Quantcast Packaging for clients: Recommendations? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
12-01-2020, 08:29 PM
cygnals cygnals is offline
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I'd like my clients to be delighted when they get their deliverables on USB. Yes, the files on the stick are the same whether it's in a nice box or dangling naked, but making a remarkable impression is part of marketing.

For large projects with a major price tag attached, I'll be content getting exactly the right thing from an Etsy artist. Big client, big presentation.

But for a simple USB drive with a dozen VHS tapes, a wooden keepsake box seems like overkill at my regular price point.

What are success stories about packaging that wows your clients?
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  #2  
12-01-2020, 08:50 PM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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For custom and bought-by-mail product, packaging doesn't wow 99% of clients. Most just toss whatever effort you did into the trash. Only those that pay for it will value it. Most don't want to pay either, and some actually prefer ugly DIY packaging when it's made into a gift -- often grandkids designing a box with crayons.

Packaging mostly matters in B&M, as people (stupidly) weigh decisions on cosmetics.

BTW, that goes against surveys. In any consumer survey where you ask "Do you want ___?" some people always answer yes. It's the "I want free" mentality (even if it's junk). So it skews meaningful survey results. That audience really grew in the 2000s, though it has thankfully declined since. In reality, lots of that "wanted" free stuff just ends up in the landfill.

I know lots of marketing budgets shrunk "swag" in the 2010s. Almost zero ROI, except when highly targeted.

Want nice, yet cheap? Stickers. Use a color laser to print.
- https://amzn.to/36tx4tF (Canada)
- https://amzn.to/3muQNik (USA)

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  #3  
12-01-2020, 09:17 PM
cygnals cygnals is offline
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Thanks for that. I grabbed a nugget of an idea there: Packaging INTENDED to be colored on by kids.

Just a simple kraft cardboard jewelry box.

Yes, I'm not talking about any sort of on-the-shelf product. The packaging I'm thinking of is what the USB drive will be in when I hand the paying client back their original media and the new files.

A few sheets of logo stickers were among my first purchases a while back. I stick them on a cardboard key-tag on the USB stick. Nothing fancy. A nothing-fancy box would suit me just fine, maybe.


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  #4  
12-02-2020, 09:16 AM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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Agree with kpmedia. I wouldn't be happy with anything that looks like it adds more than a few cents to the cost of my purchase, which [in your case] is a service not a product. The USB drive itself is the container and "packaging". Anything else is just added cost and waste.

The keytag is an interesting idea, but I suspect most customers would remove and discard it immediately.

An idea would to look for custom printed USB drives or DIY silk screen.

-- merged --

Being that flash drives aren't archival, anything I received on one would immediately be transferred to a hard drive(s) and the flash drive formatted for use as intended. Temporary storage and transfer of files.
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  #5  
12-02-2020, 10:38 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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The small box, just big enough to not get lost easily and to wrap if a gift makes sense. Maybe white rather than craft to give it a "clean" look.
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  #6  
12-02-2020, 03:00 PM
cygnals cygnals is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
Being that flash drives aren't archival, anything I received on one would immediately be transferred to a hard drive(s) and the flash drive formatted for use as intended. Temporary storage and transfer of files.
Absolutely. I put a readme.txt file on each flash drive with details about the transfer, and an admonishment to back the files up immediately to multiple locations. Good data hygiene is everyone's responsibility.
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  #7  
12-02-2020, 03:41 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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Quote:
What are success stories about packaging that wows your clients?
Take it from the big boys. Recognizable, memorable logo and tagline* imprinted on everything. When they distribute flash drives by the thousands, they don't bother to place them on a nice card or box, they have their logo, company name and sometimes slogan imprinted on them. There's a reason why boxed or carded collectibles command a premium, people throw away the packaging!

Focus on the steak, not the sizzle.

*To be blunt, your VHS/clapboard isn't enough to make me remember/associate it uniquely with your company/service.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cygnals View Post
Absolutely. I put a readme.txt file on each flash drive with details about the transfer, and an admonishment to back the files up immediately to multiple locations. Good data hygiene is everyone's responsibility.
I never open any file unknown file, even readme.txt in any media or email. Better to print this on the back of your business card and hand it to customer with the drive. Even better, add a repeat discount or referral offer along with the instructions, so the customer is more likely to keep the card.

Again, the steak is already sold, no need to add sizzle. Your marketing focus should be on getting repeat business, not wowing the customer after the sale.

-- merged --

Another thought.

Get good thick reusable bags like these: https://www.amazon.ca/Resealable-Mag...87754&sr=8-142 or upscale, these: https://www.amazon.ca/Reusable-Alumi...988203&sr=8-14

Put in the drive, your business card, backup instructions and a coupon. Make sure they're thick and reusable. If they're thin like Ziplock bags, they go in the trash like boxes.

If you want to go upscale, get sachet bags like these: https://www.amazon.ca/Organza-Jewelr...988203&sr=8-18

Put in the drive, your business card, backup instructions and a coupon.

Practical and reusable. As I said above, boxes get thrown in the trash because they're bulky.
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  #8  
12-03-2020, 11:26 AM
traal traal is online now
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They make DVD cases that can hold a thumb drive.

When you get a thumb drive, you throw it into a drawer, right? Out of sight, out of mind. But a DVD case gets proudly displayed on a shelf.

As a bonus, those cases can also hold a disc. With the way today's cheap flash drives slowly lose their charge over time, wouldn't it be good to provide your customers with a backup on a different medium? The data on BD-R's and MDisc DVD-R's should last decades.
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  #9  
12-03-2020, 02:18 PM
cygnals cygnals is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
*To be blunt, your VHS/clapboard isn't enough to make me remember/associate it uniquely with your company/service.
I agree. It looks like I'm sponsoring a kids' tee-ball team. I'm not precious about the logo/name I've been using and intend to spend for some proper branding & graphic design expertise in the spring. It made sense when I was 20 and Google hadn't been invented yet, and needed a quick name. But what I'm up to these days deserves a better treatment.
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  #10  
12-03-2020, 04:31 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traal View Post

As a bonus, those cases can also hold a disc. With the way today's cheap flash drives slowly lose their charge over time, wouldn't it be good to provide your customers with a backup on a different medium? The data on BD-R's and MDisc DVD-R's should last decades.
The key word with any storage medium is "should". The responsibility of proper backup is the responsibility of the owner, not the provider. Same reason the provider shouldn't offer any type of offsite, i.e. cloud, backup. There is no guarantee any storage won't fail at any time.
  • Copy and verify the data to the flash drive
  • Give and emphasize clear instructions of the necessity of creating proper backups
  • Offer reasonably priced duplicates on pickup
  • Offer to be able to make more duplicates for no more than 30 days so you aren't responsible for retaining backups forever.
  • Never state the expected longevity of any media. Again, proper backup of data and retention of data is the responsibility of the customer
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  #11  
12-03-2020, 05:55 PM
traal traal is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
Give and emphasize clear instructions of the necessity of creating proper backups
Except they won't read it.

Quote:
Offer reasonably priced duplicates on pickup
Offer to be able to make more duplicates
Giving them the first duplicate for free tells the customer, "we take so much pride in our work and value your data so much that we've provided a second copy of it for free in case the first one fails." This gives me as a customer a much better impression of the provider than flashy packaging or useless swag.
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  #12  
12-04-2020, 07:14 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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You need to ask yourself what the ROI is on this. And "I" is both time and funds. My guess? Nearly zero.

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  #13  
12-04-2020, 09:28 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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The objective in a business is to meet your customers expectations while (hopefully) making money at it. To do this you need to know/understand your client base, not so much personally but in general. For many people "sizzle" sells. The old "It tasted just sorta OK, but looked great on the plate, and the restaurant decor was fabulous."

Few people are as discerning of video quality as the denizens of this site. Packaging, on the whole, matters to many people. In tests in the 1950s it was shown that coffee tasted better when tasters saw it came in a red can (blue came in second).

Sizzle doesn't have to be expensive, it just has to imply value. Fluffy cotton as (found in a small jewelry box) conveys a better image/impression than waded toilet paper. Ultimately you may want to give a choice of "none, plain or deluxe" packaging.
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  #14  
12-04-2020, 12:44 PM
cygnals cygnals is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpalomaki View Post
Few people are as discerning of video quality as the denizens of this site. Packaging, on the whole, matters to many people. In tests in the 1950s it was shown that coffee tasted better when tasters saw it came in a red can (blue came in second).
Yup. And we have all the studies showing how wine tastes better if the drinker believes it costs more.

Perhaps asking for serving suggestions from who are mainly concerned about the molecular makeup of the steak was a short-sighted attempt. In asking what's worked for video professionals who've worked to impress their clients upon delivery, the general consensus is -- not to bother trying. That feels like a different answer than "I've grown my business by making a principled decision not to hand my client a package they'll be delighted by." Well, thanks for sharing the hard-earned wisdom. I can't ask for more than honesty, really. If taking the time consider delivery has been a net negative in your success, it's a good thing I learned so.
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  #15  
12-04-2020, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cygnals View Post
Yup. And we have all the studies showing how wine tastes better if the drinker believes it costs more.

Perhaps asking for serving suggestions from who are mainly concerned about the molecular makeup of the steak was a short-sighted attempt. In asking what's worked for video professionals who've worked to impress their clients upon delivery, the general consensus is -- not to bother trying. That feels like a different answer than "I've grown my business by making a principled decision not to hand my client a package they'll be delighted by." Well, thanks for sharing the hard-earned wisdom. I can't ask for more than honesty, really. If taking the time consider delivery has been a net negative in your success, it's a good thing I learned so.
The problem here is the product itself.

For example, when I bought the retail Smurfs DVD box set (imported from Australia), it included a really nice hard case, and a detailed booklet. Wow! I wasn't expecting that.

But this isn't that.

This is a custom product, made from the consumer's own low-end sources. A generic self-serving (to the company that did the transfer) branded box isn't going to wow anybody. Simply getting the low-end sources to look good is what wows. The is a bread-and-butter sort of product. Focus on the meat and potatoes, not the color of the plate and the size of the parsley.

Most clients -- be it a generic Joe Sixpack, or a self-described videophile -- will care about the video quality 99%+ for these projects, and the box <1%. The reasoning here is that the memories matter, not whatever you added later (again, mostly self-serving to the company only, aka more trashable).

The only exception is where you're given photos and information, in order to create ("fake") a retail-looking box. I've made actual box sets from family home movies before. Do not just the video conversion, but the editing, authoring, inserts, DVD/BD cases, etc. It wasn't cheap. But apparently the client was rich, and didn't care. I didn't even give our own home movies that treatment (but maybe I will, someday).

I would note that geographical culture matters. I'm not Canadian (though sometimes wish I were ), so advice must be tampered to local cultural mores. That said, I'd not think it differs too much from the rest of North America.

Funds should be put into TBCs, proc amps, better VCRs, better captures cards -- not boxes. It's better to give no-nonsense excellent quality, instead of pretty lipstick-on-a-pig crap quality.

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  #16  
12-05-2020, 02:36 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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Seems the OP can accept that the packaging idea is a dead end. But I thought of what I think is a perfect analogy.

In the analog audio world, the Koetsu cartridge series are legendary and are beautifully handcrafted in wood or stone and come in a beautiful custom crafted wooden box.

If you know someone that has a Koetsu, you don't care about the design of the cartridge or the box, you're interested in the sound. Exactly the same with transferred videos. Pretty packaging does nothing to impress, it's the quality of the transfer that counts towards future business.

Last edited by lingyi; 12-05-2020 at 02:55 PM.
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  #17  
12-05-2020, 03:08 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Those not into Koetsu may find the following review instructive.

https://theaudiophileman.com/koetsu-...e-paint-black/

While at it enjoy his review of some deluxe RCA audio cables.

https://theaudiophileman.com/perform...ects-news-qed/
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