The 12 (okay five) rules of Christmas packaging

Dare we say it? I think we do dare. Deck the halls, people! It’s time to put up the tree, do a little dance, sing a little song, drink a little drink (as long as it’s mulled) and get into the holiday spirit.

Christmas box created for Bettys
Christmas box created for Bettys

How else are you going to cope with a whole month of non-stop cheesy Christmas records playing in the supermarket, or constant Christmas ‘banter’ in the office? That’s right, you’ve got to embrace it.

And for businesses, embracing the Christmas holidays is just about one of the most important things you can do all year. This time of year gives brands a free pass to innovate with their designs and marketing, and drive their sales. In fact, just about anything goes at Christmas, as long as there’s a snowflake to be seen, or the odd mention of Santa dotted around your copy.

Tartan Christmas boxesTake Starbucks for instance. Anyone who hasn’t heard of or tasted a Starbucks red cup will be seen as a lunatic by the coffee lovers of the age. Is there anything that special about the drinks themselves? Maybe not.

Do they look Christmassy? Certainly do. Do they drive Starbucks’ sales? Sure! Everybody wants a red cup.

It’s not just Starbucks who enjoy the festive rewards that this time of year brings in; any business can drive their sales at Christmas. And seasonal packaging is a great avenue to do it. Here are our top 5 tips for using Christmas to up your game and attract customers. Tis the season after all.Christmas box

1. Design your packaging to look attractive enough to be the gift itself. Personally, I’d never be disappointed with a gift if the packaging itself looked delicious!

2. Build a story around the product and use it to create a campaign. Fun or intensely emotional packaging that tells a story is more likely to stand out to potential customers (and their children!) than a plain jane box at this time of year.

3. Create a limited edition. You could do this either by changing your product and making it only available for a limited amount of time, or changing your packaging to give the product a facelift.

4. Don’t forget your politics. Planning on using a nativity scene in your Christmas packaging design? Is that likely to appeal to a non-Christian audience? Christmas box

5. Stand out with something crazy… If you dare. Snowmen and sleigh bells are the order of the day at Christmas, but if I’m thinking that, won’t everyone else be? What about a Christmas cactus? Or, you know, Father Lobster?

Christmas Box produced for Prestat
Christmas Box produced for Prestat

Whatever you’re planning to do with your Christmas boxes, it’s importantto make sure that they’re aligned with your marketing goals.  For many months now, GWD (or ‘the box elves’, as we’re commonly called at this time of year) have been beavering away to create amazing bespoke boxes for our clients. If you’re planning for Christmas 2015 and want a hand give us a ring on 01279 416093 for a chat about that lobster.


Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at