Posted on September 22, 2020 by Dennis Salazar

How Long Does Your DTC Branding Last? 

How to Extend Your Brand Exposure

From the beginning our objectives for the DTC, e-commerce packaging we make were to accomplish four things:

  1. Make it affordable.
  2. Minimize the amount of material used and make sure it is as green as possible.
  3. Create a positive, memorable unboxing experience for the consumer.
  4. Help the DTC package to avoid the recycle bin if possible, to preserve and display the brand.

I must admit for over thirteen years we have been mostly focused on the first three above goals and rarely spent much time promoting the fourth. As an old timer in sustainability, I recall the often quoted, much touted three R’s which were reduce, recycle, and reuse. Most people do not think of e-commerce packaging as reusable, but it can be.

E-commerce Packaging Designed for Storage and Reuse

Rigid box in die cut mailer by Salazar PackagingI was reminded of this recently when we started working on a project for a customer who sells and ships beautiful hats and told us most of their customers want to use the packaging for storage. The packaging had to be attractive and outlive the product it contained. As a fedora fan who has never tossed a hat, ever, this caught my attention and I understood.

I also realized what a marvelous opportunity this was to preserve and present the brand repeatedly to the customer. Imagine your reusable decorative box sitting on a shelf in a closet or elsewhere, reminding the customer over and over of your company and products. You just cannot buy advertising and brand presence that effective!

DTC Packaging Road Wear

If you like the concept, the biggest hurdle to overcome is the sometimes-brutal trip your product has to endure, whether shipping via UPS, USPS, or FedEx. Even if the product arrives undamaged, the box will probably be dirty, covered with tape, labels, and fingerprints all over it.  Whether it is a corrugated RSC, or a die cut mailer, it is not the type of packaging you are likely to put on display, even if it is just in your closet. More importantly, it does not serve as the positive reminder of you and your brand.

The Solution for Extended, Positive Brand Exposure

Rigid gift box in book fold style shipper by Salazar PackagingActually, there are probably several different solutions, depending on your product and budget. One as a reusable box designed for repeated opening and re-closure.  Or a reversible box that can be turned inside out for a nice, clean exterior surface.

The packaging solution we are going to discuss in this post is using an interior primary box and shipping that within an exterior box. Double boxing may seem incompatibly wasteful to a green packaging company like ours, unless the inner box will be reused indefinitely rather than end up as waste. Our favorite packaging alternative for this type of application is a paperboard rigid mailer shipping within an RSC, die cut, or OPF (one panel folder).

The reusable/primary, rigid wall paperboard box can be printed with any type of graphics using an offset press. This permits any number of ink colors and varnish, as well as foils, debossing or embossing. Soft touch, and other textures are available. So you can design your box any way you want, and it will arrive looking great thanks to the protective exterior box.

Single Box, Double Box and Customer Expectations 

We know the first concern is often the cost and admit that obviously double boxing is going to be more expensive than using one, single box. This packaging concept is not for everyone or every product.

However, we often talk and write about satisfying your customer expectations. If you are shipping a premium product, the packaging should also look premium when it arrives, especially if you hope they will reuse it. Keep in mind you can also offset the expense of the interior, reusable box by minimizing the cost of the exterior corrugated shipper since it no longer has sole responsibility of carrying your brand and logo. Keeping the outer box simple makes sense since the inside box will undoubtedly receive all the attention.

We have too much information and too many variables on this topic and application for this one post. Check out our gallery to see a small sampling of our work, and we think you will find the related posts below interesting. If you decide we might be worth some consideration and conversation, please contact us at and we will be glad to discuss your specific needs.

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