October 18, 2010
Having moved from my beloved Chicago to the less-populated-but-still-lovely Columbus, Ohio several years ago, I've become quite the online shopper. I'm embarrassed to admit how many packages arrive at my office each week (and subsequently, get sent back). I think Zappo's will tire of me one day; I think I've kept one pair of the dozen or so shoes I've ordered in 2010.
What's been an interesting study is to see how certain brands and stores handle packaging their merchandise and correspondence in absence of a brick and mortar experience. As you can imagine, it varies wildly. Some of my favorites have included pseudo-indie darling Anthropologie, stationary designers Screech Owl Design, and Gap's shoe concept Piperlime. Cosmetic-centric Sephora isn't bad either. It's the little touches that endear me: A thoughtful bow. Coordinating tissue. Thematically-lined boxes. And maybe a little freebie (or in the case of Sephora, six freebies). These little touches seem to say, "Thanks! We like you. We 'get' you."
And so they do. You see, I like to wrap gifts in a similar way. I want to give gifts that are well-wrapped and thoughtful because the recipients are worth my attention to detail. I guess I want to be treated in kind by the stores and brands that have acquired my loyalty. Yes, even when they are just sending me a package.
You want to know one of the biggest disappointments I've had? Surprisingly, Method. You know, the soap and laundry products brand darling? Now, to be fair -- perhaps the online shopping experience is different. I didn't order product; I received my Method package because of a Facebook contest. However, it did seemingly come from their offices with nothing other than a bubble wrapped liquid hand soap, and packing peanuts. No note. No brand experience. Nichts.
Zappos isn't great either, especially when compared to Piperlime. However, I do think it's befitting of their brand itself: Totally utilitarian. You get shoes in a shoe box, a receipt, and if you're lucky a few recyclable pillows of air cushioning. That's it.
I am a believer in a thoughtful experience even when it's just a package. It's simply good branding. I appreciate stores and brands that go the extra mile to provide me that.
How about you? What companies and brands have surprised you with great packaging you've received from them? Which ones have been disappointments?
Coordinating correspondence from Anthropologie
Raffia bow, free card, a hand-written note, and coordinating tissue from Screech Owl Designs.
Sephora's myriad of freebies!
Method's packaging from Facebook contest with bubble wrap and packing peanuts. Boo!
-posted by Karen Raidel