Everything in a Box
I think I am a pretty typical consumer. I became obsessed with online shopping. I never really loved running from store to store trying to figure out what I need. I get distracted when I am in a store. Overwhelmed. I don’t love it.
When shipping speed improved with the dawn of online commerce, I was in. Every part of the process of shopping is easier. I can get every detail I need from the product listing from size and dimensions to cost and shipping speed. Grocery shopping became managable. Instead of juggling two toddlers in a shopping cart, I dropped everything in my online cart and set my delivery time. Done.
As more and more options for products cam online, I tried everything. I feel so much excitement when I receive a new box. Opening is the big reveal. Am I going to love what I ordered?
When Rent the Runway came online, it became my go-to for dresses, clothes and handbags. They will send you multiple sizes of the same dress. Yes. You can browse photos of the dresses on actual people listing bust size and height of the girl pictured. Yes. You can join their company and get 5 items at a time and keep them as long as you like. Yes.
I have a closet full of dresses that I never wear. When a wedding rolls around and it is November, I am faced with every perfect summer cocktail dress in my closet and forced to go buy something new. What a waste. I need a dress for the event. But I certainly do not need to own it. Chances of me ever wearing it again are unlikely, at best. So why wouldn’t I want to wear the best possible dress and send it back?
The excitement I feel at receiving a package became even more interesting when companies offering subscription services came along. Blue Apron was a fun experience. Cooking without worrying about buying each individual ingredient was so relaxing. There is so much waste in the way food is sold these days. Even cooking 3 meals a day in my home, I still have spices that go years not being used until they get too old and I throw them away. Wasteful. Using Blue Apron made you feel so good about your use of the product. You had exactly enough of every piece of the recipe with nothing left over. And the recipe cards were incredibly well done. I loved them so much I bought their cookbook.
I had a few missing ingredients when I used Blue Apron and their customer service was incredible. They would credit you back for the meal, send you a free meal and make sure you received the missing ingredient. So well done.
When Jessica Alba launched the Honest Company, it was a susciption service for baby and household products. Her idea was born when one of her children had a toxic reaction to laundry detergent. Research led her to the fact that the U.S. allows over 1,300 toxic ingredients in a variety of everyday household products deemed too dangerous in European countries. So Alba created her own line of baby and household cleaning products eliminating all 1,300.
And she started, yes, with a box. I subscribed immediately. You would receive 5 different products on a subscription schedule and get to try what you liked. You couldn’t find these kind of products in a regular store at the time. The ability to find little product companies like Honest without driving to a health food store, however far that might be, is neccessary. Being exposed to new brands transforming the market is hugely beneficial to consumers.
I recently found Underclub, a company offering an underwear subscription service. This is the one of the best companies I have come across. I have a very serious underwear obsession. I have this theory, wearing the most comfortable, beautiful underwear makes you feel incredible. It is a confidence boost and a life-changing behavior. The right lingerie, underwear, bra, stockings is absolutely key to my happy existence. If you are still sporting a maternity bra and you haven’t breastfed in a year, get to the store now and get fitted for a bra. It will change your life.
Underclub has totally inspirational Instagram advertising. They love underwear as much as I do. Sometimes they share photos of underwear, inspirational billboards or messages. Some days they draw cartoons and other days, there are pictures of real women sporting the product. It is all gorgeous, witty and inspirational. Once you sign up, you get a beautiful undergarment every month in the mail. You do not pick the actual underwear you receive, but you answer questions which ascertain your preferences.
I had such a wonderful experience with this company. The first pair of underwear I received were beautiful, blue and sheer and trimmed with lace. But my first thought was, no way. They were somewhere between a thong and a panty. I held them up and thought, um…I am not a huge fan of a thong. I wear them when my clothing choice demands it (ahem, no panty lines thanks) but they are not my favorite. Somehow, Underclub knew this was for me, even when I didn’t. Perfect.
The point is, we all want to do things that feel good. We want to have fun and to feel good. There are so many things in life that are beyond our control. We are compelled to attend endless annoying meetings, we come home to a sink full of dishes, or sit in two hours of traffic to get home from the job we can’t stand. Choosing to spend your time and money is a precious decision. Let that be with a company that puts some time into making you feel good and look fabulous.
Brands that will survive the competitive marketplace today will accomplish exactly that. They will make you feel good about what you buy, why you buy it and how you buy it. The best of the best are creating an experience that keeps you coming back for more.