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  • Writer's pictureAmanda

Small Business Case Study: How You Can Use Packaging To Tell Your Story

Updated: Feb 27

No matter what it is that your business is selling or promoting, words are needed to get the message across to your audience. Every single word used on your branding materials, packaging, website, and products should have a purpose. If you use too many words, you can lose your audience, but if you don’t use enough, you might not get them to begin with.


I want to show you an example of a company that uses copywriting to their advantage on every square inch of their packaging. This box in particular is for a candle that I received in The Spring Jilly Box. I know that many small businesses choose to limit their amount of packaging, but let me show you in this case study how you can use copy on your packaging to evoke a feeling with the customer, have them be proud of their purchase, and make them want to purchase again.


Mala Candle Packaging

To do this case study properly, we need to get a little nerdy and dissect every side of this candle box. I am starting at the top of the box, followed by the front, turning it around in my hand to the right, flipping to the bottom, and finally, opening it to show the inside.

embossed m logo on top of box

The top of the box has the company’s logo, which is also slightly embossed. I’ll be honest: I didn’t notice this detail until I was thoroughly paying attention to the box in order to write this. If your budget was already being stretched, I don’t think anyone would mind if the logo was not embossed.


front of box with logo and candle description

The front of the box has the candle’s scent in the top left corner, the description in the middle in both English and French, the company name / alternate logo centered on the bottom, with the size of the candle centered underneath.


side of box phrase

If you turn the box to the right, you see the words “1 tree planted for every candle” The company chose to use the number “1” vs word “one”, no period at the end of the sentence, and made the text a little wavy. Each of these decisions are intentional, and a part of their branding.


back of box description

The back of the box has the company's name on the side, with the candle name again, the description “Nostalgia in a jar. With a perfect balance of light lemon, citrus, and berries, this candle will take you right back to your best childhood memories: Saturday morning cartoons in your pajamas with a big bowl of your favourite cereal.”, burn time, and in English and French directs you to the bottom of the box where you will find safety information.

This section also includes a bar code, and the item number.


side of box about section

If you turn the box to the right one more time, you will read the following:

“Hi friend, it’s so nice to meet you! This is truly a dream come true for my small business to be partnering with the jilly box and we can’t wait to hear your thoughts on our hand poured candle.

A little about us: we’re a Vancouver based candle company on a mission to create nostalgic smells without compromising on the environment. I started mala out of my parent’s kitchen in 2019 and have since grown the company alongside a small women team. We can be found in over 500+ boutiques including indigo, whole foods, and holt renfrew!

Your candle is made with natural coconut and soy wax, a lead-free cotton wick, and premium phthalate-free fragrance oils. With your purchase, we’ve also planted a tree around the globe!

Don’t forget to tag us on socials with your thoughts : )

-Melody (founder)


Then at the very bottom in smaller print, it says “founded in Vancouver, Canada & hand poured lovingly in the usa”



bottom of box; burn instructions

The bottom of the box, as mentioned earlier, has the necessary safety information in both English and French, as well as the company’s address.

inside box: surprise discount code

My favourite part: when you break the box down for recycling, you will see the words “thanks for recycling me! Enjoy a secret discount code ______ for a surprise discount at checkout”




Just from this packaging alone, I know that the brand’s values include taking care of the earth (planting trees, and encouraging recycling), and using natural products. I know that their mission is “to create nostalgic smells without compromising on the environment”, and I know that their company is a team of women.


Whether this candle was picked up in a store, or given as a gift, the person holding this box for the first time would know all of these things too without taking an additional step of looking on their website or social media.


A couple of things that I noticed missing from this box:

  • Not every section was translated in both languages, making me wonder why for some but not for others. Aesthetics?

  • The box reminds customers to “tag (their) socials” but doesn’t have any social media or website information anywhere on the box. (This could be because of extra room used to include The Jilly Box in their “about me” section; I don't have a regular box to compare it to though.)


If you are a small business, you might be reading this and asking yourself what changes you can make to your packaging to get more information in your customer’s hands. Maybe you need to be designing a box, or including a little business card with your product, or (I would say at the very least) a framed sign next to your products in stores. Don't be afraid to include a photo of yourself on these marketing materials either! If someone is shopping small, they appreciate the story behind the product.  Good packaging copy helps to make a connection from the customer to the brand when you (the business owner) cannot physically be there to tell your story or put a face to the brand.


I write articles like this for fun because I LOVE these details, and I LOVE small businesses. If you know that you need to add some copywriting to your products, website, or signage and either don’t know where to start, or don’t have the time to do it yourself, please reach out!

I would love to work with you and help cross some tasks off of your list.

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