Influencer-Inspired Packaging Trends 2023
Today, many brands fail to get the attention of their target audience on the internet. Why? Businesses – startups or big players – have inundated the online world with marketing static. Consumers have understandably grown skeptical about brands indulging in self-promotion. This is why the demand for unique and innovative digital marketing strategies has increased. Influencer marketing is the most popular and significant trend in advertising, with brands worldwide teaming up with influential online celebrities to spread their brand message. According to studies, influencer marketing platforms are expected to hit a market size of $370 million by 2027.
A growing number of brands are generating massive revenue from influencer marketing. In fact, many influencers have become retailers themselves and are creating their own business models worth watching. This post highlights examples of influencer brands and their secret sauce to success in the world of retail (and of course, packaging). Keep reading for more.
Anine Bing’s Phenomenal Rise from Influencer to Global Fashion House
A great case study is influencer-turned-retailer Anine Bing. If you follow high-end fashion brands, you may be familiar with her. The luxury lifestyle brand is in high-growth mode, and behind the name is mega-influencer and founder Anine Bing herself. Launched in 2012, Anine Bing today sells at over 15 stores and 300 sales points.
Born in Denmark and brought up in Sweden, Anine Bing started as a model and became an influencer promoting several fashion brands on her Instagram account as early as 2010. Back when we were all busy taking pictures of fries and cheeseburgers, she was using the platform to share her style perspectives. With her first blog, Anine’s World, she started reporting to her friends about her fashion tastes and choices, before it took off in a big way. Highlighting the combination of vintage and modern pieces and finding ways to thrive in a niche market helped Bing win many hearts and followers quickly. But she saw opportunity beyond the gram.
Anine Bing’s career took a massive turn when she decided to launch her first fashion collection in 2012. She, along with her husband Nicolai Nielsen, started their retail journey from the garage of their Los Angeles home. A short production time, combined with a cohesive brand, marketing, and e-commerce strategy, paved Bing’s way to community-driven success. Bing opened her first Los Angeles store in West Hollywood in 2014. In the years between 2016 and 2018, she launched new retail stores in Paris and New York. By this time, Bing had emerged as one of the most influential fashion brands in the influencer space. Even now, Bing is leaving her footprint as a fashion icon from Los Angeles to Paris to New York. Today, her Instagram brand account has over 1.1 million followers, which she uses to promote her campaigns and products.
Her unique perspective and edited collections, stellar customer service, and attractive packaging helped Bing form a retail model that had the potential to expand globally. She now has over 15 storefronts worldwide in cities like London, San Francisco, Sydney, Hamburg, and more.
Anine Bing is not the only one who made it big in the fashion game; over the last few years, many influencers successfully made the transition to retail:
Something Navy by Arielle Charnas
US-based influencer Arielle Charnas has a strong social media presence which she leveraged to get into retail. Arielle Charnas launched her Something Navy collection in 2009. She partnered with Nordstrom in 2018 to produce and launch a wholesale collection, which sold over $4.4 million worth of merchandise in one day. The company has since then received funding to go direct to consumers, evolving into a multi-million-dollar brand selling in NY, LA, Dallas, and other renowned stores worldwide. Throughout her journey, Arielle Charnas attributes her success to listening to what her customers want. In an interview with CNBC, Charnas stated, “I am always talking to my customers. I think that is the biggest difference between the brand I have created and some of those bigger companies.”
WeWoreWhat by Danielle Bernstein
Danielle Bernstein is another popular name on the influencer list. A native New Yorker, and fashion blogger turned business entrepreneur, Danielle Bernstein launched her personal style brand @WeWoreWhat in 2010 as a daily dose of outfit inspiration for every woman. What was introduced as a street-style blog has now become a personal-style blog with more than two million followers on Instagram. In 2019, she partnered with Joe’s Jeans on a new style of jeans called the Danielle Jean. In 2020, she partnered with Macy’s on her own line, Danielle Bernstein. Since then, she decided to take her brand in-house, creating shop called Shop WeWoreWhat, which stocks denim, swim, overalls, and activewear. Her secret to success was shared during an interview with Gotham Magazine, in which she stated, “Be a disruptor. Consistency is key and you have to hustle, but disrupting an industry is really what I did. And it worked.”
SKIMS BY KIM KARDASHIAN
Who doesn’t know Kim Kardashian? An American socialite, media personality, and businesswoman, she has most recently been in the spotlight for her entrepreneurial foray into retail. In 2019, Kim and Swedish entrepreneur Jens Grede launched their shapewear and clothing brand – SKIMS. Touted as the next gen of shapewear, loungewear, and underwear, the quickly growing brand generated revenue of $275 million in 2021 alone. This was made possible due to a combination of cohesive brand & marketing strategies, a pre-existing social platform of over 300MM followers, and quality, sustainable packaging.
Chiara Ferragni by Chiara Ferragni
Chiara Ferragni, an Italian blogger turned businesswomen, launched her fashion brand in 2013. After a few seasons, the brand Chiara Ferragni successfully evolved towards a complete go-to look featuring everything from shoes to garments to accessories. In 2016, the brand began expanding globally, with wholesale partnerships in physical stores such as LuisaViaRoma in Florence, Apropos in Cologne, Le Bon Marchè in Paris, Selfridges in London, Breeze Center in Taiwan, and more.
Shortly thereafter, she opened her own storefronts. The first opened in Milan in July 2017, followed by a second location in Shanghai. Today, Chiara Ferragni stores are in the heart of the most fashion capital cities: Paris, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Milan. Her success is so influential that it is even a case study at Harvard Business School. The reason for her brand’s rise to fame? She attributes it to authenticity (mixed with a bit of impulsivity). In an interview with Financial Times, she said, “If I feel I want to do something, I do it. This is a strength in this world where to be authentic wins.”
Influencer Packaging Trends 2023
Influencers have not only set strong retail footprints but have also inspired packaging trends. As traditional retailers and startups retailers embrace the power of influencer marketing, a key investment is in their packaging. Almost like a dating profile, influencer kits, or “PR boxes,” are a primary touchpoint for brands hoping to win the hearts of influencers and the coveted unboxing experience videos they share online. The very nature of these kits is meant to be over-the-top, to surprise and delight. But what if these unboxing experiences were shared with all customers? Here are a few influencer-inspired packaging trends that we believe translate to retail, without breaking the bank.
1. Unconventional Unboxing Experience:
Creators and influencers receive countless shipments from brands vying for their attention. In order to stand out from the crowd with your own customers and get the exposure you’re looking for, it pays to invest in unique and personal packaging. Unboxing not only supports brand storytelling, but also drives customer loyalty and the opportunity to go viral.
Underwear brand Parade surprises and delights its customers with their e-commerce packaging, using bright colors and a quirky tone of voice that engages the recipient at every touch point. What’s more: they are constantly shaking things up, with new packaging designs on heavy rotation. The anticipation for the packaging is almost as great as the product itself.
2. High Quality FIRST IMPRESSION:
A hard-fast rule in the influencer packaging playbook is: image is everything. Unique and impressive packaging design influences the buying decision of a customer. If you invest in high-quality packaging, the thought that goes into your presentation has the power to inspire customer loyalty and viral marketing. Trending colors, innovative shapes, and high-quality materials are ways to stand out and make a strong first and lasting impression.
The subscription-based jewelry brand Rocksbox uses a beautiful two-piece rigid box with pops of color, bold patterns and metallic hot stamps that bring it to life. With the intention of feeling like a gift to oneself, customers truly feel the promise of quality, care, and attention to detail from the moment they open their package.
New York-based womenswear brand MM.LaFleur presents their customers with a beautiful first impression with their signature Bento Box. Personalized to each customer, these boxes feature layers and compartments for various marketing materials and the product itself. The clothing is neatly folded inside the box and tied with grosgrain ribbon – giving each piece a feeling of purpose. The result is a truly high-quality unboxing experience that keeps customers engaged and excited for their next shipment.
3. Gift with Purchase:
Influencers love a good gift in their PR box – heck, we all do! A gift with purchase is a great way to add an element of surprise, encourage customer retention, increase average order value, and gain brand visibility. You can even incentivize customers to purchase more by offering a gift over a certain pricepoint or with their first purchase. This helps drive sales without discounting high-value product or brand.
Parade offers a signature scarf with a printed logo as a gift to influencers and customers alike. They inspire viral sharing by encouraging recipients to get creative with countless styling opportunities, such as head wraps, tube tops, belts, and even gift wrap.
Ole Henriksen’s gratitude journal is another brilliant giveaway idea. Customers can keep track of life’s beautiful moments, daily joys, and successes, encouraging them to find beauty everywhere. It coincides perfectly with their brand, authentically promoting their belief in loving yourself and the skin you’re in.
4. Sustainable Packaging:
Sustainability is a primary concern for influencers and consumers alike. A growing number of studies show that customers are more likely to align themselves with brands that prioritize sustainability. Eco-friendly packaging can be achieved through the use of biodegradable, reusable, or recyclable materials. It should be easy to dispose of properly and include information or instructions on how to do so.
New York based lingerie brand Adore Me offers recycled & biodegradable poly-mailers. These bags are made using 100% lightweight recycled materials infused with BDP – an ingredient that makes them biodegradable in landfills and 100% recyclable, too! This helps reduce waste, minimize carbon footprint, and makes customers and influencers alike feel good purchasing and promoting the brand.
Banana Republic is exploring innovative sustainable packaging through their recent adoption of a new product: Rollor. Aside from being eco-friendly, the new e-commerce packaging construction style has countless benefits, such as unique presentation, innovative unboxing experiences, low return rates, and more.
Activeware company Girlfriend Collective, a brand known for their sustainably-made apparel, invested in an e-commerce program that is as eco-friendly as its product. Their paper mailers and shipping boxes are not only recyclable, but are made from recycled materials. Even their zippered garment bag is made from recycled water bottles – including the stitching!
Are you a retailer looking to build influencer-worthy packaging for your brand? If that’s a yes, Creative Retail Packaging has you covered. With an extensive sourcing network, remarkable experience and unmatched customer service, we can help craft a packaging experience that your customers will happily share with others. Contact us today to set up a consultation!