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Aug 18, 2017

A better box by letterbox

by Gary Rapps - Managing Director

A better box by letterbox

Weird as it may sound I often find myself glancing over every time I pass a classic red British post box. Not, I hasten to add, to check the ever decreasing number of collection times we have to work around these days but to look at the initials, embossed on the front. You see, I share the same ones as King George, or rather George Rex (King in Latin) when it comes to the Royal Cypher and spotting a ‘GR’ instead of say, an ‘ER’ seems to bring with it a moment of strange satisfaction.

Now whilst I might be getting my kicks from what’s happening on the outside of these street icons, it’s definitely no comparison to the excitement postboxes, or rather their owners at the Royal Mail, bring to our own front doors.

More and more brands are targeting us through the letterbox with one service in particular, postal subscriptions, seeing impressive growth of almost 3000 percent in the last few years. Figures from the US last year helped to quantify this with 21.4 million visits to subscription box websites there in one month alone and one business, The Dollar Shave Club, a men’s grooming company which ships out razors and refill cartridges, selling to Unilever for a staggering $1 billion!

News last week however that Amazon has brought an end to its own Lovefilm By Post DVD rental service, does prove though that it can still be tough out there for some.

The move to close Lovefilm comes six years after Amazon took full control, a time when they had an estimated 1.4m subscribers, but decreasing demand seems to have taken the love out of the service and now they plan to donate their extensive 80,000 title catalogue to charity.

So it may not be film discs dropping onto the door mat but, if the latest round of postal start ups and letterbox marketers are anything to go by, almost everything else!

One of my favourites has to be Cheese Posties - the cheese toastie by post service which will send you all you need to make the perfect snack. Everything is delivered in a letter box sized package including bread, cheese, grass fed butter, fillings, a toaster friendly cooking bag and a collectable recipe card. From just £4.65 per postie you can select whether you prefer sweet, savoury or a mix of everything when you sign up and a different pack will be sent to you each week matched to your choices. Fantastic.

Another inspired brown box, small enough to go through your door and thus cutting out the ‘leave with neighbour’ instructions, is Bloom & Wild.

According to their website they are “putting the fun back into flower gifting by designing exciting, on-trend bouquets of fresh flowers that are simple to send and even easier to receive”.

Flowers are hand packed and in bud which helps them last longer and each bouquet comes with care tips and arrangement instructions. Monthly subscriptions start from £15 meaning you’ll never be accused of missing that important occasion, birthday or anniversary ever again.

If flowers aren’t your thing then surely chocolate has to be and, if so, there’s plenty to choose from here - take Sussex-based chocolatier Montezuma's for example.

These guys will send you a whopping 600g of assorted Milk, Dark and White Award Winning British Chocolate every month including different cocoas and added inclusions, so you will never get bored! A year’s membership will cost just short of £200 but it will give you the chance to try their new taste creations and have your say on what gets included in the main Montezuma's Collections! If you ever wanted to be Willy Wonka’s assistant from the comfort of your own home then this could be your chance!

While this addition to their services may be bringing home the bacon for chocolate, it has proved rather challenging for another set up, Cure & Simple.

The firm supplies bacon by post either weekly, fortnightly or monthly using vacuum packaging and insulated envelopes with a cooling gel, to deliver 10 rashers at a time from £5.95.

Whilst the concept is great it seems to have attracted some unwanted attention from pets, left at home, while their owners are out. As a result the firm has had to come up with special packaging for dog owners to stop their canine chums eating the meat when it drops through the letterbox! Subscribers can request that a natural deterrent is added when placing an order although the firm is quick to point out that it is not 100% fool proof.

Certainly a continuing case of ‘Postman Beware’!!

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Packaging, Retail, Experiential

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