Classroom Discussion: 10 Subscription Brands that Will Make You Rethink the Cardboard Package

Graphic Design Trends 2014: Beautiful Cardboard Packages by Subscription Brands

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Summary

Subscription box service brands are on the rise according to Forbes, offering a variety of product subscription services– from personal care to pet products– delivered in surprisingly exquisite cardboard packaging. How does this business model affect customer service and brand loyalty? Why is packaging design important in a delivery service business?

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Classroom Discussion

After reading the article below, talk about why the subscription-box service business model is a growing trend. What makes the curated content enticing for consumers? What’s in it for the business owner? How does a subscription box service model compare with a brick-and-mortar business model? Why do you think these brands bother to create beautifully designed packaging?

Relevant Topics

  • Retail marketing
  • Retail trends
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Business
  • Marketing
  • Design/graphic design

Download this assignment (PDF). 

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

1 Dollar Shave Club packaging // 2 Le Parcel packaging // 3 Blue Apron packaging // 4 Citrus Lane packaging // 5 Barkbox packaging // 6 A* Pour Toi packaging // 7 Birchbox packaging // 8 Trunk Club packaging // 9 True & Co packaging // 10 The Honest Co. packaging

Subscription box service brands are on the rise according to Forbes, offering delivery services for consumers of varied of interests– from foodies, to beauty mavens, to dog lovers. These brands are also (much to our delight) rethinking the basic design of cardboard packaging, incorporating beautiful typography, graphic elements and other motifs that enhance the customer experience and set the bar for an emerging graphic design trend for 2014: beautiful cardboard packaging concepts.

With a lack of brick-and-mortar storefronts, these web-based subscription service models demand not only exquisite, user-friendly websites and stellar product photography, but also physical packaging that reinforces their consumers’ emotional connection with their product(s) and therefore, brand. Almost all of the 10 brands featured here incorporate minimal, one-color-no-frills designs to enhance their snail mail-delivered packaging for an economic and functional outcome. See examples below:

Vocabulary terms:

Brick and mortar: pertaining to conventional stores, businesses, etc., having physical buildings and facilities, as opposed to Internet or remote services.

Subscription box business model: a relatively new retail trend in which companies offer subscription boxes with curated content sent through the mail to consumers, offering everything from prepackaged dinner ingredients to baubles or shoes.

Brand loyalty: the tendency of some consumers to continue buying the same brand of goods rather than competing brands.

E-commerce: commercial or business transactions conducted electronically on the Internet.


Classroom Assignment

Conduct some research on the subscription brands mentioned in this article and look for others that might not be mentioned here. For more ideas, read the article below:

Essay Questions

Select one example of a popular subscription brand (one that requires that consumers pay a recurring subscription fee or membership fee in order to buy product) that has been introduced in the past five years and answer the following questions:

  1. What is the name of the company and the product or service that it offers?
  2. What is the price and what do buyers receive?
  3. What makes this company’s product interesting or different?
  4. Could you buy the same product in a traditional brick-and-mortar store?
  5. Why do you think people might be interested in buying this subscription service? What benefits are there for the consumer?
  6. From the business owner’s perspective, what are the benefits of offering a subscription service vs. a traditional brick-and-mortar business model?

1. Dollar Shave Club

“A great shave for a few bucks a month.”

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

 2. Le Parcel

“Tampons delivered monthly.”

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

 3. Blue Apron

“Fresh ingredients, great recipes delivered weekly to your home.”

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

4. Citrus Lane

“Get a surprise box of the best products for your child every month.”

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

5. Barkbox

“A monthly box of dog goodies.”

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

6. A* Pour Toi

“Translates toa*[present] for you,’ a monthly gift box of beautiful, delicious and healthy gourmet foods for nurturing relationships.”

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

 7. Birch Box

“Monthly deliveries of personalized beauty, grooming, and lifestyle samples, tailored to your profile.”

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

8. Trunk Club

“Premium clothes. Personal stylists. Zero membership fees.”

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

 9. True & Co

“Rethinking lingerie shopping online.”

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

10. The Honest Co.

“Delivering the best family essentials to your doorstep.”

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

Graphic design trends 2014: 10 amazing examples of cardboard packaging by subscription brands.

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Author: Mani O'Brien

Mani O’Brien is the Online Editor for the FIDMDigitalArts Blog and the Social Media Marketing Manager for FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in print journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University in 2006, and Associate of Arts degree in Graphic Design (Professional Designation) at FIDM in 2010. When she’s not brainstorming social media marketing ideas or writing about the graphic design and digital media, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading magazines, and hanging out with friends and family in Los Angeles.

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