Unboxing: an underestimated marketing tool!

"Unboxing"? What is it? You've certainly seen some without perhaps even realizing it, on YouTube, Instagram or even Facebook. You know those videos where influencers unwrap the latest fashion gadget or clothes from their favorite brand? And today, unboxing is a widespread phenomenon that you can easily take advantage of.

Pierre Grante
October 16, 2020
October 21, 2020

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+871%. This is the increase in the number of videos on YouTube with the word unboxing in their titles between 2010 and 2014.

And now, we are in 2020.

Imagine the importance of unboxing nowadays. Already in 2015 alone unboxing videos exceeded one billion views according to YouTube.

What is unboxing? And why and how can you succeed in it?

By the end of reading this article, you will know: 

  • Exactly what is unboxing
  • Why you need to get started
  • How to offer a successful unboxing to your products

The unboxing phenomenon and its definition.

But what exactly is unboxing?

Broadly speaking, unboxing simply refers to taking a product out of its packaging. 

In theory. 

In practice, when we talk about unboxing today, we're talking about videos filmed by YouTube users (at least originally) of unpacking products they've just bought or received. 

What started as a phenomenon reserved for electronic products such as game consoles, for example, quickly became a YouTube trend for any product. KLM has even unboxed its Boeing 787

And guess what? That video garnered over 3 million views! 

But one of the most popular YouTube unboxing videos is surely the Dollar Shave Club, a monthly box for shaving that has been a great success. 

If unboxing videos have become so widespread and popular, it's not for nothing. 

For Nicolas Glady, a professor at ESSEC, unboxing has simply extended and increased tenfold a practice that already existed before"like when you invite a friend as soon as you receive a new console".  

Why your brand needs to go the unboxing route?

Did you know that 1 out of 6 French consumers discover a new product with a video? 

Unboxing is so popular that there are now even channels dedicated to unboxing

In fact, if unboxing works so well, it's because it uses emotional marketing

Let's discover together the advantages of this new means of communication (and sales). 

Make your e-commerce products more real

Unboxing example

Selling your products in an online store has many advantages. 

But there is one good one that is quite obvious: your customers can't touch or handle the product or its box in any way.  

Without allowing them to touch the products, unboxing is already a little closer to reality. In an unboxing video, viewers see the person turning the package, opening it, gradually taking out the elements, manipulating the product, and commenting on his or her discoveries. 

We can see it very well in the Dollar Shave Club video we were talking about earlier. The YouTuber opens the box, unwraps the razor, the manual, and all the elements one by one, explains everything as he unwraps it, and so on. In short, a whole bunch of things that we could never do simply by visiting an e-commerce site.

Making people want to buy by projecting themselves  

Presenting your product from every angle in a more"real" way in an unboxing video also has a definite advantage: making people want to buy.

Indeed, according to Martin Lindstrom, an expert in neuro-marketing, unboxing allows viewers to project themselves thanks to the action of mirror neurons (basically their brain reacts as if they were the ones unpacking the product). 

Build customer loyalty

Optimizing your CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) through good retention is often more effective than putting everything on customer acquisition.  

Did you know that 50% of customers are likely to buy a product again if the packaging made a good first impression?

Add to this the fact that the packaging is central in an unboxing video and you boost your customer retention. 

Honest and authentic advertising

The main difference between an unboxing video and a classic advertisement?  

The point of view and the authenticity.

Originally, unboxing videos are made by users. 

Thus, like blogs, users watching unboxing videos are looking for an honest and authentic point of view: that of another user who, apriori, has no interest in praising (or not) a product.  

As Jakub Pawłowski from Packhelp said in his interview for France Inter

"Unpacking shows the care that the brand takes with its product. Brands are attentive to the remarks that are made during unpacking because this can reveal defects or customer expectations. The YouTuber also becomes a brand ambassador and will be taken seriously by the public because it is independent". 

Thus, unless you unbox your product yourself or pay an influencer, you will benefit from all the authenticity that unboxing can bring. 

For Carol Spieckerman, president of a strategy consulting firm, if brands have too much control over influencers, it can make viewers doubt the authenticity that originally attracted them. 

The Dollar Shave Club we were talking about has never done any unboxing of its own products, preferring to leave it up to the Internet users. And yet there is no shortage of unboxing videos and they are successful. The one we linked has been seen more than 250,000 times!

So, your brand certainly loses some control by relying on the goodwill of YouTubers. 

But don't worry about convincing influencers to make unboxing videos: we tell you how to do it later in the article.  

Cheap advertising

Unboxing Advertising

Online advertisements are becoming more and more expensive. 

And that's where unboxing is still incredibly advantageous: the YouTube videos that your customers will make don't cost you a penny! Or very little: the only costs will be those of your packaging, which should make your customers want to film their unboxing.  

In short, in any case, with a minimal investment, you can benefit from an important word-of-mouth or even go viral! 

And even if you decide to go through an influencer or to do the unboxing yourself, it will cost you much less than a bonus TV spot. 

But how can you avoid making the wrong move if your brand wants to unbox itself? 

And how do you give influencers the irresistible urge to unbox?

How to succeed in unboxing?

Unboxing is mainly two ingredients: a video and packaging. Of course, there is a product, but what interests us here is more the staging than the product itself. 

Let's see how to take care of these two elements(video and packaging) so that your unboxing will make many views on YouTube and elsewhere!  

The packaging 

The first crucial element of a good unboxing video is, of course, the packaging. If you let users unbox spontaneously, it is the only element (with your product it is understood) that you control that will convince them to share their unboxing on YouTube. 

External packaging

Unboxing external packaging

You might not have thought of it for your unboxing, but it can make a difference! 

Even if it's just a simple logo.

Remember how many times you've received a neutral looking package. 

Now imagine with the brand logo of a product you've been waiting for. It's not the same thing, is it? The excitement builds and you're even more excited to unpack that new product. 

The Dollar Shave Club has done a great job of teasing it by customizing the box if you remember. 

A personalized package is also a way to make your brand easy to identify and it will get into the minds of your customers more easily. 

That's why a customizable cardboard shipping box will do wonders for sending your product. 

On the other hand, if you are selling a high-value product, such as high-end electronics, haute couture or jewelry, in this case it is unfortunately better to avoid personalization of the outside of the packaging. Indeed, some deliveries are not always well-intentioned. 

On the other hand, nothing prevents you in all cases(luxury product or not) from personalizing the inside of the packaging that your customer will see when he opens the package.  

He certainly won't expect it and it will greatly enhance his unboxing experience. 

And that's just the beginning of its unpacking... Then it's time for the internal packaging.  

Internal packaging

Internal packaging

Here, on the other hand, there is no doubt: you must do everything to capture your client's full attention and seduce him.

The internal packaging is like the case in which you present your product. 

Depending on your needs (your positioning) and your means, you can opt for a bell box, a box with a drawer, amongst many other packaging options.

Use the graphic charter of your brand to have a coherent visual identity and be more easily memorable. 

Logo, patterns, slogans, funny sentences - let your creativity run free. Whether your visual identity is minimalist, chic, explosive, serious or offbeat, you need to tease your customer and make your packaging as attractive as possible. 

You can also add elements to your packaging to make the experience almost personalized: flyers, goodies, cards?

Remember what the Dollar Shave Club did. 

They were particularly creative in inscribing humorous phrases on the box containing the blades, among others. Enough to grab the attention of the unboxer and the YouTube viewers!

For a more upscale look, you can even work more on the aesthetics and touch with processes such as embossing or hot stamping your box and using a black box made of rigid cardboard.  

In any case, there are many possibilities for marking your customers.

Just one point to remember: aesthetics should not beat the expense of practicality. If there are several elements, organize them well, use inserts. If your product is a little fragile, think about cushioning or padding. 

The video

Unboxing video

As we told you, the best thing is to let your customers spontaneously make unboxing videos.

But you can also make the video yourself. 

In this case, the very first question to ask yourself to make your own unboxing video is to know on which channel you are going to broadcast it.

Of course, you immediately think of a video on YouTube. But are you also going to make an Instagram story? Or Facebook Live, LinkedIn, or maybe even Tik Tok? 

This is an important question because, for example, the audience of Tik Tok is younger than the audience of YouTube, and also the format is different. 

So, it will have an impact on the way you shoot the video, the way you edit it, the tone to use, etc.

Once this is done, all you have to do is use the right equipment: a good smartphone is more than enough with the cameras they have today, and authenticity is guaranteed!  

For sound, get a good microphone, especially for YouTube where the format is more "worked" and less spontaneous.  

If you want to pay an influencer to do your unboxing, this is of course also possible. 

Here again, you will also have to make sure that you target the right channels according to your target audience. And another criterion to keep in mind: look for a YouTuber whose subjects correspond to your product. 

In short, communicate your company's values and make your customer's unboxing unique. 

Unboxing: an opportunity to be seized

You have understood it, unboxing is a real weapon at the service of your marketing and sales.

Inexpensive, easily viral, and relatively easy to succeed - all the reasons are there to get started! 

And the recipe is simple: your customer must feel special. To do this, offer them more than they expect. Take care of your packaging, target the right influencer if you make a partnership, and soon you will seethe results of your efforts.  

The first step to successful unboxing? Impeccable packaging. 

For that, you need a reliable packaging supplier like Packhelp. Packhelp helps you design your quality, customized packaging from 30 pieces to tens of thousands. 

The good news is that Bigblue's logistics services make it possible to use Packhelp's customized packaging. 

It's up to you! 

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