Branding

Savannah Bee Company, Charleston | In My Travels

by Jamie Sanford on March 14, 2016

To see all of my travel posts, click here.

All images taken with the Sony NEX-6.

After dinner at 82 Queen, we walked past the Savannah Bee Company. I was devastated that we were too late to shop, since it was so exciting. We are very big fans of honey and all of its variety, it is a wonderful pairing with our love of cheese. Luckily, we steered back that way the next morning while we were exploring the historic district of Charleston and were able to visit.

The store is beautiful inside, a combination of charming design and lovely products.

The tiny door!

The amount of products that result from a mutually-beneficial relationship with bees is wonderful and fascinating.

The Savannah Bee Company does make many products of their own, but they also have other bee-centric products.

Honey gear behind the HONEY TASTING BAR! We tried a number of different types of honey, and again, if you haven’t done this, I highly suggest it. Different honeys from different bees that were exposed to different plants are incredibly varied!

The perfect lighting.

I didn’t even know where to look first. How beautiful is this display?

Remember when I mentioned about charming design? Part of that is putting humanity into the store. Handwritten signs, and the honesty on the sign for the “not square” honeycombs all add to the happy feeling I had in this store.

Thumbs up for their branding and packaging.

Just more honey photos, because I couldn’t stop!

The different shapes of the different bottles also added to the visual impact. I especially like the tall and skinny large bottles.

Naturally, the window was decorated beautifully as well.

I recommend stopping in at one of the Savannah Bee Company locations whenever you get a chance.

Hilton Hotels

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MyHabit Art Packaging | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on June 16, 2015

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

After not visiting MyHabit for a while, I went on the site back in April and found an AMAZING deal on a piece of art that involves antlers because the obsession is real.

I checked out the packaging when my item arrived.

I was a bit disappointed by the outside look of the box, only because I knew what was inside had a frame that was probably a bit fragile.

I am a HUGE fan of this giant sticker though! It is certainly large enough to have an impact, it’s telling me who the box is from, what the website address is, and has a very charming “warning.” I’m a pretty big believer in utilizing stickers to brand boxes that aren’t custom-printed. I am sure that MyHabit has a LOT of different-sized boxes to package the enormous variety of items that they offer, so stickers are probably the best way to accomplish creating an easily recognizable box.

Bubble wrapping around the main article. Not quite the same level of padding as the Flickr Wall Art, but still acceptable.

As with most art pieces, the corners are wrapped in pretty heavy-duty cardboard to prevent dents. Great wire for hanging on the back of this piece, by the way.

Of course, here’s a glimpse at the actual product. It’s now hanging over my desk at work. It arrived safe and sound, so no complaints from me about the quality of packaging.

If you haven’t already, you should sign up for MyHabit.  (This is not a sponsored post, I’m just a big fan.)

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Kate Spade | Brand Experience Project (part 2)

by Jamie Sanford on May 15, 2014

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

Check out part 1 of the Kate Spade/KateSpade.com post here.

Time to review packaging!

Pretty standard outer packaging. Nothing super personalized or branded.

The branding was saved for inside the box! Look at this special tissue paper, printed for their 2014 branded travel campaign.

So darling.

I shimmied the contents out of the tissue paper without ripping it (since I had to send this to Mom for her birthday, I was trying to keep everything intact while reviewing and photographing for the blog). Here’s a look at the inside.

SWOON. Absolutely wonderful message and immediate reference to customer service.

Not a perfect fold on this receipt (and I’m sort of surprised it isn’t in an envelope, considering how everything else is packaged), but it’s a good layout.

Super clear return information! Other retailers, take note.

…and above that, with my item is a reminder that my purchase was a sale item that is final sale and not eligible for return. I had another experience recently with another retailer who gave me some drama about returning an online purchase in store because it was a clearance item and not eligible for return. However, that retailer’s receipt in the box gave no indication of that – so I’m really appreciating it here from Kate Spade.

Back to the box. The gift box shown on the website is here!

How cute is this box!

The blank note card on top.

Love this blue.

When I opened the box, I was slightly bummed to see that the necklace wasn’t presented in the box.

The inside of the box has little gold dots though – another lovely touch.

The contents of the box. I consolidated this a bit before sending to Mom, removing a lot of the additional plastic and putting the bubble-wrapped necklace inside the mini dust bag.

I re-packed everything up and wrote out the card for Mom’s birthday…and then sent it to her 3 months later when it was her actual birthday. I love shopping in advance!

This was a wonderful experience. I can’t give big points for the exterior packaging, but the rest of the experience was largely an absolute pleasure.  There are some kinks to work out in the UX of the website, but is anything really broken? No, just in need of a proper analysis to find where information could be better presented.

The overall impression is excellent. Kudos to the Kate Spade team.

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Kate Spade | Brand Experience Project (part 1)

by Jamie Sanford on May 1, 2014

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

I’ve been aware of Kate Spade for ages, of course, but hadn’t checked out the website before. I visited back in January and ended up ordering a necklace for my Mom’s birthday. I had to wait to post until now because Mom only got the necklace last week.

Here we go!

I am in love with this website already. The branding is gorgeous and consistent. The photography is consistent as well, which is so exciting. At the bottom, there is a curated collection of Instagrams submitted to their #travelcolorfully hashtag, which I really like.

I check out the jewelry, and here’s the dropdown menu. All works for me.

Beautiful category results with consistent photography. I’m pretty sure they are shooting in-house.

I cruised over to the sale section next, since I didn’t see any jewelry with sale prices in the “all jewelry” category. I was sad to see that they sale items have been banished from the “regular” shopping areas, only to be found in “sale.”

Good product page – and I LOVE that the “final sale” warning is obvious in that pink font.

Back to the sale page, and I see this cute blue necklace. I scrolled over the image, and enjoyed this immediate glance at how long the necklace is, on a real person!

I’m even more intrigued when I get to the product page and see more photos, including one of the most darling gift box!

It is unfortunate that this page has more images of the product than there were on the last product page. Given the rest of this experience, I am surprised that every Kate Spade necklace does not receive the same photo treatment.

The box sells itself.

Add to the cart! I do sort of wish the “final sale” message was here, just in case I missed it.

It is pretty obvious in the cart though, which is great.

If you click “mark item as gift,” this helpful pop-up comes to help you. You can hide the price, and you can get a gift card included for free! This was totally charming.

Simple and clear in the cart.

Moving on to shipping. It’s great that there are multiple shipping options, but as always, I would appreciate some indication right here of how long orders take to ship after being placed online. A link to a map or more information about how long ground shipping takes to my location would also be a good addition.

So, I’m ready to check out. Everything is moving along and I’m just about to submit my order when I finally notice that the bar on the left is tabbed and there’s more information to be seen.

And so I finally get the informational page about shipping rates. This exists(!), so it definitely needs to be made available from a link right next to the dropdown I use to pick out my shipping method.  This feels like it was hidden.

This return information pop-up is great. Kate Spade isn’t kidding about this return policy, and I love that. Very clear.

I’m seeing the suggestion to create an account on the right there. I have not printed my order confirmation but hey, it’s cool, I will create my account. I did that, and then wasn’t able to go back. Sure, I got the email, but this could be handled in a smoother way so as not to load a new page where I can’t get back to my original order confirmation.

Very beautiful confirmation email, although with the same issue I had before – where I am not given any idea of what the time frame between my order being placed and shipping out will be, which is irritating.

All in all, the site is very lovely. It matches the brand so well, whoever is the brand czar over at Kate Spade is doing a great job. There are shopper experience issues that could be resolved with a few site changes, but overall, the experience was good. I will post the full score card for Kate Spade next week in part 2 of this Brand Experience post.

I’ll be back next week with a review of the packaging of my Kate Spade order. (Updated: click here for part 2!)

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Solestruck.com | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on February 21, 2013

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

First up in the Brand Experience project is Solestruck.com. I was introduced to Solestruck.com by Portland resident Shauna Haider of NubbyTwiglet.com. I quickly signed up for their email list and went on my way. It wasn’t until last September that I actually got around to buying anything, courtesy of a big sale on the site.

Shopper Experience

Solestruck.com is deceptively basic, but it is super clean and super user-friendly. When you sell shoes that are this interesting to look at, the best possible decision was to sit back and let the shoes be the star. The starkness of a white background with shoes presented flawlessly is perfect. I am assuming that Solestruck shoots all of their own product shots, because the consistency really cannot be faked. I have had lots of experience with product photography in the last few years so I can speak to this with some authority.

All of the shoes on the site have this level of shoe viewability. I would love to know statistics about purchase rates on items with different amounts of available photos.

I had absolutely no problems navigating the sections of the site. The main dropdown menus are clear and simple to navigate, and the filters for drilling down results to exactly what you are looking for worked without a hitch. I easily found all of the size 10 sale shoes I was looking for that day. I picked these:

Their name is Louis, they are by To Be Announced. they were down to under $40! (They are gone but Solestruck has similar shoes here.) Please note that I did not take the following screenshots during my initial purchase. I repeated the process so that I could share the screenshots here.

Checkout

The checkout is very much in line with the rest of the website. We start out in the first step of checkout, which shows the contents of my cart. I especially love that they have done the math for you at the bottom to tell you exactly how much you saved on this pair of sale-priced shoes.

Pretty standard progression through the process.

My info is blocked out, but I want to focus on the shipping method choices:

It’s great but I don’t see anything about turnaround time for order processing. Are the times meant to imply that processing time for my order is included?

I did not complete this purchase, but I do have my confirmation email from my last order.

All of my previous questions are answered with this lovely confirmation email. I am really impressed with the explanation of what exactly my new shoes will go through before being shipped to me. In addition, I get to feel good about supporting a small business.

So, I chose the free shipping option, and my shoes arrived a few days later. Let’s review the packaging!

Packaging

Branded box!

Another reason this is brilliant? How many of us get our items shipped to the office? How better to call attention to someone else reading the outside of the box than by making it interesting and a little bit entertaining?

Nicely packaged inside so that my shoe box isn’t flying all over the box on the long trip from Portland. Notice also that my packing list is nicely folded on top. This will come to matter more as I wrote more of these posts, because I’ve seen some hideously treated packing lists.

This rubber band is another simple gesture to make sure my shoes aren’t out of the box when they arrive.

Oh, what’s this at the bottom of the box?

Branded “shoe addict” adhesive bandages. This absolutely DELIGHTED me when I opened this up. I don’t know how costly it is to have custom bandages created, but this is so brilliant and completely appropriate. We all have had blisters from breaking shoes in before, so this is absolutely perfect. At the bottom of the box was a tiny little item that just made me an incredibly happy customer. Even better was that this was solely about Solestruck, and not about the shoes. I have only worn them once and am still trying to break them in, but I have the bandages sitting in my jewelry drawer and they always make me smile. Even if the shoes had not worked out (I could not have returned them since they were final sale), I would still be totally happy with my experience.

Time for the Brand Report Card.

Congratulations Solestruck.com. The bar for this project was set high, because it will not go as well for the websites coming up.

Please let me know if you have suggestions for future Brand Experience posts!

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