How Seasonal Packaging is Enriching Sock Fancy’s Customer Experience

There’s something about seasonal and limited-edition packaging that makes each of us light up with excitement. Whether it’s Starbucks’ red cups during the holidays, Superbowl packaging, or your favorite product wrapped in a seasonal package, packaging is an incredibly powerful tool that can pique interest and evoke joy.

“Packaging is another piece of canvas for your branding… when used correctly, it’s priceless,” says Stefan Lewinger, Co-Founder & CEO of Sock Fancy, a sock subscription service that ships to sock lovers all over the country.

But creating seasonal packaging can be a big undertaking for brands as they face high plate set-up fees and high minimum orders from conventional printers. But with digital printing, brands of all sizes can print seasonal, holiday, and specialty flexible packaging to celebrate any occasion. And one company out of Atlanta, GA, knows firsthand how easy it is to utilize digital printing for holiday packaging.

Sock Subscription Service Keeps Their Packaging Festive

Sock Fancy is an Atlanta based sock subscription pouch service that ships to over 20,000 subscribers each month. The experience-based company leverages digital printing to create unique pouches for their regular line of socks, as well as for holidays and special events to add that “something special” to each order. But before the brand teamed up with the digital packaging printer ePac, Sock Fancy didn’t think that creating seasonal designs were feasible.

“We didn’t even know we could do it. We thought it would be way too cost-prohibitive, with plates and high minimum orders. We thought, ‘maybe one day we can do that’ but once we were introduced to ePac, we learned we could do it now,” says Stefan Lewinger.

Since discovering ePac and digital printing, Sock Fancy quickly learned that printing multiple designs per order was no problem. With digital printing for packaging, there are no plate or set-up fees, so it’s as easy to print one design per order as it is to print hundreds.

“Our only limit is our imagination,” says Lewinger. 

Currently, Sock Fancy is creating holiday packaging for its subscription pouches that looks drastically different from the all-black design it ships out regularly to subscribers. And subscribers have taken to the new designs.

“Halloween was the first adventure beyond the solid black bag; we made them orange. It was a fun and refreshing change, adding some color, and playing with design. It’s been a new thing for us, and we’ve had good feedback from customers,” says Lewinger.

For Christmas and other winter holidays, the team got even more creative, shipping out two unique holiday bags that depict traditional designs like gingerbread and snowman, as well as four unique “gift-wrapped” bags. These “gift-wrapped” bags are printed to look as though they are wrapped in gift wrap, and are designed to go right under the tree, from the mailbox. 

The seasonal and holiday packaging campaign is going so well that two of the designs sold out before Christmas. Plus, Sock Fancy is seeing more social media interaction with the bags than ever before. The pouches’ success has paved the way for the brand to create even more designs. 

“We’re building it out throughout the year with more gift-wrapping options. We’ll have bags that look like gift wrap for Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, and birthdays,” says Lewinger.

Seasonal Packaging Creates A Special Experience

The stand-up, resealable pouches from ePac are easy to open and handle and make receiving the socks a unique experience over a traditional subscription box. And with the packaging design opportunities opened up by digital printing, subscribers get to enjoy a new design each month delivered right to the mailbox.

“A lot of care goes into each package. The seasonal packaging emphasizes our attention to detail, and creates a fun experience for subscribers,” says Lewinger. 

Leveraging digital printing to create seasonal designs allows brands like Sock Fancy to deliver short run flexible packaging designs that resonate with consumers as they celebrate a holiday, a birthday, or a season. 

“It’s been a great tool to create really timely package designs, and play around with different designs in different seasons. Using multiple designs in our packaging is a great option for us to complete our branding and show our dedication to our customers,” says Lewinger.

Have you been thinking about adding seasonal packaging to your brand’s line-up but didn’t think it was possible? With digitally printed flexible packaging, you can affordably create seasonal packaging with short runs and low minimum orders, all with a quick turnaround to get your packaging into consumers’ hands fast. Call ePac today to learn more about our flexible packaging services !

CASE STUDY: Sock Fancy

Sock Fancy Delivers An “Open Pouch” Experience

In today’s subscription box culture, one subscription brand did something unlike anyone else: they chose a pouch instead of a box for its mailed goods to deliver a truly unique experience. And unique is the name of Sock Fancy’s game, delivering an unexpected product, in an unexpected package to thousands of subscribers each month.

Sock Fancy was created in 2013 to fulfill a need in the clothing industry. The owners wanted to create a brand of socks that would bring excitement and fun to the often-neglected market. By delivering creative and colorful socks directly to subscribers’ mailboxes in innovative pouch packaging, Sock Fancy is filling the void and giving consumers a better way to shop for socks.

“We wanted to build something exciting that people could enjoy, for a longer period of time. And we felt the best way to do that was through subscriptions since they offer more time to communicate your story to your customer, more exposure to the brand, and better messaging opportunities,” says Stefan Lewinger, Co-Founder & CEO.

Today, the premium sock brand ships out 20,000 sock subscriptions per month in digitally printed, premium stand-up pouches from ePac.

Why Sock Fancy Chose the Pouch

Sock Fancy isn’t just a sock company, they’re ALL about the experience. So, when Sock Fancy launched their business, they knew that they needed to deliver a better user experience than mere socks in a box.

Enter: The stand-up pouch.

The stand-up pouch delivers a premium feel, in a highly visible package that offers great space for branding and design. But for Sock Fancy, that wasn’t always the case. Before working with ePac, the company had gone through a handful of packaging options looking for the perfect one. First was a paper sealer, which didn’t hold up in the rain, then a poly bag mailer, which provided the durability the company craved, but still fell short. Not on that, but because the supplier was overseas, Sock Fancy had to deal with very long production times, huge minimum orders, and zero flexibility with order changes.

Today the company uses a fully branded, digitally printed, stand-up, resealable pouch that is aesthetically pleasing and delivers big user benefits. It fits nicely in the mailbox, is lightweight, unbreakable, and resealable, which comes in handy if consumers opt to exchange the pair they received. If they do, they simply pack the socks back in the pouch and mail them back, which eliminates the need for additional packaging.  

The pouches are also picture-worthy in a black matte finish with the Sock Fancy logo. In addition to the standard design, each month the company produces a variety of designs based on the sock stylist who packed it, current holidays, or if that month’s pouch is a birthday gift.

ePac Brings the Solution, and Then Some

Sock Fancy knew the pouch was a key part of the brand and didn’t want to stray from that. But the company was looking for a better solution from a supplier that could get product shipped quickly, and offer the flexibility to create personalized packaging.

With ePac, Sock Fancy enjoys the ability to customize its packaging, with short runs, and amazingly low minimum orders. Because ePac is a domestic supplier, Sock Fancy also benefits from reduced shipping costs, and shorter lead times, all with unmatched quality. While all of this sounds great, it wasn’t the reason Sock Fancy ultimately went with ePac. The driving force behind the decision? Variable imaging, or the ability to create personalized packaging easily and affordably.  

“Everything about the digital technology is why we moved. Sure, it did save us money but that wasn’t even the point. We are an experience-based brand… we don’t just sell socks. The variable bag printing allows us to speak to the consumer almost as much as the socks do, and that is priceless,” says Lewinger.

Variable Imaging Is the Future

With digital printing, variable imaging is made possible in a fast and cost-effective way. For example, in one run there can be 10,000 unique designs for all 10,000 packages printed. Digital printing and variable imaging allow for an order like this to print just as fast and efficiently as if it were 10,000 packages printed in the same design.

“The big reason we switched (to ePac) was the personalization aspect. Nobody else that we found could do the type of high-level customization and personalization. With other companies you have to order tens of thousands of one SKU. ePac was our knight in shining armor!” says Lewinger.

ePac’s digital printing, which leverages HP technology, allows customers the option for complete package personalization with short runs. With this technology, every SKU in a run can be a unique design. With no plate set up or fees, time to production is fast, and flexibility is a normal part of the process.

“We didn’t know that short runs with variable designs in one order were even possible. This opens up a whole new world for us. Now we’re only limited to how quickly we can design a bag, not how long it takes to get produced. We’re only starting this now, but it will go a long way to further the brand image.”

With digital printing, companies like Sock Fancy can create a truly unique experience for each of its customers, offering a personalized experience delivered straight to the mailbox.