Advertising PerspectivesFeatured

Why some brands need to start thinking inside the box.

By January 22, 2019 No Comments

photo by Les Anderson

In our last blog post, we talked about how the NRF 2019 Expo floor was full of efforts to drive unified commerce and build into the infrastructure still necessary for a truly personalized customer experience—and how that should impact advertising.

A lot of important effort is going to towards integrating the new and transitional tech components needed to meet the realities and demands of personalization. What that means in a world where U.S. online retail sales will exceed $712 billion by 2022 is the ability to manage and optimize order fulfillment from shipping pallets of boxes to stores to shipping specific boxes directly to consumers.

We’ve had this conversation with e-commerce brands often in recent years. These days, your box is your billboard. Your box is your direct mail marketing piece. Your box is a bridge to better micro-targeted advertising.

You read that right. Your box is a bridge to optimized advertising. It should help someone feel like they’re more than just a customer number—they’re affirmed in their purchase and invited into more helpful and human interaction with your brand’s social channels, blog included. We have a goal of turning EVERY flat surface into an opportunity for brands to entice consumers into deeper engagement.

But we’re usually the ones bringing it up in the room. 🤔

Do you have a blog strategy that’s mapped to your boxes? Are you using Pincodes that allow people to easily explore other products you sell that compliment what they just received from you? Do you include Instagram Nametags in your shipping materials? Ever launch a contest from your shipping box?

Brands can’t afford for personalization in shipping to be just one more siloed effort in a still-too-fractured world of customer experiences. Brands need to think inside the box. Think Casper. Think Blue Nile. Think Warby Parker. Think Bombas.

These are disruptor brands who have set a new standard for a seamless customer experience, from the brand promise to online browsing to e-comm purchase to doorstep delivery to a pleasant unboxing experience and an invitation to integrate the brand into their social world.

And then there’s those other companies, whose products arrive in nondescript brown boxes with a generic packing slip inside and no invitation of any kind for an ongoing relationship. No brand has to live in a shipping no-mans-land and most have the raw material for change already in-house. They’re just in need of a sound strategy, a roadmap and a little creative refining.

When we consult with brands that want to up their social media game, three of the most revealing questions we can ask at the very beginning of our work together are:


Can we review your monthly social content calendar and your strategy for who it is speaking to?

Can you tell us about your social media advertising and how you optimize your ad creative and develop your targeting strategies?

Can you show us your product packaging and shipping boxes?

The answers tell us a lot about how much a brand knows and is activating on the range of motivations real people have for buying and using their products. Not to mention, they give us a window into the value they put on their consumers.

How would your brand answer these questions? Feeling boxed in? You’re not alone. Give us a shout. We can help.