Isolation: You and the letter box boom

The current epidemic has created a world of isolation we are rapidly becoming rather familiar with. The use of words like quarantine, face masks and social distancing are part of our daily vocabulary and with that both business and consumer behaviour has seen a dramatic change in activity. With all that said, none of us want to sit back and let our businesses idle. In this very moment we are seeing new startups launch the world over (The Guardian, 19 Nov) as many take advantage of government advice to stay at home as an opportunity to pick up dormant inventions, push for new patents and contribute back to society in these tough and trying times.

So, while we’re all busy with our homebound hustle, how’s the life of your audience looking right now? Probably very similar to your own. Our customers are forced to view the world from indoors, with hopefully a few windows and otherwise a wi-fi link as eyes and ears to the outside world. It doesn’t come as a surprise then that demand for home delivery has gone through the roof. Barely an hour goes by without a well-known food delivery van crossing your front door, but how has the changing crisis impacted on those businesses that weren’t setup for home delivery?

The situation we all find ourselves in has fast paced the digital offering of many companies, quickly building the facilities to continue reaching audiences by alternative means. We’re seeing a rise in digital marketing budgets, social media use and community building strategies, but we are witnessing the greatest increase in change from those adapting to an e-commerce environment with a new and steadily growing demand for postal delivery. For some that might mean a large order of jiffy bags, but for many of us it includes a much more complex and complete overhaul of our product delivery, and with that a re-design of the customer interaction.

Re-evaluating our customer value opportunities

We could choose to see this as a challenge, or more productively - a long-overdue nudge to modernise our consumer experience. The fact is, we have a human drive for connection, and the current restrictions are leaving us craving a sense of unity and community. This seeking of sentimental interaction has invigorated the creative industries to re-evaluating the opportunities to create customer value in the physical and visceral, and the result is that the unboxing is having its moment.

Done well, an unboxing can present layer upon layer of deep and meaningful sensory experience that’s not only beautiful, but also a brilliantly effective communication between brand and consumer. In essence packaging presents that welcome experience, that friendly handshake or warm embrace that we are so desperately needing.

The Letterbox boom

This rise in demand for delivery and in-home experiences has led the way for what I’m coining the Letterbox boom. It is forecast that in 2020 ecommerce will account for 30% of total retail sales in the UK for the first time, a dramatic increase from just 21.8% in 2019 (emarketer, 19 Oct). That excludes many industries also utilising the postal service such as the gifts and loyalty sector and fintech’s which have seen a rapid uptake since the pandemic began (The World Bank, 03 Dec). This leaves a greater opportunity than ever to make a memorable impact on the consumer experience through your packaging designs.

Make packaging that matters

The Unboxing is not a term we’re unfamiliar with, and its use has grown in leaps and bounds since the dawn of YouTube in 2005. Before the influencer, or the paid for promoter it was commonplace for consumers to take to the internet to share their honest and unadulterated product reviews. With increasing popularity, Unboxing videos became a sought-after pre-purchase point which shows by the existence of over 136,000,000+ videos available right now with a quick search on Google. The Unboxing even has its own Wikipedia page and plays an important role in buyer decisions.

In 2006, the unboxing was heavily focussed on the tech industry, but today you can find a video for anything; from gift cards to healthcare, fashion to toys and increasingly in the banking field. Unboxings are not only about the product inside, but the more intimate details too. From the very first touch of the box, down to the user manual and accessories, Packaging is your opportunity to set the stage. Your design captures the quality, value and price point of your offering, telling your consumer what you’re all about before they even open the box.

Knowing the value of the unboxing in purchase decision making leaves a great opportunity as the letterbox boom is surely here to stay. The visuals, shape, textures, materials, finishes, and increasingly the unboxing itself can all tell a story and shape that invaluable first physical touchpoint between you and your consumer.

  • Can you showcase your ethics and values?
  • Can you define your offering in a crowded marketplace?
  • Can you unveil your product with an element of intrigue?
  • Can the layout or fitments guide the consumer on a journey of discovery or provide a useful how-to-guide from one step to the next, perfect for a testing kit or tech build

Can your packaging be the deciding factor to a new customer, a viral video or word of mouth recommendations?

Now is the time to find out. Take advantage of this letterbox boom. Find out more about designing the perfect unboxing by listening to our podcast with Alethea Price, Packaging marketeer and Startup Magazine Editor Anna Flockett here.

For a free sample and packaging consultation get in touch with the Burgopak team quoting

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Burgopak is a world leader in design and manufacture of innovative patented packaging for products of all shapes and sizes. With a highly creative and experienced collaborative team, we design to brief, to provide an engaging opening experience to your customers, creating a higher perceived value of your product with clever cardboard engineering, and making your life easier by managing the process right from conception to completion. 

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    Burgo Wharton
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