Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar retailer or an e-commerce business, your product packaging strategy for the upcoming holiday season should be carefully evaluated to ensure you’re getting the exposure your product deserves.

Packaging design serves as a powerful medium to convey your brand values. A well-executed package can take customers on a sensory journey: from heartwarming greeting cards to multi-package, limited edition gift boxes.

The holiday season stretches from Black Friday to January, so it’s vital to come up with a sound plan to account for potential shipping delays or stock shortages. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve compiled a few expert tips to guide you through the process.

1. Start Early, Think Long-Term

Five unique items from “A Week in Puglia” for the Puglia Tourism Board.

If you’re trying to come up with holiday package designs and strategies the week before Black Friday, we can almost certainly tell you that it’s not going to happen. There are simply too many things to consider.  

Ask yourself this:

  • What’s your budget for custom holiday packaging?
  • How much are you willing to spend per unit?
  • Would you prefer a simpler custom print design or a complete packaging overhaul?

The Christmas season is the most important sales season of the year. By picking solutions that fit your bill, you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune to get results.

Holiday gift packaging design can be highly dependent on current events, what’s currently trending, or your specific brand milestones. We recommend looking at your strategy from a long-term perspective. 

Can some design elements be reused in the future? Is the same concept applicable in the following year? All of these aspects should be considered so that your holiday packaging stays relevant or accentuates your brand identity for the years to come.

2. Keep an Eye on the Deadlines

Flaviar’s Whiskey Advent Calendar 2023.

One aspect that is often overlooked is the deadline. We often underestimate how chaotic the holiday shopping season can be. Pretty much every business owner is ramping up their production to capitalize on those sweet holiday sales. 

If you miss the deadline, holiday-specific packaging essentially becomes deadstock. You can’t promote it, because no one’s interested in buying a late-Christmas present. If you’re planning to create custom holiday packaging designs to woo your customers, make sure to leave enough wiggle room in case of any unexpected events. 

The earlier you can get those custom packaging ready, the sooner your customers can place them beneath their Christmas trees, and the more time you have to diversify your holiday sales strategies.

3. Consider a Packaging Supplier

Corrugated cardboard for sustainability and better protection.

Packaging solutions providers like Zenpack offer a comprehensive approach to handling your holiday packaging needs. From design, prototyping, and production, all the way to fulfillment, you can rely on us to meet your specific packaging requirements on tight deadlines.

In our collaboration with the Puglia tourism board, we worked on an advent calendar-style package to promote the vibrant and unique arts and culture of the Puglia region in a 7-day format. 

Named “A Week in Puglia”, the package offers a preview of the Mediterranean coastal experience. Each day, the recipient enjoys a unique unboxing experience. We designed custom corrugated boxes to accommodate a variety of items such as an aroma decanter, olive oil, wine, pasta, and ceramics.

Thanks to our rapid prototyping technology and ISTA-certified lab, we were able to create fast and inexpensive prototypes, ensuring that these delicate items arrive at their destination in one piece.

4. Stand Out from the Rest

Imagine the number of brands pushing their holiday specials. Making your packaging stand out from the competition should be your top priority.

Whether that’s through graphic design, structural innovations, or something as simple as including a handwritten note, find something that enhances your brand and speaks to your audience.

We partnered with Flaviar, an online spirits club for whiskey, vodka, tequila, and more, to create exquisite packaging for their Whiskey Advent Calendar 2023

Every year, Flaviar creates a Whiskey Advent Calendar decorated with mesmerizing artwork, containing 24 unique whiskeys from around the world.  

To be able to produce and recreate such high levels of detail, we had to apply different embossing and debossing techniques and go through several rounds of prototype testing. We were able to cut down on the manufacturing cost despite the project’s immense footprint. 

Another highlight of the project is the tasting journal, which includes detailed taste profiles, vividly describing the flavors that you can expect from each bottle. 

We sourced premium paper to give the journal a luxurious texture and to compliment its intricate graphic design. We made sure that when the consumers receive the end result, they’d be able to appreciate the amount of hard work that Flaviar and Zenpack put into it.

The Bottom Line

Tasting journal with detailed taste profiles about the whiskey.

Holiday packaging is your annual ticket to maximizing your brand appeal and reaching a wider audience. It marks the shopping season, putting people in the mood the spend more, and serves as a reminder to everyone who visits your store that your brand welcomes changes throughout the year based on occasions. 

Zenpack can get you started with your holiday packaging today. We can work with you on designing a truly one of a kind packaging experience and help your brand reach a new height in the upcoming holiday season.

If you want to know more about Zenpack’s services


Let our packaging consultants help you turn your idea into reality.

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