Packaging Design Tips from a 10 Year Old
By admin on Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

packaging-design-package-it-betterPackaging is a core part of our business at Xpadite.

So when we found out our primary school children were learning about packaging, we were delighted.

Looking at their work was even better. They had a really strong understanding of what good packaging design is all about.

Here’s what they learned.

The schoolkids’ packaging design challenge

Our children were given cookies. Great! Every kid loves cookies. But there was a catch. They didn’t get to eat the cookies right away.

They had to pack them and send them through the mail first.

And they got to design and make their own packaging.

Here’s what they learned from the exercise.

1. List all the criteria for your packaging before you start.

packaging-design-criteriaIn this instance, the design criteria were fairly simple.

  • Waterproof
  • Able to be posted
  • Able to protect the gift
  • Environmentally friendly

In the grown up business world, there are other criteria we might need to consider.

For example:

  • Cost. From a functional point of view, packaging costs should be kept to a minimum. From a marketing point of view, spending more on packaging can enhance value, attract attention and increase sales. It’s an investment rather than a cost in the strictest sense of the word. But you still need to control the cost.
  • Information requirements. These could be legal requirements like weight, dimensions, ingredients, expiry date or country of origin. They could be consumer information like required battery size. Or company contact details.
  • Aesthetics and messaging. This is where marketers focus. Brand colours, logos and positioning. Images. Promotions. Ratings, awards and endorsements. Ways to make the product stand out on the shelf, including unusual shapes or finishes.
  • Ease-of-use in the logistics chain. Shape, size and weight are key here. Will your package product stack easily on retailer shelves? What about on pallets and in warehouses? Is it too heavy to lift easily? Do you need a bulk volume specified by a particular retailer?

2. Investigate different options for your packaging materials.

packaging-design-testingOur children needed something which would protect their cookies. They tested three different packaging materials.

They packed the cookies into each material, then dropped them. If the cookie broke, they recorded the height of the drop. If not, they increased the height and dropped them again.

So they knew which material scored best against the ‘protect the gift’ requirement.

3. Develop packaging specifications.

The children were working in small groups. Each group needed to be able to make consistent packaging. And diagrams, with labels, were easier to understand than words alone.

packaging-design-specification-2  packaging-design-specification-1

Exactly the same principle applies in real-world packaging design. In all design, in fact.

And the more precise your packaging design specifications, the more likely you are to get what you want. Look at the things our children included.

  • Dimensions
  • Colour
  • Materials
  • Order of steps to package the item.

4. Test your packaging design and learn from failures.

The ultimate test for our kids was receiving their packed cookie. Did it arrive in one piece? How did it taste?

But that wasn’t the end of the process. They also reflected and learned. packaging-design-learn-from-failures

So next time they’ll do it better. If the school ever offers to send them all cookies again, that is!

Let’s look at one last packaging assessment.


The lowest score for this particular packaging is 5 – for its aesthetic qualities. That’s practical packaging design, not promotional packaging design!

Of course what we really want is packaging which works for both. And if you’ve got the creative ideas, we’ve got the practical experience and expertise to work with you and deliver it. Drop us a line and let’s discuss your packaging needs.

Award Winning Packaging 2015
By admin on Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

2015 is nearly over. In the midst of the pre-Christmas rush, we’ve collected some of our favourite samples of award winning packaging from Australia and around the globe.

Enjoy! Get inspired!

Award Winning Promotional Packaging

Let’s start with the Australian Packaging Design Award Gold Winner.

award-winning-packaging-footy-waterAFL Footy Water.

All the coaches drank it. It was sold at Woolworths.

Apparently the brief was ‘to develop a PET water bottle that replicates the traditional Sherrin football shape and simultaneously promote water consumption and an active lifestyle. The challenge was that after consumption, the bottle had to be robust enough that it could be kicked around like a football‘.

But was this award-winning packaging a real-life promotional success? A quick Google of ‘AFL footy water’ suggests maybe not. There are over half a million results, but the top few aren’t positive. Woolworths don’t have a picture yet.  Hashitout.com comment that ‘making a grown man drink out of a novelty bottle is a bit humiliating’. And how about this from a bigfooty.com forum?



Coopers Artisan Reserve

award-winning-packaging-coopersThis promotional packaging scored a bronze at the Awards. It was designed to promote a newly launched craft lager from Coopers Brewery.

The promotional approach was completely different from the AFL footy water. This wasn’t a mass-market bottle, this was packaging to impress a select group of influencers. It was intended to gain publicity and reviews. And it seems to have worked. Check out this post on the Eating Adelaide blog, or this post from Rick Besserdin, a beer fanatic.

Maybe one reason the team at Xpadite like this is because it reminds us of the work we did for Taylors Visionary. The same emphasis on story and tradition. The same focus on the taste and quality of the product.

award-winning-packaging-whiskyAward Winning Luxury Packaging

The Girvan Patent Still Single Grain Whisky

While we’re on the subject of presentation packs, how about this one?

This superb presentation box took out Best Of Show at the prestigious UK Luxury Packaging Awards.

Great retail packaging for luxury items delivers in three ways:

  • raises the perception of value and hence the price
  • protects the product itself
  • stands out on crowded retail shelves.

This award-winning presentation box fulfils on all three criteria.

Nabeel Perfumes

This company won gold twice at the same Luxury Packaging Awards.  You can spot luxury design themes in the perfume collection and the shopping bag.

Black and gold. The sheen of metallic. Luxury finishes. High attention to detail.

award-winning-packaging-perfume award-winning-packaging-shopping-bag

Love it!

Award Winning Practical Packaging

Not all packaging is as spectacular and luxurious as these examples. But all packaging – or at least all good packaging – must be practical.

It should protect the product. During bulk transportation, where handling may be rough. On the shelf. On the way home with the final purchaser.

It’s satisfying that the Australian Packaging Design Awards include an ‘Industrial’ category. It’s also satisfying that the judges noted ‘a quality set of entrants illustrating clear benefits across the entire supply chain and an efficient use of materials.’

Like this example.

award-winning-packaging-metal-detectorMinelab GPZ 7000 Metal Detector

This packaging is cleverly designed in many ways.

  • all elements pack compactly to save space (and cost) in transit
  • custom-moulded to the items to avoid movement and potential damage
  • the moulded pulp tray is low-cost, can use recycled materials and be recycled again.

Hungry Jacks

award-winning-packaging-hungry-jacksThe fast food chain also picked up a prize for their innovative burger packaging.

Features to notice here include:

  • easy-carry handles
  • easy-lift cover
  • burger and chips are separated
  • raised area for burger so bottom bun doesn’t get soggy
  • once again, low cost and recyclable cardboard.


So that’s our pick of award winning packaging from 2015. We look forward to more innovative, practical and inspiring packaging in 2016!


Corporate Gift Ideas for Christmas 2015
By admin on Friday, October 23rd, 2015

corporate-gift-presentation-boxChristmas decorations are in the shops already.

Has your business started planning yet?

If not, you need to start now!

We’ve put together some guidelines and corporate gift ideas which might help.

8 Guidelines for Corporate Giving

1. Set a budget before you start.

Think about all the people you want to give gifts to. Whether it’s clients, prospects, suppliers or staff, work out how many there are and how much you’ve got to spend in total.

Then divide your budget carefully.  If you’re giving to clients and prospects, you may want to spend more on the most important relationships – but remember, people may talk and compare what they got. For staff, the best policy is to give everyone gifts of the same value. Otherwise you’re simply telling some of your team that you care less about them than you do about their colleagues.

2. Spend time to get the right gifts rather than money to get expensive gifts.

It seems obvious, but it’s easy to forget. It’s the thought that counts.

3. Make sure your corporate gifts comply with company policy. Yours and your client’s!

The more expensive the gift, the more likely you are to run foul of company policy. (Luxury gifts can also backfire if the client decides you’re making too much money out of them, so be careful!)

Another option is to give a group gift such as a food hamper to the entire client team. This is less difficult for decision-makers than a gift they and they alone get to keep.

4. Presentation matters.

Great gifts come in fantastic packaging. Once again, you want to demonstrate time and effort. You want your gift to look as if you care. To be special. To make an impact.

If you need help with custom packaging, Xpadite have plenty of experience.

5. Logos are for promotional items, not gifts.

Maybe not if  you’re a cult brand like Apple or Harley-Davidson. But most of us aren’t. Customers and staff don’t generally want to be walking billboards for our company.

If you really do need to have your logo, consider putting it on the packaging rather than the gift. Or give items like lollies or gift cards.

Another option is to use your company colours, with possibly a small and discreet logo.

6. Personalised, but not personal.

Personalisation is one way of showing that this gift was planned for a specific person. So the recipient is more likely to feel special and appreciate the gift.
Personal gifts, however, run the risk of being misunderstood. This is especially true when giving to someone of the opposite sex.
There’s a fine line to tread between giving something which matches the individual’s interests and giving something which is too intimate.

7. Be careful with humour.

Not everyone thinks the same things are funny.

8. Consider religious sensibilities.

December is a prime season for gift giving, but not everyone is Christian. Those of other faiths may be offended by Christmas wording.

It’s not just wording either. Wine won’t go down well with Muslims. And food hampers can present all kinds of challenges!

So, bearing all those points in mind, what can you give this festive season?  We’ve divided our ideas into a few categories.

Corporate gift ideas – food and drink

  • corporate-gift-ideas-chocolate-bouquetWine. As mentioned above, make sure the recipients like and drink wine. It’s not a great option for Muslims or pregnant women. You might also check whether the recipient prefers red, white or bubbly.
    Substitute options include luxury tea or coffee selections. Or foodies may like flavoured vinegars or other condiments.
  • Food hampers. The trick here is to check carefully what’s in the hamper. Consider dietary restrictions based on religion or allergies.
  • Chocolates. These are a safe but unimaginative option. Make sure they’re nicely wrapped, so at least they can be passed on.
  • Food bouquets. This is a great option if you’d like to give something to the whole team. Choose chocolates, lollies or fruits depending on the group you’re giving to. Vary the size, or order more than one for bigger groups.
    Bouquets are all about presentation, so you don’t have to worry about giftwrapping. Just add a message so they know it’s from you. Or you can hand-deliver – all smart salespeople know it’s great to have the receptionist and the PA on your side! (This bouquet came from Edible Blooms, who deliver Australia-wide.)

Business-focused corporate gift ideas

There are more imaginative ideas out there than a personalised pen or desk calendar.

  • For frequent travelers, try a travel pillow. Or a passport cover or suitcase tags – add their name for a personal touch.
  • Novelty USBs were all the rage a year or two ago. How about a novelty mouse? Even better if you can make it something which relates to your business. (And if you have an idea but you can’t find the product, ask Xpadite. It’s exactly the kind of strategic sourcing project we enjoy – as long as you have the quantity.)
  • How about a business book? Pick something relevant to your clients, or to the work you do for them.

corporate-gift-ideas-car-mouse corporate-gift-ideas-ladybird-mouse

Giving the gift of choice

Gift cards and vouchers – you may love them or you may loathe them.

On the plus side, your clients or staff can use them to get what they really want.  Prepaid Visa cards are the most flexible of all, or you can opt for movie vouchers, or store cards, or many other options.

On the downside, they may seem like a last minute lazy option.

To avoid that ‘no care‘ impression, take care with the card and the presentation. If you have enough volume, you can get gift cards custom printed. For smaller quantities, use a folder and luxury packaging to make the card special. This is one case where you can use your logo freely, since the card will be taken out before use. You can personalise too.  Luxury-look presentation doesn’t have to break the bank either – here’s one way to get a metallic embossed look without breaking the bank.

Corporate gift ideas which share the love

The ‘Christmas spirit’ is originally about giving rather than receiving. How about donating to a charity rather than giving a gift? This is also an option when company policy doesn’t allow your clients to receive anything from suppliers.

If you know what charities clients support, you can donate direct. Or you can leave the choice to them.

My Cause gift cards put the decision power back in your clients’ hands. Or maybe they’d prefer to support entrepreneurs in the developing world via microfinance provider Kiva?

corporate-gift-ideas-bike-chain-clockOriginal and Unusual Corporate Gift Ideas

Original gifts are more likely to be remembered. But they’re also more risky.

One option is to take a standard ‘safe’ gift and reinterpret it with an unusual angle. If that angle reflects your business, so much the better.

For bike shops, engineers or other technical companies, how about this fabulous clock from Resource Revival?

corporate-gift-ideas-cactus-candleFor garden centres or florists, cactus candles would be a better fit.

When it comes to gifts like these, your imagination is the limit.


Here’s hoping this gets your creative juices flowing on some great corporate gift ideas for you and your business.

Now all you need to do is find what you want!  Happy hunting!

By the way, if there’s something you really want and you can’t find it anywhere, ask us. We may not be able to source it for this year, but it’s not too early to start planning for Christmas 2016. (How do you think all those Christmas decorations got into the shops already this year?!?)

Beyond Paper: Unusual Print Surfaces
By admin on Thursday, September 17th, 2015


When you say ‘print’, people tend to think you’re printing on paper or cardboard. For 90% of the jobs we handle, that’s probably true, but the remainder include more unusual print surfaces.

With modern printing technologies, the substrate (the base material you print onto) can be just about anything.  As our print expert Andrew Alcock says, ‘if you want to take your front door off its hinges and bring it round I can get a floral design printed all over it for you.

We’re not sure how useful that would really be! But here’s a summary of non-paper print options, with some ideas as to how you might want to use them. We’ve also highlighted any issues to consider.

Fabric printing

Most people are aware of printing on fabric – even if just from the printed t-shirts around them.

Common business uses include:

  • Include your own brand or imagery on retail products.
  • Promote your brand on t-shirts, polo shirts, hats, bags and other items.
  • Use ‘soft signage’ for items like flags, banners and exhibition stand decorations. It’s easier to transport, store and clean that traditional signage.

Fabric is usually printed by screen printing or digital printing.  Inks for fabric printing usually include thickeners to prevent the colour ‘running’ along the fibres of the fabric and blurring the pattern.

One question to consider is whether the colour is just on the surface of the fabric or whether it penetrates into the fibres.  The second option (dye sublimation) makes the design last longer. It’s vital if your goods will be washed frequently, needed over a long time, or exposed to sunlight. But for promotional items with a short shelf life it may be overkill.

The ‘spontaneity packs’ which Xpadite worked on for the Australian launch of HotelTonight included many non-paper printed items. Cotton undies. (So you’re fresh the next day after an unexpected night away.) Sunglasses with moulded plastic frames. And the bag to keep them in.



Printed Magnets

While we’re on the subject of promotional items, don’t forget the humble printed magnet.  With a good design – including your contact details – the fridge magnet can work wonders for a B2C business.

<pics of some cool fridge magnets>

Printing on plastic

Printing on plastic objects is standard for promotional items.  Pens, keyrings, water bottles, frisbees, all kinds of promotional items. (More information about promotional product in the marketing mix here.)

Flat objects can be screen printed or digitally printed. Difficult shapes and 3D surfaces are managed by ‘pad printing’. The ink is picked up on a silicon pad, in the design shape, then stamped onto the object.  Special inks are used to transfer smoothly without mistake.  That’s the print process we used for the HotelTonight sunglasses.

But it’s not just promotional items which are printed on plastic.  What about the following?

  • Gift cards
  • Hotel card keys
  • DVDs
  • Labels
  • Place mats and other homewares

We also need to give a special mention to printing on vinyl sheets.


Vinyl with an adhesive backing is great for stickers.  Stickers are great for:

  • Labels
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Short runs of items like branded bags. A single location store may only need one or two hundred bags. It’s not a long enough run for a printer, but it is possible to print labels and use them to customise a standard product.

Vinyl is also a fantastic alternative when pricing labels need to handle unusual conditions.  For example, what about food products which have to be stored in refrigerated containers? Condensation would damage paper labels, but vinyl is just fine.

We’ve used vinyl for promotional wobblers in refrigerated units as well.


Not all signs are printed on vinyl though.  Eden Gardens need signage for products which are stored and displayed outdoors. The signs need to be weatherproof. They have to withstand rain, so paper and card are no good. The ink can’t run either. And the ink needs to be UV-resistant so signs don’t fade in the sun. We supply foamcore signs as you can see in these photos.

unusual-print-surfaces-eden-gardens-signage  unusual-print-surfaces-eden-gardens-signage-2

Other unusual print surfaces

As we mentioned at the start of this post, nowadays you can print on almost anything.

Metal signs are hard-wearing and long-lasting. So they’re ideal for places like construction sites. They stand up to the weather and it doesn’t matter if a truck bumps into them.

Perspex signs are also common.  Perspex is robust enough for outside use. It can also be cut to various shapes (and thicknesses) to present just the impression you want.

And if you’re looking for something really spectacular (for corporate art or for  your home) what about printing on mirrors, or on the surface of a glass table?

The limit is your imagination!  And with our network of specialist printers, Xpadite can handle your jog whatever surface you want to print on. So what are you waiting for? Contact us today.

Australian E-Commerce: building future growth
By admin on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

What’s happening in Australian e-commerce right now?  What will the future look like?  A couple of recent reports have set us wondering.

  • australian-ecommerce-future-growth-imageAccording to eWay research, Australians spent $4.37 billion online between January and March 2015. That’s a 22% increase from 2014.
  • In May, PureProfile surveyed 1,000 online shoppers across Australia and New Zealand.  They found that 29% had given up on online retail altogether, thanks to poor shopping experiences.
  • AT Kearney’s Global Retail E-Commerce Index 2015 shows Australia in the top ten countries for e-commerce.

But Australia has slipped one place in these rankings, from number 9 to number 10.

So what’s happening?  Australian e-commerce is growing. But maybe it’s not growing as fast as it should. And maybe the issues are more complicated than GST-free competition from overseas sites.

What’s driving Australian e-commerce growth? And what’s holding it back?

83% of respondents in the PureProfile survey value the convenience of online shopping.

That’s not surprising, given the pressure of modern life.  Interestingly, the 6pm to 9pm timeslot is the best time for sales.  Fully 20% of all transactions take place in those three hours.   It seems people get home from work and spend a bit of time in the evening looking for all the things they don’t have time to shop for during the day.

So they’re looking for convenience and speed.  But they’re not finding it.

  • 45% have abandoned a purchase due to difficulties with the site.
  • 47% have gone to a second site to purchase
  • 29% have given up on online shopping altogether

And they’re spending a massive 15.5 minutes on average browsing an online site to find the item they want.

What can Australian e-commerce sites do to improve customer experience?

1. Implement effective search

42% of survey respondents said online search options did not match their criteria.

If your site has more than a handful of products, consider implementing search.  Exactly what your site search will look like depends on your business but consider the following points:

  • Make your search easily visible and the same on all pages
  • Make sure your product data is strong enough to support search.  If you have categories, is every item in a category? Do you need some items to be in two or more categories? For example, if you’re selling jewellery you might have earrings, necklaces, rings and sets, but you might also want ‘gifts for her’ or ‘gifts under $100″ or categories for special occasions such as weddings or prom nights.
  • Consider other criteria people might search on.  Size, for clothing.  Price range. Current availability.

Get more e-commerce search tips here.

2. Make sure your checkout service is easy to understand

australian-e-commerce-buy-keyboard57% want an easier checkout process. Consider these questions

  • Is it easy to see and change what’s in your cart?  At all times?
  • Is the ‘checkout’ button available from every page?
  • Do customers need to create an account or is there a ‘quick checkout’ option if they prefer that?

Remember, you know your site so well you don’t even notice the problems.  It never hurts to get a complete novice to test your checkout service, while you sit quietly by and watch.

Get more ideas about checkout practices here.

3. Provide on-site assistance

34% say online service doesn’t match that in-store.  43% prefer in-store service.

What can you do to give better customer service on your site?

  • Anticipate common questions and answer them upfront.  Delivery times and costs.  Returns policy.  For clothing, how to measure your size and get a good fit.
  • A good FAQ page can be helpful too.
  • Have a clearly visible enquiry email.  Send all enquirers an auto-response confirming you have their enquiry and telling them when they can expect a full response.  Then make sure you do it!
  • Include a phone number, preferably toll-free.  If it’s not manned 24×7, say when it is available.  (And remember, 20% of transactions take place between 6pm and 9pm.  Sound like an opportunity for a call centre in Perth!)
  • What about online chat?  This is the equivalent of having a sales assistant onsite.  It also lets people ask questions anonymously, which increases comfort levels.  And it’s a great source of customer insights!

More ideas for online customer service here.

4. Offer same-day delivery options and free returns

67% of men and 79% of women surveyed wanted at least one of these options for their online shopping.

Same day delivery is important for gifts and other time-sensitive purchases. You need a cut-off time, of course.  If someone makes a purchase at 8pm it’s unlikely you’ll deliver it the same night, but if they order at 10am, perhaps you can.  Just make sure your cut-off time (and any location limitations) are clearly available on your website.

Remember, same-day delivery doesn’t have to be the only option you offer.  It’s quite OK to charge extra, as long as you’re clear about it.  For the majority of purchases where an extra day or two doesn’t matter, a slower delivery system can be a lot cheaper for you and help you remain competitive.

As for returns, Paypal Australia have recently launched a ‘free returns shipping’ service for purchases made via Paypal.  if you aren’t offering free returns for all orders, but you do take Paypal as a payment method, this could be one place to start.

Or you could investigate AfterPay, a Sydney-based startup which allows customers to pay after they have received their order.  Another way of reducing perceived risk from purchasing online.

5. Take opportunities to upsell, cross-sell and repeat sell to your customers

But don’t annoy them all the time with pop-up ads! That was the number one hate of online shoppers surveyed – 42% of them want fewer pop-ups.  Try some of these ideas instead to keep your Australian e-commerce site growing!

And while Xpadite don’t design, implement or improve e-commerce websites, if you want to review your e-commerce fulfilment operations, we’re always happy to have a no-obligation discussion.



At Xpadite we’re interested in drink packaging design because we do a lot of packaging and fulfilment for beverage clients.  Here are some of the most innovative ideas we’ve seen recently – along with some ideas on how to adapt them.

64% of consumers say they’ve tried something new because the packaging caught their eye.

Whether you sell drinks or something else entirely, we hope you find inspiration.

1. For the love of tea

‘Te quiero.’  In Spanish, it means ‘I love you’.  It’s used not just for your lover, but for family and friends as well.  It also sounds exactly the same as ‘té quiero’ – with an acute accent.  ‘I love tea’.



What else could you put inside a flower-opening package?  Gift items like jewellery, chocolates, luxury toiletries and fragrances spring to mind.

2. Flowers and Bubbly  – Turning Drink Packaging Design Upside Down

More romantic packaging design for Cava sparkling wine.  Simple, imaginative and effective.  Also great fun.


If you’re selling Australian product anywhere in the northern hemisphere, you could adapt this idea.


3. Practical Drink Packaging for Out and About

While we’re turning things upside down, what about this drink packaging design?  Is it a glass?  Is it a bottle?  It’s both!!

It’s a bottlass.  Great idea, but it needs a better name.

4. Improving the Product with Great Packaging Design

Why is wine stored horizontally?  Traditionally, this keeps the cork moist and prevents oxidation.  This packaging for Quartz champagne makes it hard to stand the bottle upright.  What’s more, it builds on the brand name and it makes the product stand out on the shelf.



Look at the easy-carry handle too.  If your product is heavy or bulky, that’s a feature you might like to consider.

5. Packing in extra value

Serious wine drinkers might also like this packaging – the wine comes with its own paper for tasting notes.


Don’t limit yourself to tasting notes.  That piece of paper could be any number of things.

  • A promotional offer or something to drive buyers to your website or collect contact details.
  • Information about other products in the range.
  • How the purchaser should store or care for the product.
  • Recipe ideas for a gourmet vinegar or condiment.

Try this for any product which comes in a bottle or which has a long narrow handle you can wrap paper around.

Don’t forget, our fulfilment team can help with assembling this for delivery to retail stores too!

6. Getting the Most Out of Packaging

Casual drinkers also want to squeeze every last drop of enjoyment out of their wine.  Here’s one way to do it:



7. Great Packaging Design Takeaways

There’s a lot of wine in this packaging showcase – we don’t know if that makes you happy or sad!  But this final drink packaging design lets you share how you feel.

These ’emotion cups’ from were a limited edition souvenir for take-out coffee shop Gawatt.  If we had one, we’d keep it!

Key elements here are interactivity, emotion and fun!  What can you do to add those to your packaging?


We hope this gives you some inspiration.  And if you’d like some creative packaging design and solutions specifically for your product, why not contact Xpadite?

Promotional Products in the Marketing Mix – Infographic
By admin on Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”promotional-products-infographic-detail

Marketing has come a long way since American marketing pioneer John Wanamaker first said that, but measuring marketing success is still a challenge.  It’s not so much measuring any one part of your marketing – although direct mail is still easier to measure than promotional products, or social media for that matter.  It’s measuring how they contribute to the marketing mix. When someone buys an expensive jewellery set from your online store, how do you attribute the revenue?

  • How much goes to the email she clicked from?
  • How much goes to the other emails you sent her before that?
  • How much goes to the diamond pin you offered in a competition which made her sign up in the first place?
  • How much goes to the branded travel cosmetics set you promised to anyone spending above a certain amount ‘while stocks last’?
  • How much goes to the Facebook ads which she saw but never clicked on?

In theory, you could run different campaigns to test each and every element.  In real life, no one has the time or the money.  Fortunately, agencies and very large companies do manage to test many variations in the marketing mix, and sometimes that information is made public.  This is especially helpful for marketing elements such as promotional products, which aren’t generally the ‘heroes’ of the marketing budget, so can easily get cut.

A highlight of the UK infographic shown below is that promotional products alone create a more favourable impression than print and TV combined!  Surprising at first glance, but it makes sense when you think about it.  A promotional item is a present, something useful, rather than yet another ad to navigate.  That’s especially true if it’s useful or relevant to your main business, or entertaining.

Gyms hand out branded water bottles and towels.  Make-up brands offer make-up cases.  Brands targeting mothers or families give away something to entertain the kids.  IT companies hand out USBs.  FMCG companies send samples and gift size packages via direct mail.  Online stores may include a surprise gift with big orders.  But it helps to be creative and offer a that little bit more.  NRMA holiday parks gave us a fridge magnet, but it’s also a thermometer.  That little difference keeps it on the fridge door even when I clear off the clutter.

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost…‘  Tiny things can make a huge difference.  The tiny thing could be having a promotional product at all.  It could be having the right one, the creative one, the one which wows your target customer.

Could some kind of targeted promotional product or prize be the nail you need to help win your marketing battle?  Contact Xpadite for help sourcing imaginative, company-specific promotional products which will make your name stand out.


Infographic from 4imprintUK



POS Marketing Ideas
By admin on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

POS marketing needs to help your product stand out.  Creativity and excellent execution are key.  This selection of real-life POS examples is meant to inspire.

As experts in the operational and logistical aspects of getting POS to the right place at the right time, we love working with great POS!  We hope the POS marketing ideas we’ve picked get your imagination going.  And once you’ve got a great idea for your POS, if you need help making your campaigns happen, we’d love to hear from you.

This display from Dior creates impact via the white-on-white repeat 3-d pattern of the bottle shape.pos-ideas-dior-homme-display

The Salomon display stand is versatile enough for summer or winter items, plus the zigzag shape reflects the movement of a champion slalom skier.










Yves St Laurent are focused on luxury, light and clarity.  The display layout also references a podium for gold, silver and bronze medal winners, reinforcing the idea of Or Rouge as a ‘winner’.


Check out the screen built into this display, which invites shoppers to engage and find out more.


Meanwhile this unit for Kiss demonstrates the phosphorescent material used in their latest frames.


For more great POS ideas, it’s worth checking out the POPAI international awards entries and winners.


You might like these other blog posts from Xpadite:

8 Tips for In-store Marketing

In-store Marketing for Kiwi Shoe Care

Helping Taylors Fulfil their Vision

Marketing Collateral Which Works



Trade Show Tips
By admin on Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

expo-trade-show-tipsTrade shows, love them or loathe them, are here to stay!  A recent Forrester report found that nearly 20% of business-to-business marketing spend is committed to live events.

Yet many marketers have a love-hate relationship with physical events.  Planning, operations and logistics are exhausting.  Something always goes wrong.

So how can you best manage trade shows to deliver great leads, while still keeping your sanity?  Here’s the Xpadite list of top trade show tips, compiled from our experience helping clients plan for and achieve better results.

Before the Show

Start your planning early.  If it’s too late for that, start your planning now!

Set your goals and your budget.

You know the audience profile and the likely number of attendees.  Set a realistic, measurable goal for the show.  Most commonly, this is a number of qualified leads, but you could also have other goals.  Trade shows offer great opportunities to:

  • Make immediate sales on the floor
  • Have face-to-face meetings with clients from other cities time-efficiently
  • Meet with industry journalists and generate publicity
  • Find potential business partners or investors
  • Conduct hands-on market research

Your budget will include the cost of exhibiting, the cost of your stand and travel expenses for staff.  You should also budget for on giveaways and marketing materials.  Be careful not to skimp on these – they make all the difference to your end results.  Without them, your investment in the show is wasted.

Decide on your message

What’s the key message you want attendees at this show to take away with them?  This should be something people can grasp in a few seconds.  Trade show visitors are already suffering from information overload – don’t make it harder for them.  It’s best to keep to one simple message, which you can promote before, during and after the show.  Wait until visitors are actively engaged at your stand to go into detail.

Promote your stand in advance

The trade show organisers are focused on getting attendees to the show, not on getting them to your stand.  Most visitors won’t visit every stand.  Most plan at least some of their visit in advance.  You need to get your stand into their schedule.

  • Send invitation emails.
  • Include a line about the show in staff email signatures to promote the show and your stand.
  • Send invitation postcards.

Give potential visitors a reason to visit your stand – you could offer them something as long as they bring the postcard with them.  Now they have a reason to keep it for the weeks before the show, and you get additional exposure there too.

Or you could offer pre-booked appointments, with technical experts or a senior figure in your company or industry.  It’s harder to break an appointment than a vague promise to ‘catch up at the show’.

Be preparedtrade-show-tips-lead-form

People – decide who will be on the stand and when.  Then train these people.  They need to know the purpose of the event, they need to know who the target audience are, and they need the tools to qualify potential leads they meet at the show.

A custom lead form can be really useful for qualifying.  It’s easier than writing on people’s business cards, plus the form itself acts as a reminder of the qualifying questions you want your team to ask.  When the stand’s busy, staple business cards to the forms or ask visitors to fill them out themselves.  You will need to organise lead forms in advance though.

What marketing material are you going to have on the stand?  Company brochures, product catalogues, flyers, case studies, vouchers or trial offers, giveaways…  You’ll need items for display on the stand, which can range from printed material to samples to screens playing promotional videos or interactive demonstrations.  You’ll need material for visitors to take away too.  If you have a range of material, you may want to prepare packs in advance so they’re quick and easy to hand out.  Use Xpadite’s kitting service to make this easy – all you have to do is tell us what you want and we’ll compile your packs and deliver them to the trade show ready for you to pick up.

Finally, don’t forget your ’emergency box’ – this is for things you probably won’t need, but if you do, you really need them!

  • notepads (preferably branded – Xpadite can organise these for you too)
  • pens (more than one)
  • highlighters (multiple colours)
  • post-it notes
  • rubber bands
  • stapler
  • paper clips
  • scissors
  • sticky tape
  • duct tape
  • cable ties
  • extension cord
  • power board
  • screwdrivers
  • generic business cards

At the Show

Drive traffic to your stand.

You have to compete with every other booth there.  How do you make it enticing?  There are three main options:


Keep your giveways inside the stand.  Don’t make it too easy for people to take them without stopping and engaging

Make giveaways really valuable.  Most trade show visitors have enough pens and stressballs.  How about:

  • Something relevant to your product or service.  Oven mitts for a food show or a home and giftware.  Screen cleaner.  Seeds at a garden show. pocket screwdriver set
  • Something useful for travellers.  Many women trudging round tradeshows would love shoe cushions, or hotel size bottles of foot lotion.  Lip balm in cold climates or sun cream for hot places.  Hand sanitiser. Aromatherapy mini-candles
  • Something relevant to the location of the show.  If it’s in Sydney, you could hand out USB memory sticks  or boxes of mints shaped like the Opera House.  If you’re local and know the area, you could hand out leaflets with insider tips on where to eat or lesser-known sights to see.


There are some basic options here which will appeal to a lot of people at a trade show.

  • food.  Cookies or even savoury snacks are probably better than lollies.  And just like giveaways, don’t make them too accessible.  The aim is to get people to stop and come in!
  • seating.  There are never enough places to sit at a trade show.  If you want people to stop and take a while to learn more about what you have to offer, give them a comfortable seat while they watch your video, interact with your demo or read your literature.
  • live demonstrations or sampling.  Of course this depends on your product or service, but it can be a great draw.

Or try something more imaginative.  Organise prize draws, quizzes and contests; offer free massages or style consultations.


The trade show has probably organised some workshops or seminars – but don’t let that stop you offering some at your stand too!  People come to trade shows to learn, after all.

  • Invite an industry expert.
  • Set up a debate about an industry topic
  • Demonstrations are educational as well as an experience.

Capture and qualify leads

This is where your preparation before the show pays off.

The team at your stand know who you are targeting and what key selling messages to push with them.  They have lead cards to remind them of qualifying criteria and to note down contact details and specific points of interest.  They have pre-prepared kits to hand out to qualified leads.

Many shows now let exhibitors scan visitor name tags to capture contact data.  Do this by all means, but complete a lead form to capture specifics as well.

The trade show is more than just the stand.

Try these trade show tips to reach out to people in a more refreshing way

  • Attend seminars and strike up conversations.
  • Tweet about the show from the floor.  Don’t forget to read others’ tweets as well!
  • Explore the other exhibitors.  Check out your competitors and see what you can learn.  Look for potential marketing partners – you might have different offerings, but if you’re at the same show you’re probably targeting the same customers.
  • Host an after hours event.
  • Haunt the bar at the show hotel.
  • Go back to your room, put your feet up and start connecting with the best leads of the day on LinkedIn.  That way you’ll have less backlog when the show’s over and the adrenalin’s gone.


After the Show

Use the leads you capture.

It’s so obvious, yet so many companies simply don’t do it.

  • Follow up quickly.  It helps to have some standard templates prepared in advance which you can personalise as necessary.
  • Thank everyone who visited your stand, tell them you’ve put them on your mailing list, but they can cancel any time they like.  Then send out regular newsletters so you stay top-of-mind.
  • If you ran a competition or contest, get in touch with all the people who didn’t win and offer them some kind of consolation prize.

Review your trade show experience

  • report actual outcomes against your original goals
  • identify what went well and what didn’t
  • improve your planning and activities for next time.


So that’s our list of trade show tips.  From the practical to the imaginative, all of them can help you get better results.  Don’t be put off by the work involved either – there’s plenty to do, but you can get help.

Xpadite can’t assist with everything you need to implement these trade show tips, but we can help with many of them.

Our print management experts can help you with all your printed marketing collateral, plus those all important lead forms. We can manage direct mail campaigns pre- and post-show.  Our sourcing arm can help you find some outstanding giveaways.  Best of all, we have the fulfilment expertise and manpower to deliver everything you need right to the trade show location.  So all you have to bring is yourself, your energy and your enthusiasm.

Contact us for a more detailed discussion about any of these ways we can help you.


You may like these other posts from the Xpadite blog:

Marketing Collateral Which Works

Whether to Outsource Warehousing & Logistics: 10 Considerations

The Future of Print: Print that Performs

POS Marketing Ideas

E-commerce growth in 2014
By admin on Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

e-commerce-growthE-commerce growth in Australia is hardly news.

Australian online sales rocketed from $27 billion in 2010 to an estimated $37.1 billion in 2013. With 4 out of 5 Australians online every day and average spend per consumer increasing every year, there’s no reason to think the growth will slow.

So what can you do to make sure your online store realises the potential of this booming market?

We’ve compiled some information which might help you maximise your e-commerce growth in 2014.

Which industries are experiencing e-commerce growth?

We’ve combined information from two infographics, one by BigCommerce using data from 50,000 clients, plus this one from competitions.com.au.

Some industries are already mature online and face challenge from digital delivery

Over 45% of online consumers have purchased Books, CDs, Music and DVDs.

  • Revenue per store and average order value are falling.
  • Big players like Amazon, Netflix and iTunes dominate, although many new online stores are opening.
  • If you want to succeed, your best bet is to find a niche market and service it really well.

Some industries are established but still growing

One in three to one in five have bought clothes, jewellery, computers, software, electronics and sports equipment online.

  • All these industry sectors face increasing competition from new stores opening
  • Jewellery and accessories is a less contested market.  With fewer new stores opening, the revenue growth per store hit 31% in 2013
  • Small to medium businesses are matching or outperforming the giants.  Australians have a high level of trust in small business and family-owned business.  So if this is you, make sure you promote those features along with your product!

Some interesting new sectors are exploding online

  • Automotive stores saw a massive 89% increase in revenue per store, in addition to more than 20% new stores.  Remember, mechanics have smartphones.  If you have an urgent need, but your normal supplier is out of stock, you can search on your mobile.  If you find the part you need, there’s every reason to buy straight away.
  • Wedding and Bridal, Home and Garden, Food and Beverage and Furniture also saw growth in new stores of 40% or more.
  • Furniture wasn’t all good, though.  Revenue per store dropped significantly.  Could this be related to the fact that furniture is generally bulky and hard to ship?  In particular, hard to ship for free.  Read on for why this matters.

How can you encourage customers to buy online?

There are three top operational policies which persuade consumers to buy online.

  • free shipping
  • one-day shipping
  • free returns and exchanges

Each one of these matters to over 60% of consumers. Imagine what your online growth could be if you implement all three!

Plus, free shipping and free returns almost triples the number of people who would spend over $1000 online.

Take another look at those top e-commerce growth sectors – automotive parts, jewellery and accessories.  They include many small, light items where shipping cost can easily be built into the price so as to offer free shipping.  If this isn’t part of your model, can you adopt it?

More customer insights are available here.

Mobile e-commerce growth continues

First smartphones, now the tablet – people are using their devices to shop right now, wherever they are.  There was $5.6billion spent by mobile device users in 2012.  Growth is at least 5% per annum.  If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out.

Find out here how important mobile is for e-commerce growth in your specific industry and target market.


We hope these insights into e-commerce growth opportunities help our online retailer clients to greater success in 2014.

We can’t help you make your site mobile-responsive, but if you’d like to discuss effective product sourcing or shipping and fulfilment, please contact us!


You may also like these articles from the Xpadite blog:

Subscription Service Models for Online Retail

E-commerce Packaging and Gift-Wrapping Tips

Make the Most of your Despatch Note