As I sit at my desk watching the rain fall, my sandalwood & Rose Geranium candle flickering on my desk,I am reminded of how far I have come when it comes to seeking joy in the simplest of pleasures. Years ago I would get my thrills from rushing around a busy shopping mall, now I find joy by foraging for Oak Galls with my husband & daughter (we are currently experimenting with ink making). Oh how life has changed for the better. But so has my view on packaging, business and just life in general.
Previously my views on packaging were very brand centred, focused on the business and how packaging could benefit your brand. What you packaging needed to do in order to get the attention & adoration of your customers. But what if we have this all wrong? What if we look deeper, and find ways of building connection, love and joy through packaging? Both for the maker and the purchaser. What if our intentions were focused on creating joy?
These are just my early musings on the subject, but lately I have been wondering if we can truly create our packaging & a client experience that is centred around the idea of creating joy & connection.
So often we base our decisions on the look we are trying to create, the aesthetic, but then we lose the connection by not being focused on creating joy & love. The aesthetic is important in communicating your values & ethos but it's not the only tool available to you. Once you commit to going deeper, creating deeper connections & value, that is when you can truly create a loyal brand following. So often I get clients who are so excited about their packaging, but the thought of wording their thank you cards, stickers & brochures, completely throws them. They say something like, “oh will you please do the wording. You are so much better at it than me”. But the thing is nothing I word for you will ever create the feeling, emotion & connection only you and your voice can create.
We don't all create joy in the same way. Some of us create joy with kindness or laughter, others by listening or capturing. We all have joy to share but we are so internally focused on what we lack that we cannot see what creates joy.
“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
I encourage you to do the following five steps to create more joy through your packaging and even your client experience as a whole:
1. Find ways to express gratitude & kindness:
This is essentially the main aim of your packaging. We all know the joy of making a sale, or booking a client. We jump up for joy, we get excited and a wave of gratitude washes over us, as we feel blessed that we are able to continue to do the thing we love most in the world. Share this joy with your clients. Tell them exactly how much it means to you and why. Bring them into your journey, your experience. Let them truly get to know you and why you are so passionate about the work you do. We all know deep down why it is we are passionate about the work we do. Just sometimes we find it hard to verbalise. I really encourage you to take a few moments to really discover your why and creating your packaging & experience around this why. For example. You may be a newborn photographer. Perhaps, as a new mom you felt anxiety or fear around being a mother. Perhaps you didn't have a very good bond with your own mother, and your photography allows you to express or tell a story of the beautiful bond between a mother & child. Make sure you include this somewhere on your packaging or thank you note.
2. Share what brings you Joy:
Invite people into your process, what brings joy to your life and work? Find ways to express these through your packaging, and share your joy with others. For example, as a photographer, what lights you up when editing images? Instead of just sending out five of your favourite images in a pouch, include a note or message as to why you chose those specific images? What is it about them that brought you joy? What did you notice, that maybe they might be overlooked by your clients when being overly critical about the size of their nose or skin tone? By showing your joy, you can bring joy to others.
Above all else, I would encourage you to put positivity at the heart when designing your clients experience & packaging. You should NEVER, choose your packaging around what you should do, pricing or your competition. Rather focus on how it can create happiness, positivity & joy. How good do you feel, when a beautifully presented box arrives at your door. How can you add a little bit of sunshine to your clients day. Perhaps it's with something unexpected, a kind word or gesture. These gestures don't have to be massive, but just a small something focused on bringing joy & positivity into their lives can go a long way.
4. Make something
Nothing beats something made from the heart. We all have talents & gifts outside the work we do. Find ways to bring this into your packaging. For example, you may love fresh flowers, baking or candle making. Find a way to bring these elements into your packaging. A few examples include a tasty handmade treat in your welcome pack. A hand lettered note, a beautiful landscape or homemade soap. Another idea could be pressed flowers or leaves gathered from a nature trail. Find something that truly brings you joy, is centred in your values, and pass it on to others to create joy for others.
5. Human Connection
Above all else, you want to make sure you create a human connection, you want to create your packaging around the beautiful human who will be receiving your parcel, as well as expressing your beautiful soul and all the joy you have to offer the world. This is your chance to wrap up your beautiful work and send it off into the world.