01 Oct Branded & printed sample cases – 9 striking ways to enhance appearance
The full range of options and ideas to add that all important brand identity to your sales demo cases
Picture the scene
The sales presentation goes well. The potential customer likes your products and seems keen. They indicate they have seen your competitors too, but very much like what you have shown them. You follow up with them a week later and…
They decided to go with a rival product
You look at the rivals website. Nothing special. Their products are fairly evenly matched with yours. Perhaps slightly inferior.
Why did you miss out?
The answer may be as simple as you not being memorable enough. Could your branding – or lack of it – be to blame?
The importance of branding
So aside from an extreme example like the above, why is branding so important on your presentation cases?
Well, there are a number of reasons you need to get this element of your cases right.
Firstly, consistent branding aids recall of your company and products, helping your potential customers remember you during their consideration process. This applies to everything from your website to your business cards, company brochure to email signature. Your sample cases are no exception.
Secondly, branding – including the sensible use of colours – can help with the visual impact of your samples and in turn your overall presentation. It is important to draw attention and look interesting and professional.
Thirdly, projecting a professional look and feel is also aided by your branding. It shows that your company is willing to invest in impressing customers, and helps to overcome any concerns that your target buyer may have over doing business with your company.
So in essence, your use of branding can tell your audience a lot about your company and products, without explicitly saying it.
The 9 options for branding your cases
Due to the importance of branding on your sample cases, there is in fact a number of differing ways to achieve this.
The exact method of branding to use depends on various factors, including the type of case, your target audience, budget, industry sector and the type of products you are displaying.
However, here are the nine most common ways to enhance your sales demo cases with branding:
- Printing directly onto the external surfaces
- In mould labelling – whereby a full colour label is moulded into the surface during manufacture
- Attaching printed labels to exterior surfaces (either sections or whole surfaces – i.e. a “wrap”)
- Using premium label options, such as etched aluminium
- Moulded or thermo-formed branding – so the surface is indented to create your logo
- Using custom moulded, labelled or printed zips and handles
- Using a specific colour of case to match your brand
- Using foam inserts that reflect your brand colours
- Laser etching of logos and info directly onto the surface of the foam inserts
Please note that not all of these options are available for all types of case – so make sure to consider this before deciding on which case you are going to use.
Printed Sample Cases
One of the easiest ways to created branded sample cases is to print directly on to the exterior surface.
The most common method of doing this is screen printing, which lends itself well to bold logos and designs. This means the number of colours is usually limited to one or two due to the processes involved, although this usually is not an issue if only adding a logo or company name.
If more colours (or indeed photographic quality print) are required, it can sometimes be possible to digitally print the cases.
Both methods rely on a suitable surface, however, so not all cases can be printed successfully using either of these techniques.
In mould labelling
A common alternative to full colour print directly onto the cases’ surface, is that of in-mould labelling.
The process in effect sees a label printed as required (including photo quality images), being moulded into the cases’ surface during manufacture.
The advantage of this – besides the full colour graphics – is that the design can never become scuffed or scratched as with printing.
The downside is that due to the nature of the process, it typically requires a fairly high order volume to be cost effective.
External vinyl labels
Another way to get full colour graphics onto the outside of your case is through attaching vinyl labels.
As with in mould labelling they can be full colour, with the added benefit that they can cover part of the surface or the whole case (effectively a “wrap”) as you require.
Doing this is also vastly cheaper than in mould labelling, and can be done for any volume (even one-offs).
The disadvantages? The labels can over time become scuffed or begin peeling off. However, another advantage is that it should be possible to remove the label and apply a new one should it begin looking scruffy, or even if you need to change the logo, image or colour etc.
Premium material labels
Besides using printed and / or cut vinyl labels, there are a number of other similar options available.
For example, etched aluminium labels look exceptionally premium and can be attached to most surfaces. Gel labels can also add branding to virtually any area of your case. Both of these options are also relatively cost effective, regardless of order volume.
One point to consider is that labels such as these only add small branding on one small part of your case. If you are looking for a minimal or sophisticated appearance this can work well, but it does somewhat minimise potential visual impact.
Moulded / thermo-formed branding
The final way to add a brand logo to a case is through what is known as moulded or thermoformed branding.
This is a process whereby, when the case is manufactured, the mould is altered so that your company logo or name is actually indented into the case during manufacture.
The result of this is an incredibly premium looking appearance – as seen on custom manufactured Shell Cases.
The downside is the high cost of tooling – which makes this suitable only for high volumes of cases.
Zips, handles etc
There is one final opportunity for external branding on your printed sample cases, and that is the customisation of specific elements such as zips, handles, catches and so on.
For certain cases, adding custom logos onto the zips is as simple as adding a gel logo to the body of the case.
However, for items such as handles – where a logo really needs to be moulded in due to frequent forces applied to it – tooling charges again apply which makes this uneconomical for all but high volumes.
So whilst the costs vary, and arguably the visual impact is relatively low, this is a great way to really highlight you and your company’s attention to detail.
Although not “adding” branding as such, the actual colour of the case must be considered.
In fact, this can have the biggest impact of any of these options, so must be considered carefully.
With custom cases, it is usually possible to specify almost any exterior colour. With off the shelf cases however, you are usually limited to a specific range of colours (although any colour is available subject to high order volumes).
As such, in many cases it is often wise to select a black or white case, and use one the methods detailed previously to add specific colours etc. that are a perfect match for your brand.
Of course, it is important not to neglect the interior of your printed sample cases either.
Whilst the range is not limitless, there is a fairly wide choice of colours when specifying your foam inserts. As such it is usually possible to find a colour close to brand identity.
Another popular tactic is to use what is known as “shadow foam”.
This is, in effect, a layer of black foam placed on top of a brightly coloured foam below (ideally to match your branding). When the recesses are cut into the foam – and when your sample isn’t in its designated slot – the bright colour shows through to create a striking effect.
An added benefit of this technique is that can also allow you to very quickly see if any of the samples are not in their location, helping you to not lose them or show up to meetings missing a crucial product.
The other main way to add branding to foam is through what is known as foam laser etching or engraving.
This process involves a laser “etching” the top layer of foam to create logos or even quite fine text (that can be used for labelling the samples in the case with names, part numbers etc.)
This is a relatively low cost option, regardless of order volume, and the level of detail achieved can really lift the interior of your printed sample cases.
Other points to bear in mind
Whilst it is possible to use a number of these branding techniques together, there are a number of things you should consider at the planning stage.
As with any form of branding, it is important to visualise the overall effect, and not go too crazy adding branding to every available surface. Sometimes, less is more.
It is also a good idea to consider your budget, how the cases will be stored and handled (i.e. how durable does the branding need to be), and even what your competition is doing (if it is possible to find out).
Also bear in mind that certain options are not available on certain types of cases, and that other branding methods may only available when ordering very high volumes.
Finally, making sure you have a high resolution version of your logo or artwork, or vector files where appropriate, will also help with streamlining any setup process.
Whilst there is a wide – perhaps even daunting – range of methods for branding your cases, keeping it simple can often be the best option.
Saying that, getting the branding right on your sample cases can be critical.
Well branded or printed sample cases, in conjunction with custom foam that all ties in with a consistent brand identity, can not only impress your clients but also help them to remember you as well.
This is one of the key benefits of product sample cases – an impressed client, that has strong recall of your company and brand, is much more likely to place that order.
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