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The Dichotomy of Packaging
16 Jun 2020 Jonathan E. Herrington Jr.

The Dichotomy of Packaging

The importance of Secondary and Tertiary Packaging in Fulfillment is vital to every product we send and receive today.  Packages often tell a story of the product, as well as protect the contents contained within. We are going to review some of the Secondary packaging available.  I have assisted in building the client’s packaging brand, and the blending of Tertiary packaging to not only protect the product in shipping, but provide a customer experience second to none.

When a product is put into its secondary package, it is often over packed into a carton. The carton serves as protection when the whole of the product or products are completed and ready to either be stored or shipped.  The tertiary packaging is often corrugated and can be modified for thickness to protect the contents contained within, whether it is glass bottles or plush teddy bears. Most items that are sent through Fulfillment channels are sent housed within tertiary packaging.  Companies are able to create unique tertiary packaging by adding their own logos and branding to showcase the company’s identity.        

When working with customers on what secondary packaging works best with their particular product, whether it’s a consumer product or a Food and Beverage product, I often choose from these Secondary packages listed below that best fit the items contained within:

  • Cartoning
  • Blister Sealing
  • Over Wrapping or Cello Wrapping
  • Poly bagging
  • Attaching / Tip-on Services
  • Kitting Assembly
  • Shrink Packaging


The product’s story is best told through the packaging. At Complemar, anything you think of can be done for a price. The more thought put into the secondary packaging, the better the customer experience will be. We have all bought something and thought “What were they thinking when they designed this packaging?”

Recently, while working with a client to develop a hybrid piece of secondary and Tertiary packaging where she could ship a bottle in a box. When the customer opened the package, the bottle was fully presented in the upper part of the box.  For most secondary packaging, we use a rigid cardboard to construct the box. Working with designers, we model the box die line around the product, paying close attention to weight, dimensional factors, and the ease of opening and closing the package.  In this case, there was a cross breed, which is a combination of secondary and tertiary packaging. This type of packaging has become very popular in the marketplace for product branding and mailing samples to customers.

The interior design of the box is the marketing piece.  In this case we used a mottle white interior with a corrugated exterior, thus, when a customer opens their package, the items will lay either in a die-cut cross pattern, or die-cut outline. The product can be securely put into the interior of the box, and on the inner lid a graphic designer can work with the die-line design, to create their professional or educational artwork. The design presentation can be focused to educate the customer on the brand, and its many uses.  The exterior serves as the shipping container and will serve its purpose as the tertiary packaging by protecting the product while it is being shipped to the end user.

When working with customers on their brands packaging, it is important that their passion is able to be seen in the product. Wrapping their message and information, either through secondary or tertiary packaging, is crucial to the end user’s brand experience. Having watched many influencers via YouTube videos and other forms of social media, the product experience starts with the box. The first impression of the packaging is just as important as the product itself.

So the next time you are in your local supermarket, Retail store, or on your couch opening your newly ordered product, ask yourself, “How would I make that package better?”