By Colin McIntosh, CEO & Amateur Designer of our first packaging
When designing packaging for a new company you're launching, you think about a lot of things:
- First impressions: how people will feel when they see the box for the first time.
- Ease of opening: make your packaging as frustration-free as possible (as opposed to requiring customers to slice their hands open with scissors to open your blister packaging).
- Surprise and delight: how can you exceed expectations even when they're already high? (We love slipping fun extras into boxes before they go out at the warehouse!)
- Protection: have to make sure everything inside the box arrives clean, undamaged, and pristine. (And with FedEx/UPS handling these babies, that's... hard to do.)
- Call-to-action: what do we want people to do after opening the box? (Tag us on social media, tell their friends, donate their old sheets to local homeless shelters, leave a review, etc.)
- Eco-friendliness: everything should be at minimum recyclable, and try to use as little material as possible.
- Aesthetics: how can we make people feel like the packaging is actually worth holding onto?
- Cats: these tiny animals love empty boxes. Let's make sure ours fits a full-grown cat.
I think we nailed most of these, and the end result was beautiful:
Our very first packaging prototype on my kitchen counter :')
That is one happy kitteh
What you don't think about is:
- White boxes are a bad idea because they'll get dirty and scuffed during shipping.
- Your white box will need to be protected from FedEx and UPS, who don't care how pretty it is.
- To protect that box, you'll have to put it inside of another brown box (ugh).
- This will waste resources and money, and you should feel bad about your packaging design abilities.
Additionally, we got some great feedback early on about some not-so-ideal parts of our packaging:
Frankly, when designing our initial packaging, we made at least three bad calls, and I take responsibility for these:
- The white box (needs to be protected by another external box, which is wasteful).
- The internal (recyclable) plastic bag protecting the sheets from potential water damage.
- The donation mailer inside the box being a (recyclable) plastic bag.
Now that we've grown beyond launch, we've taken the time to redesign our packaging based on feedback like JT's, and we believe that our new packaging is the best of all worlds:
Note the snoot: S&G office doggos approve
So, what did we change?
- Purple exterior is ready-to-ship without any external protection (please excuse a scuff incurred here or there during shipping). One cardboard box down.
- No plastic wrap on the sheets.
- No plastic donation mailer (we'll of course still honor and promote our donation program, just without the plastic).
- No plastic at all, actually.
- Cute doodles.
- Still fits a full cat.
These have already begun shipping, and eventually we'll have shipped our last white box (some of you may still get those as we completely phase them out). We can't wait to get your unboxing pics and videos! They make our day every single time.
That is one cute baby
Thanks to the entire S&G community for continually providing valuable feedback to us – it always helps us grow and improve as a company.