Company Box Talks Subscription Boxes and How You Can Further Connect with Customers
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On October 26th, 2018 our own Andrew Maff sat down with Nara Skipper, Social Media Manager of CompanyBox, to talk about what CompanyBox does and how it can help you with packaging your products.
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Nara Skipper: Okay. So we're CompanyBox and you can find us at companybox.com. We started with the vision of creating branded packaging for really anyone who needed it. So our website allows users to go on and fully customize their packaging to use any amount of colors, any size, and any amount. So you would visit our site and you can use our online designer tool to design your box or you can download the template and do it in something like Photoshop Illustrator and then you send us your submitted design and we'll print it for you and send it in under 10 business days usually.
So it's a pretty simple process and we really think that the outside of a box is prime real estate. It's a place to promote your brands, especially with ecommerce. You don't have a store front, you don't have a place for people to visit and kind of touch things and have that experience. So when that box lands on their doorstep or in their mailbox, it's the first real experience they have and I think it sets them up for something exciting.
Andrew Maff: Nice. Yeah. I definitely like obviously, we've spoken to you guys a few times about this stuff. I believe I met you guys actually at a conference that we were both at a little while ago, but obviously love the idea. It's definitely ... If you think of like the top ones out there, so I feel kind of one of the first companies to really do it and expand on it was Amazon. Just the tape, it was really just the tape that stood out, then obviously a lot of others started to catch on. So you have obviously Walmart's got the big blue box, BarkBox has something, but I feel like you have two different sides of it.
So you have the person who gets it delivered just to their house and no one else sees it, but I agree it's the first experience they have. But then you have the other side of it where, for instance I live in an apartment, we have a mail room, so when I go in there and I see a bunch of boring boxes, I have no idea what anyone ordered. I really don't care, but if I see like a box that stands out, I'm going to now know that brand. It's basically brand recognition. It's free advertising for the most part.
Nara Skipper: Right, right. Exactly. It really is and people now like a Birchbox type of company, they switch their designs every month and we are seeing a lot of people doing that now. They'll change up their designs. You can reflect the seasons or I mean it really makes it more fun for the person who's opening it instead of just opening that plain standard brown box.
Andrew Maff: Okay. do you have the ability to help with designs or is there typically a suggestion to have someone design the box and then upload it to your site?
Nara Skipper: We do both. We do have in-house, both graphic designers and structural designers. So if you really aren't skilled with that, we can start right from the very beginning. We can work with you or if you have an idea, we can also start where you have started. So we also have structural designers who can help with inserts. So if you have something that you don't want rattling around in your box, we can actually create something to make it stand out a little bit more.
Andrew Maff: Oh, nice. So obviously I know it's a big subscription box area, I know a lot of subscription boxes do it, why is it that subscription boxes tend to do it versus just any normal ecommerce company that doesn't have a subscription model?
Nara Skipper: A big portion of our customers are subscription and I guess I think again, it has to go back to that they can change up their designs to go with their monthly orders.
Andrew Maff: There you are. I lost you for a second. There you are.
Nara Skipper: So I think it just adds to the fun, to that fun box that comes every month. We also, with digital printing which is what we do, you can order 1,000 one month and then order 500 depending on what your orders are. So a lot of really big companies, they don't always use digital printing because they might be ordering 50,000 boxes and digital printing might not be the way to go. But with smaller companies, mid sized companies, digital printing, which is what we do, is really, really good.
Andrew Maff: Okay. So what are some of your favorites? I'm sure you have some where you're like, "Ah, every time I see one of those boxes, I love it." What are the ones that seem to stand out the most to you guys?
Nara Skipper: We have a company we work with called Bomibox and they're a Korean makeup subscription box and they really come out with really neat designs every month. We also do one called date night in, that's one of my favorites that I see. They always switch up their designs every month and they also have a kid's night in where kids actually design the outside of the box and they then print it and it kind of reflects on for the kids. Yeah. It's cool.
Andrew Maff: So of course with these videos that I'm at a point where I do these every week, so I have to double check my research before I do anything and of course I went over to Company Box, make sure I had all my t's crossed and my i's dotted and I noticed it was the one ... What is it? I have it still up. It's the spooktacular night, I can get the kid one, the fact that the kids draw it and put it on the box, I love that.
So you've mentioned that a few of your favorites, they are companies where they replace the box every month. I actually didn't even know that that was that common of a thing. So you guys really see even the subscription ones are pretty much changing it up every month.
Nara Skipper: Yeah, a lot of them do. We see a lot of that now and they're getting bigger and bigger. I mean, these guys have wait lists and I think part of it really is that box they're getting. I believe it is. It just adds more excitement.
Andrew Maff: Well I know like for ... Probably what would be a good ... I know a lot of these companies that have a very strong social strategy, this does a very good job. Obviously a lot of people that ... If the company has a big social strategy, there's typically a lot of people that are doing unboxings and things like that. So obviously if we can have that free advertisement right there as someone opens the box instead of just seeing a product, they then see what the whole company is like. Of course BarkBox, there's more pictures of dogs sitting next to a box online then I can find anymore, but it's definitely a pretty good example. So what's the most creative approach you've seen someone take with these?
Nara Skipper: Creative approach. Gosh. I mean, I like when people use inside printing, a lot of people are now printing on the inside of the box too and instead of maybe including like a welcome letter, they're just printing right on the inside cover. So as soon as you open it up where it's right there for people to read. We haven't started yet, but we're going to start allowing people to use augmented reality where you can include a link which will take them, they would scan it with their phone and then be able to actually see a video or a tutorial or whatever that would be right embedded into the box. So we haven't rolled that out yet, we're installing a printer that can make that capable next month. So that'll be pretty neat to see that too.
Andrew Maff: Nice. I think you can see, you have a fan. So Bippidi Boppidi Boxes said that they love their boxes, which is actually, as I was looking through I was like, "Ah, I know that brand." So it's funny that they just commented on here.
Nara Skipper: Yeah and they're a great brand, they switch up their sizes. So depending on what they're shipping, they have tiny, tiny little boxes and really large boxes. So that's another thing you can do with us is change that design because I don't know if you know, but places like UPS and FedEx, they charge by dimensional weight instead of how heavy something is. So it's how much room you're taking up in the back of their truck. So instead of paying for something fill it with paper or bubble wrap, you can actually customize down to 16th of an inch and then actually save money on shipping. Just another advantage.
Andrew Maff: So and someone had just commented too, they asked about, "How about your new C500 printers?" So I'm guessing that they're in-house somewhere and they really wanted you to talk about it. So I'm going to give you this opportunity to tell us about your new C500 printer.
Nara Skipper: Yes. Yeah. That might be someone in-house, I'm not sure. But our C500, it's a big deal. It's the second one installed in the country. They've been installing it for several months now, by HP and it's enormous. It's huge and it's gonna take us, we'll be able to print 100,000 ... I have to check my notes. Yeah. 100,000 feet an hour, which will just, that 10 days that I told you about, we'll be able to be able to get things out even faster.
The other big deal is we can do food safe printing. So normally you can't print digital with packaging for food. The ink will actually migrate into the food. So this is, it's water based ink and that's a big deal. So the quality is going to be better, the resolution, the colors are going to be brighter. It's really exciting for us.
Andrew Maff: So obviously we are almost a full month into Q4 now. So I'm sure orders on your end have been picking up and you guys have been putting out a lot more boxes. Are you seeing more and more people cater towards seasonality and tweaking their boxes based on the season or if it's a holiday box or anything like that?
Definitely. We've seen a lot of Christmas boxes already that we've sent out, corporate gifts that people are doing. Obviously the subscription companies are already printing their Christmas, holiday, Hanukkah, whatever kind of boxes. But yeah, a lot of people are doing the corporate gifts also, so you can send it out to your customers.
Andrew Maff: Oh nice I didn't think about that. So relative to pricing of ... Obviously you have different sized boxes, you have different designs, I'm sure pricing varies drastically, but relative to your standard box versus something more custom and branded like this, so basically taking it a step up a notch, what do you see the differences are in pricing on average?
Nara Skipper: Really, if you're going to be ordering 1,000, there's really not going to be that much of a difference. I mean, there obviously is because you're getting something that's fully customized for you, but the more you order if you think about just higher quantities, you're going to get a lower price. But a standard box is going to cost $1 or $2, where I was in the post office the other day and I saw they had colorful boxes you could put your stuff in and ship and it was right there, right around that same price per box.
Andrew Maff: So are you seeing more and more brands starting to go into the custom box field and starting to really build out their own like whole branding approach outside of just the transaction?
Nara Skipper: Yes. Yeah, when we started about four years ago, some people were ordering a couple hundred a month and especially the subscription companies, and now they're several thousands. I mean it's blowing up. It really is.
Andrew Maff: So I imagine it's a good thing problem for you to have but a bad problem for I would assume sellers would be later on down the line if people start to open their eyes to this and they actually start going out and everyone then has their own custom branded box. How do you think they're going to be able to differentiate from walking into a mail room and having 1500 just different colored boxes where it's just a sea of clutter and now it doesn't have the same effect?
Nara Skipper: Yeah, that's a good point. I mean, I think it's going to be a long time before it gets there, but I mean, how often are you walking into a mail room seeing a bunch of colored boxes?
Andrew Maff: I think that's a good point.
Nara Skipper: Or boxes at all?
Andrew Maff: You could just it neon.
Nara Skipper: I mean usually it's like ... Yeah, yeah. Sure. We have I mean shelves of boxes and none of them are the same. So I don't know.
Andrew Maff: So does Bippidi Boppidi boxes work for you? Are they also salespeople? This is fantastic.
Nara Skipper: No. What'd they say?
Andrew Maff: I just finished our Christmas pattern for holiday boxes. The great thing is the price of the box from Company Box doesn't change when you modify each design. Company Box is very price competitive.
Nara Skipper: We are not affiliated with them.
Andrew Maff: You should hire them. Geez. Notice I haven't had a single person on here yet going Sellers Choice is amazing. Thanks guys.
Nara Skipper: I did not pay them either. That's on their own.
Andrew Maff: That's an influencer for you.
Nara Skipper: I think we have very competitive pricing. We're the manufacturer. A lot of places are outsourcing it and we are printing them in-house so we can check on everything and make sure it's exactly how- So then we can also control the price and the turnaround time.
Andrew Maff: Yeah, that one's cheating. That guy, sc rocks. He's in the office.
Nara Skipper: You got some love.
Andrew Maff: We do pay him though. I'm sure he wants more, but we'll talk about that later buddy. But I don't want to take up any more of your Friday. It was a lot of fun. Really appreciate you doing this with me. I would love it if you would let everyone know obviously how they can find more information about you guys and obviously how they can work with you because we'll put this on our YouTube and blog and all that stuff so that they can find it later.
Nara Skipper: Yes, definitely. Go to www.companybox.com and we also have an online chat, we can help. We're really big on customer service. We'll walk you through it if this is your first time, happy to help and help you build your brand.
Andrew Maff: Beautiful. Appreciate it. Thank you so much.
Nara Skipper: Yeah. Thank you.
Andrew Maff: Enjoy your Friday. Have a good one. Thanks again..
Nara Skipper: All right. Same to you. Thanks.
Andrew Maff: Bye.
Nara Skipper: Bye.