5 Brands that Get Retail Packaging Right

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Written by
Robert Lockyer
Luxury packaging
Thursday, 18 November 2021

To be successful, retail packaging must pass three tests:

• Does the packaging appear impactful?

• Does the packaging have strong sustainability credentials?

• Does it provide an unboxing ‘experience’.

And, if we are to follow the principals of FMOT (First Moment of Truth), retail packaging must communicate all this inside of seven seconds.

If that sounds like an improbable target, be assured that, even in a crowded market, lots of brands produce retail packaging boxes that surpass this criterion. Before we look at examples of who, let us first break down our test and look at why.

Impactful retail packaging can communicate the story and ethics of your brand. It works to differentiate your product and resonate with consumer aspirations. Even if your packaging is ecommerce only – and it increasingly is – the same FMOT principal applies. Instead of leaping from the shelf, the packaging must communicate its story and values inside the home.

Sustainability is an increasingly important value for influencing a purchasing choice. Consumers want packaging to be eco-friendly, with low carbon-footprints and high sustainability. In 2019, it was reported that 47% of online shoppers stopped purchasing from brands that are not aligned with their personal values. The highest of these values, by far, was avoiding brands that damaged the environment.

The unboxing experience provides an opportunity to drive repeat purchases. It is a cost effective way of creating post-sale marketing. Its prominence has spawned an entire social media content type – the unboxing video. Be mindful that, if you’re providing retail packaging boxes of this type, your competitors almost certainly are too.

If your retail packaging contains these three components, you’ll have a good chance of making a sale, winning customer loyalty, or both. Let’s look the brands doing it well, and how they are doing it…


Farfetch Packaging
Image source Pinterest

Farfetch creates retail packaging boxes that present as considered and impactful. They alter their design regularly, always maintaining brand distinction. But what sealed its selection is a robust commitment to lowering its environmental costs. This is communicated by the brands selection of packaging materials.

Packaging arrives completely recyclable and is FSC accredited. Farfetch also incentivises partner brands to select the most efficient, sustainable packing options, recently trailing envelopes in places of boxes.

Thoughtfully selected ribbons, inserts and innovative design create a memorable unboxing experience. Packages often include interiors that separate the Farfetch packaging from that of the purchased brand, providing an elongated unboxing process that encourages excitement and discovery.


Matchesfashion Marble Design Packaging

We recently worked with MATCHESFASHION to create a new, sustainable packaging solution that retained its iconic marbling design. 

Already a favourite of ours, MATCHESFASHION’s packaging has been central to its branding. Readers who use its app will notice the marble design also doubles as the logo.  

Where other retailers are moving towards reduced decorative designs, the success of MATCHESFASHION’s retail packaging boxes is the selection of marble pattern that demonstrates intrinsic connotations with luxury. It differentiates itself by both rejecting overarching trends (using maximalism as opposed to minimalism) and embracing them, with a clean logo and sleek inserts.

The packaging remains distinct and recognisable. And now, after working with Delta Global, it is entirely recyclable too, thanks to our bespoke technology, the Delta Removable Magnet System®. 

Maggie Marilyn

Maggie Marilyn Packaging
Image source Vogue Business

Sometimes, a brand can achieve one of our three test criteria so brilliantly, it eclipses the remaining two. This is the case with Maggie Marilyn, whose innovate packaging utilised sustainability so well that it solidified its high-end reputation and created a unique unboxing experience.

The transparent bags in which shipped products arrive is made from cassava root, vegetable oil, and vegetable polymers. This allows it to decompose - leaving zero waste – and, incredibly, it dissolves in water.

The introduction of this packaging gathered widespread acclaim from the fashion press, cementing Maggie Marilyn as perhaps the most prominent luxury label to comprehensively adopt a rigorous eco-friendly ethos.

These sustainability credentials are corresponded elegantly on the exterior of the packaging, with the items and inserts completely visible, in such a way that they become a decorative element. An impressive packaging creation that squarely faces the future.


PVH Tommy Hilfiger Packaging
Image source Cargo Collective

With its two core labels - American legacy brands Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein , PVH manufacture striking, clean packaging that emanates the luxury heritage for which the brands are renowned for.

Tommy Hilfiger’s retail packaging boxing offers a strong reuse option owing to its supreme quality. It practically begs to be reused and kept; such is its gorgeous rendering. And you’ll be familiar with Calvin Klein’s white/grey/black packages, a branding so distinct as to be timeless.

The entire packaging sustainability output of the PVH group currently stands at over 74%. It was one of the first fashion houses to commit to the How2Recycle labelling program. This informs customers on how to properly recycle PVH’s packaging.

An impressive achievement, and one reached with no compromise to design style or material quality.


Reformation Brand Packaging
Image source Sustainable Brands 

There are many brands currently struggling with the question, ‘how can we combine high sustainability standards with well-designed retail packaging?’  

Reformation makes the process look easy. With a range of ever-changing packaging ideas, it manages to deliver austere recyclable ecommerce packaging with a simple, appealing modern style.

But does this reduce the impact of the unboxing process? Because of the quality of the material, the unwrapping of the thick, brown paper package is akin to tearing into presents bought from a loved one from some imagined, simpler time. You can imagine them being torn into by a freckled child in ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ or of one rosy-cheeked Von Trapp children.

Reformation has achieved Climate Neutral’s official recognition of being a 100% carbon neutral company. As a fashion brand who understands both consumer and retail markets, Reformation is leading the reforms for future-proof retail packaging.

Get Your Premium Packaging Right

For more information on our range of sustainable luxury packaging, contact the Delta Global team today.

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