Branding is everywhere.  Whether it’s found on trucks, city billboards, public benches, t-shirts, or even body art (yes, I actually saw a tattoo promoting a micro-brewery recently), it’s hard to look in any direction and not find company or product specific branding somewhere.  In the packaging world, the two most recognizable forms of branding are with printed boxes and printed tapes.  There are several obvious advantages and disadvantages of each choice.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Printed Boxes

Corrugated Boxes
The most notable disadvantages to printed boxes are with regards to initial set up costs, and inventory space.  The initial cost to set up the plates, and colored dyes used in repeated production, can be expensive.  To what extent all depends upon the number of sides on the box that will contain print, and the complexity of the text, symbols, and overall artwork involved.  That cost can range anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars, depending on the intricacy of the artwork being applied to the box.  In addition to the set up costs, boxes take up a lot of valuable space.  Most plants will require, at a minimum, 1,000 boxes to run custom printed work.  Depending upon the size of the box, or boxes since’ one shoe doesn’t fit all’, this can take up anywhere from one to five pallet spaces in a facility, per size.  That’s a lot of real estate that many companies just don’t have to spare. The most obvious advantage to printed boxes is that you have plenty of space for which to communicate a company’s message.  A box, like all cubes, have six sides on which a company can use (ok, so one of those sides is the bottom of the box, but I’ve seen some creative ways that companies get folks to turn the box over to get the receivers attention) to communicate to the recipient everything from, what the features are of the contents are, to the history of the company providing those items inside.  There’s also plenty of room to introduce other products or services the company may provide, along with advising the recipient of care or maintenance instructions for the box’s contents.  With all the available space, companies have plenty of canvas to catch the recipient’s eye and convey a variety of messages to the end user.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Printed Tape

On the positive side, printed tape addresses one of the larger drawbacks to printed boxes, and that is space.  A single case of printed 2” x 110 yards tape, 36 rolls in a case, can secure easily secure over 1,500 – 24” x 24” x 24” boxes.  That single case can be tucked away under a table somewhere without ever really taking up any other usable floor space at all.  Those 1,500 24 cube boxes (that’s what we call them in the packaging biz) would take up six pallet spaces.  Another advantage of printed tape is the security it provides.  Most shippers have access to clear carton sealing tape, and can easily re-seal an opened box, however with branded tape, your end users would know right away if one of the packages you sent them had been opened.  Security is paramount for many companies wanting to ensure that their products are reaching their destinations in their entirety.  What better way to do that then with printed tapes sealing their precious cargo.

There are a few commonly accepted drawbacks to branding with tape over boxes however.  For starters, there isn’t much room on a 2”, or even 3”, tape to communicate a more than a simple company message, like company or product name, address, phone number, and/or company website.  So if a company wishes to communicate more to its end users than that, well printed tape may not be the ideal choice.  In addition to the space constraints for a company’s message, the initial investment can be expensive.  While the plates themselves can be produced for as little as $50 to $75 dollars, the cost per roll of printed tape can be five to six reaching their destinations in their entirety.  What better way to do that then with printed tapes sealing their precious cargo.

There are a few commonly accepted drawbacks to branding with tape over boxes however.  For starters, there isn’t much room on a 2”, or even 3”, tape to communicate a more than a simple company message, like company or product name, address, phone number, and/or company website.  So if a company wishes to communicate more to its end users than that, well printed tape may not be the ideal choice.  In addition to the space constraints for a company’s message, the initial investment can be expensive.  While the plates themselves can be produced for as little as $50 to $75 dollars, the cost per roll of printed tape can be five to six times as expensive as clear, unbranded box sealing tape.  While ultimately dependent upon the complexity and quantity of boxes being utilized, as a general rule of thumb, on a per unit cost basis, the assembly of a branded box with unbranded tape is usually less expensive than that of an unbranded box with branded tape.

Regardless as to a company’s personal choice, using packaging products for branding is a wise decision.  To determine which option is the best fit for your company, just contact United Packaging and one of our Packaging Consultants will help analyze your particular needs to help you make the best choice for your company.