What a Great Unboxing Experience Can Do for Your Wine Brand


by Drew Hendricks
Last updated Apr 14, 2021

Wine Unboxing

Last Updated on April 14, 2021 by Drew Hendricks

Extra Items to Include to Make a Wine Package Unique

It’s all well and good talking about how a wine unboxing can create a special experience for the customer, but what exactly should go into the package to make it a memorable and unique experience? We have already touched on some of these earlier in the article, but it’s best to list them all here so that you can easily read from this list and find some great inspiration:

Locally-made containers

One of the best ways to enhance an unboxing experience is to incorporate locally-made packaging, containers, and anything else where possible. This is a great way of enhancing a brand’s story and giving customers something unique, like handmade bags that can be reused at home, or beautiful wooden boxes made from lumber sourced from a local forest. Even something as simple as using pages from the local newspaper as packing can tell a story about the brand and the local area which customers will love.

Wine and food-pairing guides

We have already mentioned Outshinery’s wine and food-pairing kits, but whether you choose to find someone to produce educational materials like this or you choose to do it yourself, there is no argument that pairing guides along with recipe cards are a great way to give consumers some needed guidance on how best to use their wine.

Whether it’s an in-depth guide or a simple recipe card, for those who aren’t already seasoned connoisseurs, it can be daunting trying to find the right use for a wine. With these materials, wine brands can educate customers on the right food pairings as well as how to use each wine in the kitchen, giving them a greater sense of confidence along with a mental checklist of exciting and practical applications for their wine.

Tasting notes

Tasting notes are an amazing tool for getting customers to interact and really study their wine, and there are two ways that we can take this to the next level to improve their experience. The first use of tasting notes is by simply including a card per bottle that lists the specific flavor profiles of the wine, like a guided tour, explaining the potential source for each flavor and quality in the wine.

The second approach is to provide the customer with a question/answer card, where they are prompted to record their observations of the wine such as its acidity, structure, texture, and balance. This gets them immersed in the wine and provides a fun activity that they can discuss with friends which can be complimented with either an answer card or a link to the brand’s online platform where they can learn more.

A newsletter, brochure, or promotional materials

Customers will generally appreciate receiving a newsletter with information about the brand and any of its initiatives and philosophies, or a brochure of the other products that they can order in the future. If you already have a monthly, quarterly, or annual newsletter then consider sending them the newest issue along with the option to subscribe for future issues so they can stay in the loop.

This is much better than sending digital content since a physical copy will stay in the house and likely be read. Combine these with promotional materials like discount coupons, magnets, stickers, wine stoppers, and anything else that has the brand on it and you will have a happy customer.

A message and photo from the winemaking team

Along with a handwritten thank you note that shows there is someone actually thinking about the customer rather than an automated computer, a great way of enhancing the unboxing experience and creating a genuine link with the customer is to include a photo of the team who either sent them their package, or who worked hard to make the wine itself.

Photos of the specific vineyards, bottling plants, and other locations instrumental in the production of the wine will add to the story and allow customers to visualize the entire process. Since they are already interested in the wine, they will most likely love to know how it all came to be.

A special QR code for VIP treatment

Technology is our friend, and we can include a unique QR code within the box to give paying customers access to a VIP part of the brand’s website for unique content. This will prolong the unboxing experience and allow brands to add information that may not fit on the physical packaging itself. Customers could have access to unique product specials, event information, brand stories, platforms to connect with staff and other VIP members, and a list of free benefits that they can sign up for such as samples of new products. This is a great way to bring the loyal customers closer to the brand and thank them for their support.

Tips for Improving the Wine Unboxing Experience

Use the art of the reveal

Consider each step of the unboxing and unwrapping process and the order that they will occur, from opening the box to retrieving the wine from inside and everything in between, and treat each step as an opportunity to connect with the customer. As each step of the unboxing is completed, tell another part of the brand’s story and philosophy using color, copy, and graphics.

Use branded wine boxes

With cardboard being such an easily available and sustainable packaging material for wine, find a printing company (like Sandbox) that can add the brand’s logo, social media address, and message to the packaging if this can’t be done in-house. From the outer shell to the box interior, each stage of the packaging serves an important role in the unboxing experience that can contribute to building a stronger connection between brand and customer.

Adding your social media address, along with a hashtag for all of your brand’s unboxing experiences is a great idea to encourage social sharing and reach new audiences.

Turn a wine package into a kit with additional products

As the excitement builds during an unboxing, one of the best things that can lift the emotional level higher is complimentary gifts that show that someone is actually thinking about the customer. A great idea to encourage further connection with the brand is to include products that build additional experiences. These could be in the form of free samples of wine that a customer may enjoy based on their choices, or even scented cards that each have an aroma that is contained in the wine so customers can fully immerse and explore each flavor profile.

Another idea is to throw in food products, like chocolate, that pair effectively with a specific wine, or a helpful guide on what foods they can go and buy specifically for the wines that they have ordered.

Add a personalized touch

A newly-opened box of wine can instantly be made to feel more like a gift than a purchase when personalized. Something as simple as adding a handwritten thank you card with their name telling the customer how their purchase supports the larger brand vision can be enough to create a stronger connection.

Try combining this with discount cards and product brochures as an additional gift so that customers know that they are valued. Customers are much more likely to make use of discount coupons and brochures if they are given physical copies of these as opposed to digital versions via email.

Avoid unnecessary wrapping and waste

While we want to make the most of every step in the unboxing process, we also don’t want to be adding packaging material that doesn’t serve a purpose and is not absolutely necessary. It can be frustrating for customers when they have to navigate through too many steps in the unboxing process, and thanks to the pandemic and how many of us are spending more time indoors than ever, customers will be keeping an eye on the amount of waste that piles up in their trash and recycle bin.

Choose Unique Packing Materials

It is great that consumers are much more conscious of the effects that pollution has on the environment, and this awareness also needs to be shared by brands through the use of recyclable and sustainable packaging materials. Cardboard can be sourced from recycled paper and waste from the lumber industry, and any inks and dyes used shouldn’t have a negative ecological impact. The more of the packaging that can be recycled, the better, so try to avoid plastics and styrofoam.

Some customers may even go so far as to give bad publicity to a brand that uses ecologically harmful packaging materials that can’t be recycled.

Make sure to have the best product presentation

How the product is arranged inside of the box is just as important as the colors, copy, and package design. Consider how to use filling material or dividers to best present the product within the space available, and remember to stick to eco-friendly packing material. Is there a specific box design that showcases a part of the bottle, like the label? Or a design that is much more user-friendly than having bottles of wine standing upright in the box?

Use your copy efficiently

There is often so much to say regarding a wine brand and the history of each bottle, but we also don’t want to overwhelm our customers with too much information. Try to connect with the customer and find unique and concise ways of describing the brand’s ethic, vision, and what its place in the world is on the packaging itself. For more in-depth information on the particular variety of wine, how it is sourced, and any other types of specialized information, consider adding additional information cards.

Tailor the packaging with the brand’s aesthetic

From the tone of voice in the brand messages to the color scheme of the packaging and the design of the package itself, make sure to match the aesthetic of the package and the unboxing experience with that of the brand. This is so that everything that a customer experiences in their unboxing is directly relatable to the brand. This may be a basic point to talk about, but it is an important one none the less since this is a key opportunity to create a personal connection between brand and customer.

Make packaging reusable

The packaging doesn’t have to be used for one single purpose before being thrown into the recycling bin. If the packaging features the brand’s logo or any valuable messages or philosophies that can enrich the customer’s life, then consider ways that they can find an additional use for it.

Perhaps the brand’s inspiring message can be easily removed from the packaging and hung on a wall, or if the boxes themselves can easily be used for storage or something else around the home where the brand is visible on a daily basis.

This is a great opportunity for brands to rethink the design of their boxes based on what they think customers would like to have around the home and it’s also a much more sustainable practice compared to breaking down and recycling packaging materials after every single use.

Wrapping Up Our guide to Unboxing

The focus of the past two decades in many parts of the marketing world has been on creating a memorable digital marketing experience that is up to speed with the customer’s real world experience. Now, we are at the tipping point where we must turn around and focus on bringing the real-world experience up to speed with that of the digital.

Unboxings have proven to do just that by making the first physical contact with customers an experience to be remembered if done properly. They are an effective way for wine brands to tell their story and communicate with customers so that they can form a deeper connection with the brand while wine sales continue to move to the digital world.

Wine unboxing experiences also give wine brands the added benefit of being targets for social media influencers looking for the next best unboxing experience from which to make more content to share with potentially millions of people online.

At the end of the day, the packaging and unboxing experience of wine and any other product has itself become a second product that enhances the overall value and experience of the customer. For wine brands, it has already become the defining factor for a successful marketing campaign and will continue to do so into the future.