• Custom packaging is helping small brand owners test the market waters at community venues like Sydney's Paddington Markets.
    Custom packaging is helping small brand owners test the market waters at community venues like Sydney's Paddington Markets.

A Sydney-based start-up is helping small business owners compete against large companies through custom-branded product packaging.

Custom Bags and Boxes, founded by Sydneysider Clara Cassidy, works with four packaging manufacturers, each specialising in different packaging materials, to help small companies find solutions to almost any packaging requirement in short run orders.

Cassidy said her service, together with the ability of her customers to reach out to potential customers via online marketing and social media, meant small business owners are now equipped to compete effectively against large companies with access to in-house resources.

“These new forms of media coupled with market change, globalisation and the growing ability to tap into the same resources as larger companies without the high cost, mean smaller companies can look ‘big’ without the huge overheads,” Cassidy said.

“Small business owners now have the choice of ordering customised bags with low minimums for their business with their chosen design, colour, size, shape and most importantly – their business logo – so that each time a customer interacts with that small business they receive the same professional packaging and brand engagement as they would with a large company, but they also get the personalised service of a small business.

“From the customer’s perspective this is a win-win situation, and for the small business the low minimums also mean they no longer have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on their packaging needs or hire out a warehouse just to store their personalised packaging.”

Cassidy, who came from a marketing and branding background, founded the company after starting a luxury fashion collection and finding it difficult to find a supplier that could  manufacture a small quantity of rigid apparel boxes to the exact size, colour and design she required, with her company logo printed on the lid.

As a start-up, she also did not have the funds nor the storage space to buy or store thousands of boxes, but found it impossible to find anyone that could cater to short runs either.

After several months of searching, she found an overseas manufacturer that could cater to every requirement, and could offer short runs as low as 100 units,so she started her own custom packaging company, and has since added to her roster of suppliers.

She said the ability for small companies to obtain customised product packaging with low minimum orders also helped them test their target markets to work out their preferred packaging without spending thousands of dollars.

She said many customers have the advantage of this to test the market at local craft markets.

“Because of the affordability of our products, some of our customers have even tested their product packaging at their local craft and fashion markets to see which packaging is most popular,” she said.

“In Sydney, we have Paddington Markets on Oxford Street, where a lot of up-and-coming fashion designers showcase their collections using our packaging.

“In a weird way, it’s a ‘high-end’ market – even though it’s outdoor stalls – so these fashion designers could have beautiful apparel boxes with their logo on, to make them appear more professional and make sure they are remembered.

“People selling handmade products, including scarves, jewellery, vases, bowls, hand crafted spoons and more can all use beautiful customised packaging for the same reasons.”

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