I recently received two packages of coffee from two different roasters. I’ve been excited about trying both of them. Part of the excitement for me is the joy of experiencing other company’s packaging and product delivery.
The first company. They sent their coffee in a beat up USPS flat rate mailing envelope. The envelope was beaten up before it was sent. You could tell because the tape that held the thing together was applied in such a way that the jacked up creases of the envelope were underneath the tape. Receiving that envelope in the mail was a less than ‘wow’ experience. It was terrible. The actual bag of coffee inside was one of the biodegradable ones from Pacific Bag, and it looked like it had seen better days. Squished and beat to hell, it looked like the whole thing got stuck on a conveyor belt somewhere getting kicked over and over until it popped loose.
On the bright side, there was a packing slip inside with a handwritten “thank you” on the printout. I really enjoyed that personal touch. The bag was printed in full color, looked very cool, and had a roast date stamped on the back. On the front, a large sticker containing all the coffee info covered the bottom portion of the face. It was sweet the way they pulled it off. Overall, the bag itself mirrored the brand identity, but the shipping portrayed an unprofessional mess.
The second company. This bag came without a roast date or any sweet stickers on it. It was printed all over with the coffee’s brand name and communicated facts about the company. It didn’t say anything about the beans themselves, but just about how dark the beans were roasted. Were they Arabica or Robusta? I couldn’t tell. Was it a blend or a single origin? No way to know. Like the first company, the bag reflected their brand identity. I didn’t actually expect any info about the bean, roast date, or flavor notes. I would’ve been really surprised if a roasted date had been communicated.
The bag came in a box that could’ve fit almost four bags in it. That’s better than a beat up envelope, but the bag had clearly been tossed around inside the huge box. The box was also nondescript. No branding, no stickers, and no way to advertise to the mailman or anyone else what delicious wonders were inside. There was also no handwritten note or anything but a simple packing slip inside the box.
Commonalities. The interesting thing about both these coffees is they weren’t cheap. Certainly not as cheap as the packaging presented itself. I paid for shipping with both orders. $4 for the envelope and $7 for the big box. Same amount of coffee- 12 ounces. The first company said they offset the cost of shipping. The second company forced me to pay too much because the box they used was too big and heavy. It was 3 millimeters thick instead of 1 millimeter. A 1 mil box works just fine for coffee. That’s what Blue Bottle uses and their delivery is the best in the business.
Conclusion. You deserve more from your coffee ordering experience, and so do I. I overpaid for what I received. The crazy thing is I would gladly have paid a few bucks more to actually receive both coffees in packaging that represented their respective brands well, got me excited, and made me feel like I was opening a Christmas present. But that didn’t happen. Instead, the delivery was an okay experience and the coffee was okay as well. I wasn’t wowed. I won’t be back. It was such a missed opportunity to build brand equity. Packaging is that important and says that much about your brand. Feel differently? That’s okay. Leave a comment in the section below.