Happiness in a Box!
Happiness in a Box!
NOTE: This article was originally written in April 2016. Since then, Jet.com was acquired by Walmart for $3B in cash + $300 million in Walmart stock. Driven by its platform-enabled seller & pricing model, and branded customer experience, Jet.com rocketed its way to success, taking only 741 days to go from financing to exit.
By Lori Yuhas
CEO & Managing Partner, Marquee Brand Builders
As a brand marketeer and customer experience advocate, I’m always on the lookout for examples of companies that are doing brand “right”. This means understanding that a brand is an entity with which customers have a relationship, inherently determined by the experiences customers have with said brand.
Allow me to present eCommerce star, Jet.com.
If you haven’t yet given Jet.com a try, I highly suggest a visit. Why? Because of the exemplary customer experience Jet.com offers. And because of how that experience will leave you feeling. After all, relationships are about feelings.
And we all want to feel GREAT! Right?
I’ll let you explore Jet.com’s unique shopper experience (its pricing, merchandising and customer policies) on your own, all of which delighted me. But let me shine a spotlight on the very end of Jet.com’s delivered customer experience, and an often overlooked eCommerce brand touchpoint—and that’s their packaging.
Imagine the smile on my face the first time this little beauty of a parcel showed up on my doorstep. Not only was the outside paint job a reinforcement of the visual identity I experienced when shopping online, but as I opened the box, flap-by-flap, the brand’s personality—hip, friendly and approachable—was further reinforced. (I’ll let you be surprised by the how.) Up until the very last moment of my journey, the company continued to: 1) “speak” to me, and 2) keep me engaged in the brand’s experience—via a box!
However, the package did much more than reinforce the brand’s image and personality. It made me FEEL something—HAPPY. As if I had received a gift, the package brightened my mood upon receipt. (The items I’d ordered were arranged and protected as if my grandmother tended to the packing.)
Now, in my psyche and emotional fabric, Jet.com = HAPPINESS. Have I shopped at Jet.com again? You bet I have! [NOTE: The online experience delivered the same feeling of happiness. The box simply amped up the feeling—putting an exclamation point on it!]
After all, this is what branding is all about—making people FEEL something good—a (desirable and wanted) feeling that keeps them coming back. Whatever your product or service category, why not deliver a feeling customers can only get from your brand?
How to improve the experience your brand is offering your customers:
- CARE ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCE FROM ABOVE – If your title begins with any of the words “Chief, President, Vice or Executive”, I invite you to engage with each other and then your marketing, sales and operations teams on what an ideal customer experience means to your product or service category and the customers who “shop” it. The companies who do the best jobs at delivering customer experience have customer passion and advocacy coursing through their executives’ veins.
- THINK IT THROUGH IN DETAIL – What feeling do you want to leave customers with? Happiness? Security? Belonging? Exclusivity? (And is that feeling: 1) something customers want, and 2) unique in your category?) Then, map out your customers’ journey from end-to-end, including every brand touchpoint. What can you plan into your experience delivery—both overtly and behind-the-scenes—that will leave customers with that feeling? Reinforce the experience—and feeling—all the way to the journey’s very end. Be attentive to the smallest of details. [Note the branded packing tape on Jet.com's box, showcased in the home photo headlining this post.]
- ENGAGE & MEASURE – Engage customers in designing your experience (through research, “experience play” and conversation). Experiment. Then, measure and analyze your customers’ experiences at every one of your brand’s touchpoints to ensure you’re delivering, and doing so with consistency. Improve where you’re not.
Now go and create an exemplary customer experience!