As the main (and often only) physical interaction with a Direct to Consumer brand, packaging is the most important touchpoint in the customer journey.
As Household Executive Strategy Director and Co-Founder Michelle Du Prât explains in The Times Report on The Future of Packaging, “[Packaging] is the store front, experience, service and product for direct-to-consumer or D2C brands. It replaces the store as the place where an emotional relationship is made and reinforced every time with the customer.”
The tactile experience of a thoughtfully packaged product taps into the culture of self-treating and desire for ‘wow’ moments. Freddie’s Flowers is a box of beauty that customers can easily pause delivery of when they are away or don’t want them as much, making the delivery ‘wanted’ every time. The seasonal flowers arrive on the doorstep, there is a simple ritual to the unwrapping and discovery of the selection. Leave the box out and Freddie’s people will take it away – a great part of the cycle and story.
The biggest challenge for direct-to-consumer brands, when it comes to packaging, is resisting homogenisation and pushing for design innovation. A shareable experience remains a key customer driver to purchase and an Instagram ready-aesthetic has driven the success of many digital native brands, from Glossier’s iconic pink to the pared back pastels of US brands Hims and Hers. However, brands need to invest in intelligent design that is true to the brand personality and customer expectations, rather than seeking to recreate the identity of existing success stories.
The same holds true as direct-to-consumer brands increasingly invest in bricks-and-mortar experience. The path to success lies in translating an ownable brand personality and tone of voice into in-store experiences and communications. The key is expanding upon the personality and loved brand cues that have been established via packaging and online brand experience, rather than reinventing the brand from scratch.
Images courtesy of Freddie Flowers
Get in touch with Michelle at [email protected] to find out more about translating your brand into brand experience.