How a cardboard box became marketing magic
Fast Company|March - April 2020
THELMA’S TREATS DELIVERS ITS BAKED GOODS FRESH FROM THE “OVEN”

One of the paradoxes of our high-tech world is the humble cardboard box. Most end their life being dutifully placed in the recycling bin. But savvy mass-market brands (Apple, Target, Beats head phones) have turned the boxes that contain their products into objects of desire and fascination in their own right by investing in package design, thereby reinforcing their brands along the way.

You don’t have to be a corporate behemoth to achieve this effect, however. Case in point: Thelma’s Treats, a bakery that delivers warm, fresh-baked cookies in Des Moines, Iowa. When Dereck Lewis founded the business in 2012, he didn’t have a big marketing budget. So he decided to invest in a memorable packaging experience. “We were brainstorming, and we said, ‘What would be the most logical shape for a box of warm cookies?’ ” Lewis recalls. “And it was obvious: Duh! An oven!”

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