When a Package is Just a Cardboard Box

Oct 14, 2013 2:31 PM  By

My dad is already thinking about Christmas 2013. Matter of fact, when my wife, my son and I visited his house on Saturday, he showed us the new solar powered Christmas lights he bought from a catalog my mother had regularly received. And we decided Thanksgiving morning would be a great time for me to decorate his house for him.

When my dad showed me the package the Christmas lights were delivered in, I had to switch hats. Suddenly I wasn’t looking at my father’s new Christmas lights, I was looking at the corrugated cardboard box they were delivered in.


I couldn’t tell where the package came from. I didn’t know either of these generic slogans. But once I looked at the shipping label, I could tell it came from Lakeside Collection.

My dad orders from several merchants, including Lakeside Collection. He should be able to take one look at the box on his front step and say, “Hooray, my order from Lakeside Collection is here” without having to squint at the shipping label.

In other words, Lakeside Collection might as well ship its packages in a plain brown cardboard box.

Erin Lynch writes about how powerful a branded box can be in this executive summary she wrote for Multichannel Merchant. You can download it here.

  • http://www.infifthgear.com/ Katie Guyer

    Thank you, Tim! This is both a personal and professional pet peeve of mine as well. That’s why the Fifth Gear crew’s mantra is “branding beyond the sale!” :)

  • Steve

    We’ve considered branding on outer cartons however, are concerned about ‘advertising’ to potential dishonest people that something of value could be inside risking theft of the contents. Does anyone have stats are case studies around that?

    • Kevin

      We switched for this reason. We did have a noticeable reduction in actual “post loss” but it was minuscule in the grand scheme of things and we’re likely going to go back.

      We see maybe 5% post loss but know that most of this is really “I misplaced it” or “I changed my mind and don’t want to pay” loss. This is down from maybe 5.33% after changing to a generic package. So .33% is meaningful against the 1-2% we think is actual post loss / theft, but probably does not outweigh the branding benefits against the 5% and certainly not against the 100% of shipments.

      Aside from that, I’m guessing Amazon did the math and their conclusion is on every doorstep every day. :-)