June 15, 2011

Branding in a Box: 3 Ways We’ve Created a Brand That Sticks

Filed under: Branding — Tags: , — Meredith @ 5:29 am

Yesterday I promised to talk about putting your brand experience in a box. This is exactly what we try to do at Ex-Boyfriend. We do tons of things to try to build brand affinity and keep our brand interesting to customers, but here are some examples of how these efforts carry over to the packages our customers receive:

1. Memorable Brand Name
The entire premise of our brand, is that we’re creating products that act as conversation pieces. We are deliberately creating things our customers can wear that make people want to talk to them. Our brand name is part of this, it’s a name that’s funny enough to get people asking “What the heck is that about?” Just the other day the UPS guy told us the staff over at UPS was all chuckling about our brand name and trying to imagine what sort of business we are. All that from seeing our brand name on a shipping label. These are guys that see thousands of packages every day, and our brand name got their attention. That’s a sure sign our brand name is doing what we want it to do.

Of course having a kooky brand name isn’t enough, we want our customers to remember it. That’s why every single thing that comes in our packages has our brand name on it. Every finished product we sell or give away has our company name labeled on it. That way, every time a customer puts on our tees they see the name Ex-Boyfriend in the neck label.

2. Freebies in Every Box
We always include a free, unexpected extra in every package we ship. We include things like stickers, buttons, postcards with a blank back, magnets, pens, etc. These freebies are designed to look cool enough that our customers will want to keep them and use them. The idea is that it puts another thing in our customers’ hands with our branding and helps them remember who we are. It also makes receiving our packages a little more fun, because you never know what fun free extra will be inside. If it worked for Cracker Jack, it can work for us. People might not buy what you sell just to find out what fun freebie is inside, but it does make getting the shipment more memorable.

3. Invoices That Stick
A few months ago I got on my partner’s case about our invoices. I didn’t think they were exciting enough, we’re a fun brand and I wanted everything about our shipments to be fun, including our invoices. I knew I wanted to re-design them but was having trouble getting ideas. I actually tried to do an article here on Smaller Box showcasing other companys’ cool invoices, but when I put out a call for examples, I didn’t get a lot of great stuff back. I finally settled on just taking a stab at a re-design and here’s what we came up with: (click to see an example).

We came up with a design that infused our brand’s graphic theme, took on a more personalized tone, reminded people of our friendly customer service and invited our fans to keep in touch with by sending us a customer photo. We used a conversational tone and graphic elements to add interest to something people usually throw away and never look at twice.

I know a lot of readers are big on detailed handmade package design. While these packages are always nice to get, these ideas don’t scale well when you start shipping dozens of orders every day. When designing a package your customers will remember, always think about cost and scalability (both in terms of labor to prepare the package and the materials used to create it). Try to think of ways you can make your package special for your customers, while maintaining efficient and cost-effective shipping processes.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] a busy week here in Smaller Box land! Tons of good conversation about marketplace websites, branding, and picking the best business/marketing blogs to follow. My anti-guru rant had been a long time […]

    Pingback by Smaller Box :: Blog :: Link Love: The Most Valuable Small Biz Articles Posted This Week — June 17, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

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