Imagine if you could send direct mail to your customers at a time chosen by them, with a product almost guaranteed to capture their attention, creativity and tastes. Imagine that you could schedule this around their calendar, dropping your clients weekly, bi-weekly or monthly packages at the times most convenient to them - full of information about your business, alongside calls to increase their involvement with your brand. Imagine if, on top of all of this, you could get them to pay for this privilege.
From snacks, craft supplies and beers to CDs, socks and make-up samples, subscription box services are uncovering new corners of the market; popular enough to be successful, yet new enough to spark that invaluable feeling of novelty. 'I smell better than a boring bill', boasts the packaging of Pact, a London-based coffee supplier that engages customers with brewing tips and tales of their travels to meet the world's best coffee farmers. Graze, a US company with its own heartening tale of growth from a 'friend's spare room' to becoming a household brand, turned weekly assortment boxes of almonds, granola and crackers into sales of £68 million in 2014 alone. With a close ear to its customers, Graze employs a user-friendly rating service to ensure that subscribers get regular deliveries of the kind of product that will keep them coming back for more.
Savvy businesses are catching onto this method quickly, using lessons from subscription companies to challenge the assumption that customers prefer one-off purchases. Amazon now offers 'Subscribe & Save' incentives on nappies, bin liners, protein drinks and razors - paving the way for the e-commerce giant's monopoly over those easy to forget essentials. Tesco, too, has learnt from the subscription box method; rewarding customers, who commit to regular deliveries, with a more affordable service.
It's one thing to get clients to invest in your brand, but quite another to place your product right into the heart of a customer's lifestyle - but whatever your service, by considering the subscription box model, you could easily do just that.