Unboxing Experiences That “Win the Moment” 

According to Youtube, “The amount of time people have spent watching unboxing videos just on their phones is the equivalent of watching the holiday classic “Love Actually” more than 20 million times.”


What’s unboxing?

It’s the process of opening the packaging of something purchased instore or online. What’s an unboxing video? It’s a video of someone opening that package and typically describing their experience at each step in the process. And these videos are incredibly popular. According to YouTube, videos featuring people unboxing everything from running shoes to dog toys have been viewed more than 1.1 billion times. Perhaps more relevant, a Google survey shows that 62% of those that watch unboxing videos do so when looking for a particular product.

What this means for you and your samples

We’re not promoting unboxing videos. We’re promoting the idea that the experience people have opening a package is directly related to how they feel about the product inside. So, if your building materials sampling program includes sending samples directly to prospective buyers and end users, it’s not a stretch to imagine that the experience those people have opening your samples could influence their decision to buy or not to buy. In short, that experience can be a critical part of winning the moment for your brand.

How do you ship your samples to end users?

If they arrive in a plain cardboard box with some bubble wrap or packing peanuts – nothing more – you’re missing an opportunity. And beyond the packaging itself, there are lots of other things you can include that can help enhance the experience and win the moment for your brand.

Winning the moment with your sample shipments

Your goal should be to make the arrival and opening of your building samples a fun, exciting and memorable moment – one that helps build an emotional connection between the buyers and your brand. In other words, makes them like you. And one that helps give the buyers the confidence they need to say, “yes.”

Want some relatively easy and cost-effective ideas for making that happen? You got them.

  • First, the quality of your samples is paramount, particularly for higher end building materials that represent a considerable investment by the buyer. Any samples you send should be consistent with your brand’s story and image – have the info the buyer needs to decide – and be big enough to allow the buyer to get a good idea of what it will look like in their project.
  • The exterior of the corrugated box is also an opportunity. Consider branding it with your logo and a fun teaser message – for instance, “Your house is going to be excited!”
  • The interior is an opportunity too. The inside lid of the box could offer printed instructions on how to perform your own “at-home try on” or offer 3-step instructions on how to choose the right product for the prospects project and how to start the buying process.
  • If the prospect asked for only one or two colors, consider including print versions of all the other colors your product comes in – maybe printed on the back of the sample or on an added piece of collateral.
  • What about a QR code printed on the package that links the prospect to an exciting product demo video, promotional offer or a visualizer where they see what the product will look like in their project?
  • Personalize the contents – perhaps with a letter addressed to the recipient, welcoming him or her and offering an inspirational story about the product and its ability to transform their home – or even a discount on their purchase.
  • If it’s an exterior product, you could include a printed list of the addresses of any nearby homes that have the same product. If its professionally installed, offer a list of nearby retailers or contractors.
  • Include offers for other project related products. For instance, if you’re sending hardwood flooring samples, send info on matching area rugs or other accessories.
  • Consider including a gift or premium relevant to your brand’s story (we have a complete premium program). Even something as simple as a piece of candy can give people a moment of delight.

Unpacking the Unboxing Experience

We hoped this gives you some insight into the importance of the unboxing experience – and perhaps some ideas for your sample program. Like any marketing touch point, when you send anything to someone it’s an opportunity to help win the moment for your brand. Is what you send as powerful as it can be? If not, we’re always here to help – with both ideas as well as implementation.


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