bags but significantly stronger. Available in a range of thicknesses to package heavyweight or sharp objects without risk of breaking, they have been developed with seal strips for security and are waterproof. And with the rise of ecommerce, they are perfect for international shipping.

The impact of ecommerce

The rate of change online has helped the growth of mail order and ecommerce and has been the biggest recent catalyst for postal packaging changes.

In Europe, ecommerce transactions are expected to reach £185 billion this year with the rise of mobile purchases increasing by 37.5%. With such huge increases, retail postal packaging is having to adapt quickly.

One of the challenges postal packaging has needed to address is custom packaging. Studies in America have shown 66% of customers believe the packaging represents how much the retailer cares about their order and nearly half believe the better the packaging the better the product inside.

First impressions matter. With the huge growth in “unboxing” videos (where users record themselves opening a package) on YouTube – up 871% since 2010 – postal packaging is the first opinion-forming part of a brand that customers see. Custom packaging available to businesses is fast becoming a major catalyst for packaging development.

Greener post

Fuelled by customer demand, there is a global drive by businesses to become more environmentally conscious. Postal packaging is no exception. Today, there are many options available to businesses to provide packaging made from recycled and biodegradable materials.

Rajapack is currently running Action Programme for Women & the Environment, a campaign to raise awareness of recyclable and renewable resourced packaging products.

Biodegradeable packagingThe next 500 years?

We have seen huge changes in postal packaging since the first postal service was introduced. The next 500 will no doubt prove to be any different. With such revolutionary ideas such as Amazon’s drone-based delivery service, postal packaging will continue to evolve.

Standing out in a crowded market place: how custom packaging can increase profits

It’s widely acknowledged that it’s cheaper to keep an existing customer than to attract a new one.  A 2010* study said that it could be around five times more expensive to recruit a new customer. Not only are existing customers far more likely to purchase from your business, but it is also easier to convert them into brand advocates who will advertise your brand to friends and family.

Custom packaging gives customers an instant impression of the brand

Custom packaging gives customers an instant impression of the brand

One of the best ways of attracting repeat custom is by making your brand memorable. Businesses can’t always achieve this by creating a great product alone. You also need to market and package it in a way that differentiates your product from the competition. Only then will you create an experience that feels special for the customer.

Fun packaging makes your product stand out, come alive and in some cases becomes the very reason why your users come back to you for more”-Zopim

If your package looks like every other plain parcel your customer receives, how do they remember where they purchased that great product from?

Customisation: how does it encourage repeat purchases?

Customising your packaging allows your customers to instantly recognise your product range, making them more likely to think of it when it comes to buying that type of product in the future. There are many ways that a company can customise their packaging. Digital customisation has made this quicker and easier than ever. This is where you can use websites like Moonpig.com or Rajaprint to upload your own images, which are then printed directly onto the packaging.

Large retail businesses have been customising their packaging for years. Think of all the times you’ve had a delivery from Amazon or bought groceries from Asda; their identity is emblazoned on the packaging and tells you in an instant who the package is from. Their branding lasts throughout the customer journey and brand recognition lasts long after the products are received.

What effect does custom packaging have on the customer?

Box

In retail, having ‘top of mind’ awareness is important when trying to achieve a higher ROI and more repeat custom. Top of mind means that when a customer considers purchasing a product, they think of your brand.

Stand out packaging is vital for lasting awareness, as it allows the customer to associate an image and name with the product.

If a customer associates a brand name or image with a quality product, they are more likely to purchase that item again and also explore other products in the same range. In effect they have increased their depth of involvement with your company from product to brand.

Connecting with the customer

Customers are more likely to purchase a product that they feel connects with them or relates to them on some level. This could be showing an understanding of age group, sub culture, gender or personality type.

Gender specific (GS) packaging is a prime example of this. GS packaging is when a product is designed with imagery that appeals to members of a certain gender. This could be in the choice of colour pallet or imagery that resonates with that sex. According to a poll organised by ‘easyFairs’, 37% of women would be more attracted to gender specific packaging.

Jean-Paul-Gaultier

Customising and branding packaging allows businesses to communicate their personality to the customer. If a customer feels that the brand understands them or their needs, they are more likely to be become brand loyal or brand advocates, rather than just one-off customers.

Taking customisation to the next level with personalisation

A number of big brands have now evolved customisation further with personalised packaging. Personalisation allows the customer to feel personally connected with the brand. This could be through non-targeted personalisation, such as the names on Coca Cola bottles (which increased sales by 2% after a number of year-on-year declines) or the ultra-targeted campaigns such as Nutella’s new label name branding campaign.

Nutella

Nutella’s label personalisation makes each product unique to the customer and blurs the lines between seller and buyer, allowing the consumer to feel closer to the brand.

What impact could this have on your business?

Statistics tell us that branding and customised packaging encourages repeat purchases, but how does that translate into success for your business?

Bain & Company, the global management consultancy firm, say that a mere 5% increase in customer retention could translate into increased profits of 25%. Although there are extra costs associated with the introduction of customised packaging, the figures show that the return on investment can be well worth the outlay.

If you can start making your customers think of your business as a brand rather than simply a product, you create an audience who are ready to become long term advocates.

* Lee Resources inc.

The year 2030: a look into the packaging and delivery future

The world of technology is moving at an unbelievable rate and it is quite possible that the world in 2030 will be completely unrecognisable from the one we live in today.

Drones

A major part of that change will be the way that people purchase and receive items from online retailers. According to Digitalmarketingshow.co.uk, UK shoppers are expected to have spent around £52 billion online by the end of the year. With so many people deciding to shop online instead of at their local supermarket, packaging and delivery will become more important than ever before.

By the time 2030 comes along, packaging and delivery could have been taken into a whole new sector. With information so readily available at the click of a button on the internet, it can only be a matter of time before the consumers start to demand that their products reach them a lot sooner too.  Time spent waiting will be a commodity that we’re just not prepared to spend.

One very interesting piece of technology that will be common place by 2030, is the use of drones for delivery. These automated robots will be programmed to fly to an exact destination and back again, meaning that delivery people in vans may be a thing of the past for smaller items.

Drone girl looks into a delivery drone future

We had a few questions to ask about drones; most notably about security and how the strength and design of our packaging would have to change to meet the demands of this new form of delivery. So we got together with Sally French, who you may know better as thedronegirl.com. She has run the web’s most visited site solely about drones since 2013 and was named by Fortune Magazine as one of 2015’s ‘Most Influential Women in Drones’.

We quizzed her on a few different issues surrounding delivery, branding and the changes that we will have to make to our personal lives in order to fulfil the potential of drone deliveries.

Rajapack: Hi Sally, thanks for speaking with us today. First of all, do you think that most companies will follow Amazon’s lead (Amazon’s CEO says that their drone deliveries will reach customers within 30 minutes) in drone deliveries over the next fifteen years?

SF: To be quite honest, many companies are beating Amazon in drone deliveries. While they are definitely testing them, as far as I’m aware, Amazon hasn’t performed a public delivery. But we’ve already seen numerous successful deliveries. Some are silly, like the Tacocopter (a drone designed specifically to deliver Tacos in the US). Some are illegal, for example, drug smuggling. Some are utilitarian; Finland’s postal service was just in the news for doing deliveries by drone. Some are incredibly life-changing, such as the companies delivering medication to hard-to-reach areas.

Rajapack: With so much variety already on the drone market, will everything be delivered by drone in 2030? Presumably there will be a limit to the size and weight that drones will ever be able to carry…it’s not like we’ll be seeing fridges flying through the sky?

SF: Of course, flight time and payload is limited, but as the technology improves, so will payload capacities and flight times.

Rajapack: In 2030, is the sky going to be full of drones? With so many drones flying through the air, could there be a problem for flight paths?

SF: Yes, absolutely. We’ll need some type of air traffic control system. NASA has done work on that, as well as a few others.

Rajapack: So will the drones have sensor technology to stop them colliding in mid-air, or hitting other objects?

SF: Yes, sense-and-avoid technology is really the Holy Grail in drone delivery. There are currently varying degrees of that technology on the market already.

Rajapack: Won’t we lose some security peace of mind with unmanned deliveries? How can we guarantee the safety of important products such as medical supplies if they’re delivered by drones?

SF: I don’t view a drone as any less safe than a regular car delivery. People ask, “what if someone sees the drone and steals your package off your porch?” But they could easily do that with a UPS truck too.

Drones in packaging

Rajapack: Will drone deliveries change the way we receive products? Do you think we will have to adapt our homes to include boxes/ safes where we could receive drone deliveries?

SF: I wouldn’t think so. People do have mailboxes to keep letters secure, but packages are left on the porch unsecured and, while you do hear of packages from regular USPS (the United States Postal Service- Sally is based in California) being stolen, it’s really not a huge issue for people the way it is for packages from a drone.

Rajapack:  Instead of having items delivered to a house or building, will people be able to fill in their exact coordinates when ordering a product and have the drone deliver the item to them in person?

SF: That’s a good question, and I think it varies by who is doing the delivery. That’s certainly possible though.

Primary and transit packaging combined

For packaging, the introduction of drones will open up more branding and advertising opportunities. No longer will your packages be hidden in a lorry or van when being delivered. Your branding will be flying in the sky where anyone can see it.

This will however, bring about security and privacy questions. If you’re purchasing sensitive packages that you want to keep secret, e.g. a birthday present, medicine or something very expensive, it will make things difficult if the branding is emblazoned down the side of the packaging.

Companies will have to be sensitive with their packaging depending on the type of product they sell.

2030: the future of packaging and delivery

If drones are to be the way we deliver in 2030, we could live in a world where we would no longer have to wait for products. Using Amazon’s 30 minute deliveries as an example, even simple tasks like driving to the shops at lunchtime to buy a sandwich could become obsolete; a drone could deliver it in the same time.

Furthermore, business would run far more smoothly. If you’re a retailer and you run out of stock, you wouldn’t have to disappoint any customers. The next stock delivery could be with you and available for sale in a matter of minutes.

In this series we’ll be looking at other ways packaging and delivery will adapt to fit with new technology in 2030, taking a look at materials, protection and packaging security, as well as the impact of 3D printers.

Picture credit to Ninfaj and Richard Unten

 

Amazing Uses of Packaging Tape

We all know about the many uses of packaging tape in the office, but what if you think outside the box? We have looked at some amazing and creative uses of tape, and have found some fantastic surprises!

Whether it’s being used to make a Batman mask, or one of the many impressive sculptures in this fantastic competition from Scotch tape, it just goes to show that there’s more to tape than meets the eye.

It’s not just a matter of sticking things together, there is so much more you can do; whether it’s making yourself some trousers, or even some new and unique shoes, the items below show just what can happen with packaging tape and a little imagination.

 Batman Mask by Seamster

Batman Mask by seamster

Image of computer casing


 Computer Case

science.discovery.com 

Amazing art sculpture from tape

Tape Sculptures at Blaze Press

Masking tape pants

Tape Trousers by Music Paints the Soul

Tape flip flops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip Flops by Tree-hugger

Rajapack stocks a wide range of packaging tape and strapping which is available here, offering services including personalised packaging tape with a free quote available within 48 hours.

What could you create with a roll of packaging tape? We’d love to see your imaginative designs!

 

5 Amazing Pieces of Cardboard Furniture

Have you ever sat on a cardboard chair? If not, now may be your chance: a new trend of cardboard furniture has arrived with many companies producing high end pieces. Anything can be made out of cardboard, from beds and sofas to chairs and toys. We’ve included five of our favourite furniture collections below.

It might seem odd, but cardboard furniture is designed to be more environmentally friendly than MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard), which is the most common material used in flat-pack furniture. Using recycled paper and cardboard has less of an impact on the environment than MDF (a product which usually contains toxic formaldehyde resins) and can be constructed by almost anyone; most kits just need to be slotted together.

There are many advantages of using cardboard; it’s tougher than you’d imagine and can carry a great deal of weight. Despite concerns about water-resistance, cardboard actually dries quickly and most spillages can be treated by a quick reactions with an absorbent cloth. It can also be painted, adding an extra level of protection from moisture.

1) The Karton “Counting Sheep” Bedroom

Counting Sheep

This bedroom from Australian company Karton includes a bed (with under bed storage), a chest of drawers and a little sheep. The bed is strong enough to comfortably carry the weight of two people, and its robust construction means it will last.

All this comes for only $449 (around £250) — including the sheep!

 2) The “Chairigami” Arm Chair

Cardboard chair

This sleek geometric armchair is the product of the talented folks over at Chairigami, a US-based company that produces cardboard furniture.  This chair will add sustainable style to any home!

 3) The “Bravais” by Lazerian Studio

Cardboard chair

This limited edition chair (only 50 were made) has unfortunately sold out, which should come as no surprise when it effortlessly mixes geometrical intricacy with an environmentally-friendly conscience.

4) The “Chick ‘n’ Egg Chair” by Responsive Design

Egg chair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chick ‘n’ Egg Chair by Responsive Design can be made to any size for either parents or children, and its corrugated cardboard construction means it’s easy to move around the house. It’s also beautifully designed. It may look complex, but the construction has been refined and perfected to be as simple as possible.

 5) “Riki Kid’s Set” by Metrocs

Riki Kid's Set

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This set by Japanese company Metrocs is a multipurpose education tool for young children. It features two stools and a table that can be easily deconstructed and packed away. The surface is durable and designed to be drawn on, making this set perfect for younger children. It’s available online for ¥6,800 (about £38) before postage.

With so many amazing and interesting designs out there, now is the time to invest in cardboard furniture. If you want to, you could even make your own, with this incredible guide from Adrian Candela and faircompanies.com:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IaSXJOGiuk