Today while deleting a deluge of impersonal copy and paste marketing e-mails asking me to 'stay safe', (like they give a hoot) the doorbell suddenly rang. A young man on the intercom said he couldn't hand the package to me personally but he'd leave it on the doorstep. He said it was from WaiWai and he thanked me for the purchase.
The 100% non plastic recallable packaging containing solid shampoo and soap came with a delightful message inside: "Hi, I'm a WaiWai box. Inside me you can find products that are good for you and good for the planet. I'm just a humble box but I contribute my tiny part to making our habits more sustainable."
This modest message that didn't over claim the company's impact and added a small amount of delight that cut through the BS messages bombarded at us daily. It's welcoming to see a brand realise that we're not going to save the world just by buying non plastic goods but recognises it does play a part in the bigger picture.
Personifying the box and giving it a personality also added a bit of humour to the interaction. This warm, human tone of voice helps people connect with the brand and see it as a person rather than an anonymous message written by a copywriter from a marketing agency.
The messaging on the inside of the box is also fantastic. It says; "Thanks to this hair conditioner you have saved 2X 200ml plastic bottles." This has the effect of speaking directly to the person, using the personal pronoun 'you', rather than just 'this box'. It shows the impact or direct benefit you have made, making you feel like you have made a positive impact. This speaks to their audience who identify with buying products that are not made from plastic and are more sustainable. They understand that people buy brands that reinforce their identity and outlook on life.
It's easy for people to dismiss the whole sustainable movement as not being affective or as simple greenwashing, especially when brands overstate their impact. Even worse is if a brand is disingenuous about what they are doing to improve their commitment to protect the environment.
H&M have been criticised for greenwashing over the use of 'environmentally friendly materials' while still pushing the ideals of fastfashion which are incompatible with sustainability.
If this current crisis has taught us anything, it is that we don't need to consume at the rate we did and no amount of dubious messaging about how green a company is will help. If brands want to be taken seriously they have to be true to their values and make difficult decisions about their future. Maybe this crisis will nudge people to consume more responsibly and invest more in ideas like the circular economy, that has a smaller impact on the environment and helps reduce the exodus of wealth to the privileged minority.
If you'd like to see some of our brand messaging and packaging, take a look at the brand we created for Pastora.