Hall of Shame #4: Thanks for the Mess

My wife recently purchased hair products from a manufacturer called Deva Concepts.  She purchased the product online from a beauty supplier and told me to expect the package at my office.  I was surprised when the package arrived a few days later.  It was huge.

Box cropped

Note: The shipper taped two medium-sized cartons to create a single package. Slick.

product cropped

Fancy hair product inside the big box.

Contents :

1 – Bottle of shampoo
1 – Bottle of conditioner
2 – Packages of travel-sized hair supplies

But what really surprised me was the volume of wasteful packaging used to protect the shampoo and conditioner.

Mess cropped

Is this a joke?

Packaging :
2 – 4” x 14” x 10” cartons
3 – Large UPS bubble packages provided by UPS for overnight shipping
10 – Void-fill airbags
½ a roll of packing tape

While the hair products arrived undamaged, the branding effort scores a zero.  Nice work maintaining a luxury brand image.

And the kicker – there was not a shred of marketing material inside this heap to encourage a re-order.  No coupon, no free sample, no catalog, nothing.  The only evidence of the supplier was its logo and address on the invoice.

Here are some ideas to preserve the luxury brand image and promote re-orders :

  • Don’t use the “free” bubble mailers provided by UPS as package filler.
  • Branded packing tape – simple, but effective.
  • Discount coupon for a customer’s next order.  Everyone wants to save money, and loyal customers are less price driven.
  • Include samples of new products.  Customers love free samples.
  • Promote related product sales with samples or coupons.  In this case, include hair styling samples along with a shampoo order.

by Bob Makofsky bmakofsky@conformer.com

About Bob Makofsky

Bob runs operations and marketing and is Conformer’s resident postal expert. Bob has over a dozen years of entrepreneurial experience in the technology industry, in both marketing and business development roles ranging from negotiating $100 million-plus contracts nationally and abroad to developing marketing campaigns. He is regularly featured in print and packaging trade magazines on innovation. Bob is a competitive cyclist and longtime member of the Century Road Club Association in Central Park, competing in the Empire State Games (2007, 2008). Bob graduated from the University of Denver.
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