Friday, 4 January 2008

Wrap-up Your Sale

In November, I sold a few paintings during an exhibition. There were mostly Christmas presents, so I decided to go the extra mile and wrap the works with gift wrapping for the large watercolours and gift bags for the small oil paintings.

The buyers would have said nothing if the paintings just came wrapped into some protective bubble wrap, but the paintings looked so much better with their festive wrapping…

This made me think about packaging for artworks and packaging in general.

Once in Montpellier (South of France), my wife and I went to a shop to buy a wedding present. We chose a nice set of breakfast cups and saucers arranged on a painted wooden tray. The shop owner took the time to fashion an elaborate wrapping with Cellophane wrapping, dried flower petals and coloured ribbons. The present looked so much more expensive that it was with this original presentation. It also looked unique.

Another sector that put a great deal of work into packaging is the luxury industry. How would you feel if a bottle of expensive perfume was coming in a cheap square glass bottle and a plain cardboard box? The perfume would not feel expensive. Art is a luxury for many. You don’t buy art as you would buy a dozen of eggs. As an artist, you are not only selling a work of art, you are selling an experience and your packaging is part of this experience.

You may have to adjust what you do based on the cost of the work you sell, but the cost should remain reasonable, in particular if you compare it to the advantages this extra step brings:

  • It saves time for your customer. They don’t have to run around to buy the wrapping paper and take the time to wrap the painting.

  • Even if the painting is for someone else, it’s like receiving a present for your customer when you deliver your painting nicely wrapped.

  • For your customer, this is an unexpected extra. You just created the “free gift” effect. It makes your customer feel good and reassures her or him that spending money on your art was right.

  • It gives you control over the way your work is packaged. The packaging is the first impression the recipient of the painting will get. Your packaging is a good way to develop your branding. Go beyond functionality and get creative in the way you package your work.

  • Ready-to-offer artworks, all wrapped, may be one of your Unique Selling Points (USP), something that other artists don’t do in your area.

I would like to finish with a quote from an article on self-presentation on Behance:

"Spend some time on the packaging your product arrives in. You owe it not only to your clients, but to your work and most importantly, to yourself."

So, what your packaging is telling about you?

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