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Custom Packaging: Unboxing Craft Coffee Club

In this case study, we’ll be looking at the use of custom packaging, along with real-life examples and results it has brought to Craft Coffee Club since they started using it.

From a delightful unboxing experience to conveying quality and brand message, custom packaging boxes can make or break your success as the first touchpoint for consumers.

Feel good coffee. That’s the message coming from Benni and Tim, founders of Craft Coffee Club.

They run an artisan coffee subscription service that sends monthly packages of two different coffees (ranked in the top 5% and sometimes even top 1% worldwide by the SCA), from two different areas of the world, alongside three or four goodies from British brands, related products such as artisanal popcorn, nuts and even truffles to encourage people to try new things.

In our conversation, it was abundantly clear that they’re genuinely passionate about finding the best coffees from all over the world, but also in giving back to the communities they buy from.

‘Giving back’ is not just spiel though, Benni and Tim buy direct from farmers, ensuring providers receive more than they would if selling Fair Trade, “In some cases, our farmers earn 150% more.” says Tim.

Because Benni and Tim go so far afield in their search for different types of coffee, the people they deal with are usually family-run businesses, not huge multinational providers, so buying directly from the farmer can make a huge difference to the family.

On top of that, part of each membership goes to causes the company is trying to help:

  • Actionaid
  • Wateraid 
  • Onetreeplanted

‘’It’s vital to us to give back to the communities that provide us with coffee, so from each membership we sell, a percentage goes to the community where the coffee comes from’’.

‘’So if it’s from Ethiopia, the money goes to paying for children in the area to go to school, in Central America however, money goes to planting a tree in the Costa Rican/Guatemalan rainforest.’’

‘’The big goal is for us to have planted 150,000 trees and be paying for an entire class to go to school for a month.’’

Amazing coffee from different parts of the world? ✓

Farmers are paid more than recommended? ✓

So do you feel good about the coffee they’ve sent you? ✓

Mission accomplished!

That covers who Craft Coffee Club are, and now we’ll look into their packaging, why they chose DS Smith ePack as their packaging provider and the results they’ve seen since we began our collaboration!


‘I need branded packaging for my product!’ So Why Choose DS Smith ePack for Custom Printing?

Custom Packaging Boxes with Logo

After doing his due diligence, speaking to different providers, Tim told us that he felt DS Smith ePack was the supplier whose values most closely aligned with his. 

‘’Why we chose DS Smith for our packaging? Because it’s a recognised and trusted brand, other companies did not show the same flexibility and interest in our business. Whereas with DS Smith ePack it wasn’t just about volumes.”

‘’Anna really took the time to learn about the business, our ambitions, and goals. The process was seamless, from the first sample until we had our branded packaging delivered.”

One frustration he expressed more than once was how many large providers wouldn’t support a start-up, so he was delighted to find a supplier in us that does this.

Servicing small, medium or large clients while providing an excellent standard of customer service across the board is something clients really appreciate, it’s just one part of our mission, to provide each client with the best service possible regardless of size.


Custom printing conveys quality.

Take a look at custom printed tape for example, aside from keeping parcels sealed and safe for shipping, adding your own logo to the tape adds that touch of flair that only comes with products of the highest quality.

If your product is of premium quality and you want a little something extra to demonstrate this, feel free to fill out the custom packaging tape request form with just a few details about what you need and we’ll get you a quote.

Tim also mentioned how important branding, quality and value perception are when it comes to the unboxing experience that he wanted to create, and we’ll take a look at that now. 


Branded packaging conveys the quality of the product, it communicates the brand message and adds to the increasingly important unboxing experience.

‘’Other providers offered marginally cheaper alternatives but I just didn’t have the confidence in them, a premium product needs quality packaging.’’

‘’We want to make sure that when our members receive the package, the unboxing experience is great and the product is protected, even though price is a hugely important factor for us, quality is the priority.’’

Additionally, there is the value perception to consider.

Customers receive £40-60 worth of gourmet treats in these boxes, packaging needs to convey this value.

Custom packaging with a logo, brand message and even a message to consumers certainly helps with regards to value perception, a company has taken the time to design this package and has pride in sending it out to customers, not simply in one of the plain, standard cardboard boxes we mentioned earlier.

Branded packaging not only helps in terms of perceived value, but it communicates brand values, in an instant to consumers.

Communicating brand message via packaging gives consumers a quick snapshot into your company, opening a form of dialogue with them, and providing an option to form an instant connection with your brand.

The final reason for choosing us was for our sustainability credentials:

‘’DS Smith is really leading the way when it comes to sustainability and making a path for others to follow’’

Our clients clearly appreciate the steps we’re taking in trying to push positive environmentally-focused changes, paper bubble wrap as an alternative to plastic for example.

If, like Craft Coffee Club, you’re thinking ”I need packaging for my product”, packaging that is durable, protects your product, can be custom printed to enable you to spread your brand message and give an instant feeling of quality to the consumer, take a look at our various products from double-wall cardboard boxes to secure postal boxes, or alternatively, tell us what you need by filling out a few details in our customised packaging form so we can get you a quote. 


Consumer Experience with Customised Packaging

customised packaging benefits example

Consumer experience can make or break a business.

How? You may ask. Because if the product is good, that’s enough right?

It should be, but no.

You will undoubtedly have seen one of the many unboxing videos on social media/YouTube, but these aren’t simply satisfying videos of packaging that sounds good when you open it, or even that it looks great, it goes beyond that.

It all acts as user-generated content (we’ll refer to this as UGC from now on).

But what is UGC and why does it matter?

Essentially, it’s getting customers to do much of the marketing for us.

Take electronics shoppers for example, 57% of consumers view UGC in order to get more information about a product, size, feel, utility etc, much more than standard stock photos.

Think about it, people are using, loving and spreading the word of your product on social media, social shares, news, free content that you don’t have to pay for or even think about, from regular people with a few hundred followers, to influencers with thousands or more.

How much would you have to spend on ads to get that kind of exposure?

UGC complements the work of the marketing department by sharing the product, but it also acts as a form of social proof, this is increasingly important in a time when online reviews, Trustpilot, etc are pivotal in purchasing decisions.

So, a standard box with a great product? Brilliant! But will anyone make an unboxing video of that with the excitement to share it?

Probably not.

On the other hand, a branded, custom printed box with company logo, a great design and/or a message (whether it be a personalized message to the customer or a company message) provides that kind of value and interest whereby people want to share it with their followers and thus, your fantastic product gets the exposure you crave for it!

Another thing to consider is authenticity.

We’re bombarded with ads ‘Buy our product’ ‘No, buy ours!’ so much so that we barely notice it anymore, those of us with addons like AdBlock, flat out never see most ads, it’s meant that users have developed a sort of blindness to ads and thus, conversion rate suffers.

How to get around it?

Genuine, authentic content (UGC).

It isn’t an ad, these users receive nothing from companies in return, they simply promote products they like and think their followers will enjoy, the genuine nature of this content converts at a much higher rate than traditional ads, and what does that mean for you?

Word of your wonderful product spreads and it gets bought by more people for them to enjoy as much as you do.

Long story short, great packaging combined with a great product can save you in terms of money for ads, time spent promoting content, which means?

More sales.

Let’s get back to Craft Coffee Club and how they ensured their unboxing experience becomes one that users can’t wait to experience for themselves.


Custom packaging and important considerations (unboxing, safe delivery, value perception)

custom packaging box

‘’We want to make sure that when our members receive the package, the unboxing experience is great, from the first moment they receive the box, we aim to evoke different senses, touch of the high-quality box, removing the adhesive strip and enjoying lifting that lid to be greeted by the different, fascinating smell of freshly grated coffee beans and not forgetting…the taste!!’’

‘’It has to be easy to open, the tear strip works perfectly as it builds a sense of excitement, as it means they follow the path you want them to go down. The design sets out a path for the customer to follow, one that results in a great unboxing experience, building the excitement as they go through the steps and of course, importantly, the product is protected’’

Some interesting points here are that the design of the custom printed box sets the customer on an unboxing path.

The unboxing experience is a vital component in your customer’s overall perception of your product, and you have to really make the most of this, and Craft Coffee Club does it fantastically well:

    • The satisfying noise when peeling back the adhesive strip
    • Smell of the fresh ground coffee beans and gourmet treats
    • Products within the box are nicely laid out, and in perfect condition, a treat for the eyes as well!
    • Touching the clearly quality box, feeling that you can’t wait to get at the contents and brew up the first cup!
    • The final sense (taste) is made all the more rewarding for the consumer by the experience they’ve had so far. 

The unboxing experience incorporates the use of so many senses that it has a genuinely powerful, memorable impact on the opener of the box.


Custom Packaging for Seasonal Campaigns

The flexibility in designs, low minimum order quantities, fast delivery, possibility to change designs with each order has meant that Craft Coffee Club will be creating and sending seasonal boxes, popular traditional campaigns such as Christmas but also new and intriguing ideas such as Veganuary!

The image to the left isn’t from Craft Coffee Club, it’s just an example from another seasonal Christmas campaign.

You can take a look at the Craft Coffee Club Instagram page for a quick snapshot of their great work!

The clincher for using custom packaging they said, was the ability to use digital printing to create smaller campaigns, to make changes in order to be able to order seasonally designed boxes.


Advice to Anyone Considering Using Custom Packaging Boxes?

When we asked Tim if he had any advice to other businesses that are considering the use of custom printed packaging, he said

‘’Do it, it’s a clear brand differentiator, building your brand, communicating values and value.’’

‘’Don’t be afraid to try different styles and boxes, it’s an e-commerce solution so the brand needs to be prominent in the packaging. Colour is important etc.’’

‘’Consider different touchpoints, how you pack it, what’s going in it, weight, space to grow, distribution: is it durable? Think about the consumer: how excited they’ll be to open it. Things with quality/gifting build excitement and communicate quality.’’

‘’Go up a notch, don’t underestimate the importance of custom-designed packaging.’’

Big thanks to Craft Coffee Club for agreeing to be a part of our case study (and for the rave reviews!).

Speaking of rave reviews, we’ve had our first delivery from Craft Coffee Club and can happily return the favour! Coffee lovers absolutely must give the coffee subscription box a try, visit their website to get some feel-good coffee to your door!

Hopefully Tim and Benni’s experience and insights into the importance and benefits of custom packaging has helped clear up a few things for you.

If however, you do have any questions about how custom packaging or anything similar such as custom packaging boxes with logos would benefit your business as it’s doing for others right now, drop us your contact details and we’ll be in touch:

Add Branding to Your Packaging

All you need for a great unboxing experience just a few clicks away.

2020-06-10T11:29:36+01:00September 23rd, 2019|Categories: Branded Packaging, Unboxing|Tags: , |

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