Recycling Day is Marketing Day for eCommerce Retail Brands 

Biggest Marketing Day of the Week

Recycling collection day in America is the number one marketing day for e-commerce retail brands.

I am in the suburban-Philadelphia area, and Thursday morning is our recycling time. Wednesday evening people put out their corrugated boxes.and packaging. These days it’s fascinating to watch how people put out their recycling. Back in the day, when recycling first began, it used to be that you had to cut up the box, fold it flat, and tie it. Now, there’s a lot of leniency. Even when there’s so much recycling packaging, the townships still collect the boxes even if that folding and tying courtesy has not been taken. What is fascinating to watch is what is on the curb on Wednesday evenings.

You can almost tell the personality and the value system of your neighbors based on their trash, by their boxes. Not all boxes are equal. It’s fascinating to watch how they are handled and stacked. It’s almost a point of pride sometimes, in the brands that are being put out. There’s two very important pieces to this. Two sides of the coin. One is the customer side and the other is the brand itself.

Not All Boxes Are Equal

On the customer side, there’s an identity and a point of pride [or a point of shame], of the brands that we purchase, that we invest in, and that we put out on our curb. So some of the lower-end brands might just be cut up and folded inside out. But those premium brand boxes are put out differently, almost in a display of what they connect to, what brands really matter to them. For example, a newly unpacked Weber Grill corrugated box carefully placed on display is a statement of excitement and declaration of “I just got my new Weber.” Weber is a brand that we love for lots of reasons.

On the brand side, recycling day is the number one marketing day. And what is outside on that shipping box becomes important. It’s not a shipping box, only, it’s a brand billboard. When not utilized as the second, it’s a missed opportunity to be leveraged around emotional connection. The box is brand advertising for the neighborhood.

Leveraging Customer Experience and Emotional Connection 

In our DBCX™ advisory services (digital brand customer experience) consulting with e-commerce brands, we have four specific segments that we look at, audit and optimize.
Boxing the Bounty, Parcel to Porch, Unboxing the Bounty, and Stoking the Fire are the four segments, or pillars. So this topic that I’m talking about today hits directly on two of those pillars, two customer connection opportunities for the brand, both with their customer base as well as with everybody who might be watching (Foot traffic, cars driving by, neighbors).

In Boxing the Bounty, we talk about the protection, the product packaging, and the outer shipping packaging that actually gets delivered. That box does go through the pillar of Parcel to Porch, but the box component doesn’t have much impact there, until the next pillar. It certainly impacts the Unboxing the Bounty.

Using the brand, Blue Apron, as an example here, what if what was on that box, was more effective, connection-wise? We know it’s a Blue Apron box. There’s an opportunity to optimize that box, not just communicate the brand on the shipping box, but to optimize the brand messaging on that billboard. Blue Apron, on the box sides, has an opportunity to say, “Woot! Someone’s cheffing tonight!…. Awesome”. Cheering for the customer.





Making the Customer the Hero

You want to applaud your customer, encourage their emotional experience, and build that emotional connection to your brand and their personal identity by using your products and services.

When that box has more meaning and has more personality and communication, sending messages that make us smile, make us feel good about our purchase, there’s a shift in emotional connection in the customer. As we bring that box in the house, as we place it on the table, as we unbox it.

So this talks to the third pillar in DBCX™ called Unboxing the Bounty. In our process we help our brand clients move from seeing the box as just a protection layer, that it doesn’t matter, the customer just tosses it, and they get to the good stuff inside.

We actually design more of an Unboxing Ceremony for the customer, and evolve how that experience takes place. We design the layers of communication and what goes where, so that an incredible emotional connection is created and experienced, resulting in a stronger connection between the customer and the brand.

Impact Case Study

I want to share a story about the impact of this. In our neighborhood, we walk our dogs in the morning, and I witnessed this conversation between two neighbors getting their recycling out before collection time. I was walking my Bernese Mountain dogs and there were these Kiwi Company boxes stacked up at the curb. They’re really cute. They’re printed all around with a lime crate-like design on the outside of the box. Note they weren’t unfolded, cut up, and tied. They were stacked neatly. It was obvious to me based on the day’s box bounty, that the family has little kids and they had purchased three different kinds of kits from Kiwi Company.

The neighbor across the street, who also has two toddlers, came out and she said, “Oh! Oh I see you have some Kiwi. What do you think of those? How are those kits?” She said, “Oh! We love them. My son loves them. We love the arts and crafts ones. We just tried a new one.” And then she showed the box of the new one, that she just tried. And the neighbor says, “you know what, I’m gonna give them a shot.”

So, because of recycling day, and because of trash, a strong endorsement to the brand’s products and how she feels about the brand… that she loves that brand – was shared with her neighbor across the street. And now the neighbor’s gonna give it a shot. She’s gonna be a trial buyer. Well done.


In Conclusion

It’s important to up your game on your brand’s corrugated shipping box. Create a customer experience touchpoint that leverages the value of emotional connection, the bond between your customer and your brand, one that enhances and advances that relationship. This will result in predictable growth, and increase your customer spending, lifetime value, and retention.

Create a customer experience touchpoint that leverages the value of #emotionalconnection, the bond between your customer and your brand, one that enhances and advances that relationship. #ExceptionalCX Click To Tweet

Kerri Konik is a seasoned brand strategist and leading expert in igniting emotional connection and optimizing customer experience to drive business growth. She is a consultant, advisor and speaker on catalyzing the emotional bonds between customers, brands, and leaders to increase value, progress, and accelerate the speed of change, growth and desired impact. An entrepreneur at heart, Kerri has launched five businesses, and is the CEO of InspireFire, a women-owned brand strategy and marketing consultancy based in Philadelphia.