I wrote this post about a month after Christmas, fresh off of researching one of my favorite brand crushes- Johnny Cupcakes. I was spurred on by the words of my youngest kid. Like many seven year olds, he’s brutally honest without social filters. He doesn’t consider the repercussions of what he says, speaking what’s in his mind and on his heart. While we were driving home from wrestling practice he told me: “Papa, I miss Christmas.”
I asked him why he missed Christmas, hoping (but not really) for a christological diatribe about the ‘real meaning of Christmas.’ Instead, he said: “I miss opening presents.” Hey, at least he was honest. “Out of the mouths of babes” is an American axiom that implies someone very young can still be incredibly wise. In this case, I think it fits. The saying comes from a shortening of Psalm 8:2a that reads: “Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants, You have ordained strength…” (NKJV).
His brother broke the bad news to him that he still had 11 months to go until the next Christmas, and that he’ll have a birthday somewhere in there to keep in happy. He contented himself with that, but my mind was drawn to product delivery (again).
Most of us like opening presents. Some of us are too old to admit it. And many more are just so used to getting ‘stuff’ in the mail that we really are forced to pause and truly have a moment when something special arrives in the mail.
According to USA Today, “On the Monday before Christmas, 49.2% of all online sales in the United States were made on Amazon, according to data from Slice Intelligence.” And up to 42% of Americans surveyed stated they would make Amazon the primary way to do their Christmas shopping. I’m one of them. I love Amazon and did the majority of my Christmas shopping in one afternoon. Amazon is great. For many products, they offer frustration-free packaging, meaning toys come in brown cardboard boxes without the zip ties and rope that holds them safely away from shoplifters to multi-colred attention grabbing boxes designed for retail display. This is great news for those of us trying to set our products apart.
Instead of just a blank envelope, post office branded envelopes, or brown boxes with no branding, it takes just a little extra effort to make it feel like Christmas. And you, as a consumer, can get that Christmas feeling every time you open up a box of coffee. Why wouldn’t you, as an online retailer, want to give that feeling to your customers and compel them to keep coming back- for the product, for the service, for the joy of that Christmas feeling when they open your box in a sea of plain and nondescript packaging? Do it. Spend a little more and up your packaging game.