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Thread: Packaging

  1. #21
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    Re: Packaging

    It goes both ways - I agree that for most of us that drink our bottles, the packaging is a second thought... But even for me there are some I like to keep: I kept my ORVW23 box/glasses/decanter after finishing it because it's just a nice package - the Karuizawa almost falls into this category (not because of how nice the box is but) because this is likely most whisky-consuming Americans' chance at getting something from this distillery. The NOH masks are stunningly beautiful and I can see why people would want the Karuizawa packages.

    Driscoll helped create the hype (although not much fuel is needed for this particular fire) - I don't think it is too much for customers to want the boxes in the first place. If it was damaged and people ask for replacement boxes, what's the big deal if customers are will pay for the shipping / hassle of getting them out? Yeah it's a hassle and KL is mitigating this by not providing packages for their exclusive expressions - great! Expectations set going forward...

    Does it really matter when it's all said and done? Probably not but the fact that Driscoll's personal bias against what he views as silly consumer conceit for wanting packages is off putting (though I can sympathize with any retailer having to deal with difficult/*nal customers).
    ¡Geaux Tigers! - ¡Visca el Barça!

    "Really though, my hands are sore. The tool was doing it's thing with a flex hose." -Barrel_Proof

  2. #22
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    Re: Packaging

    Quote Originally Posted by ChainWhip View Post

    Driscoll helped create the hype (although not much fuel is needed for this particular fire) - I don't think it is too much for customers to want the boxes in the first place. If it was damaged and people ask for replacement boxes, what's the big deal if customers are will pay for the shipping / hassle of getting them out? Yeah it's a hassle and KL is mitigating this by not providing packages for their exclusive expressions - great! Expectations set going forward...
    .
    These are all great responses. Thanks to those of you commenting here in this chain. It's a great help to see all the views of the customer perspective, which is why I write the rather provocative blog posts to begin with -- to garner response and use that response to start a dialogue.

    Here are some things we should clear up though: at no point do I ever complain about having to ship people their boxes. My issue is when we ship people their boxes and then that still not being enough. I don't know what else to do at that point. Most often, the cardboard box that surrounds the Lagavulin 16 bottle is dented and torn before it ever gets to K&L. A few hours on the delivery truck is enough to make that happen. Every bottle of Karuizawa that I handled shipped with the original cardboard box folded into the shipper. I went over and folded everyone of them myself. Not every box came to us, however, without a scratch or a dent, so when some customers got their boxes some were upset that the label wasn't perfect or that there was a tear on the side. My overall point, in essence, is that our efforts to provide people with packaging is creating customer service issues surrounding the packaging. People wanted it and we wanted to give it to them. When we started doing it, however, it didn't necessarily solve anything, but rather opened up a can of worms about its condition.

    Should we suck it up and do what the customer wants? Absolutely! I wholeheartedly agree with those if you who say K&L is in the high-end retailer business and we need to cater to that demand if we want to be involved with it. That was my own argument to K&L ownership last year. I spent the better part of 2012 in the owner's office, in the shipping department, and in my customer service manager's cubicle, lobbying to create software that would allow us to put "gift boxes" in the item code and allow online customers to decide if they wanted the packaging or not. It took a lot of work and money to make that happen, and now today if you shop online at K&L and order a bottle of Bruichladdich, you'll have the option to add the "gift box" or tin along with it. This happened because the customers wanted it and I worked hard to see that it happened. This isn't the issue, however -- the fact that people want the tin. The issue is that when they get the tin, the tin isn't in perfect shape. Maybe the UPS guy dropped it on the truck, maybe it got crushed under another box, or maybe it was dented before it left. Maybe it never came with a tin when we got it!

    This is where it gets even more complicated. Some whiskies now ship in 6-packs with three bottles in a tin and three bottles without a tin. Who gets the tin and who doesn't in this situation? If someone's Karuizawa box got damaged, should I take a box away from someone else's order and leave them without one? There are no extra boxes at K&L, only the ones that are on other bottles of whisky. If we replace one, then it's coming at the expense of someone else. But these are trivial matters, really.

    In the end, the point is that, in my opinion, the obsession with packaging is part of what's driving the market (or maybe the market it what's driving the obsession with packaging). We complain about higher prices, but it's all related to this. Whether you want the box or not, no one's looking to pass judgement, but rather call it what it is: some people simply obsess about packaging. The only reason to get upset about that is if you think that's a bad thing. My issue isn't the obsession, but when the obsession becomes a little unreasonable. You wanted the whisky, we got you the whisky. You wanted the box, we got you the box. Beyond that I don't know what else I can do.

    The blog is written from a retailer's perspective and it is this retailer's perspective that life would be easier without boxes! I don't think it's pompous to talk about these things or to show a little of your own opinion. We're all people and we have all have different ways of looking at things. That's why this board exists, right?

  3. #23
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    Re: Packaging

    What's sillier than a blog entry on how hard it is to deal with customers who expect what they bought to arrive at their doorstep in good condition? An entire thread on such a blog entry in an internet forum.




    bibamus, moriendum est
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  4. #24
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    Re: Packaging

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post
    What's sillier than a blog entry on how hard it is to deal with customers who expect what they bought to arrive at their doorstep in good condition? An entire thread on such a blog entry in an internet forum.
    Yeah, but what's sillier than a post on a thread in an internet forum about a blog entry on how hard it is to deal with customers who expect what they bought to arrive at their doorstep in good condition?

    A picture of a post on a thread in an internet forum about a blog entry on how hard it is to deal with customers who expect what they bought to arrive at their doorstep in good condition!

    photo.JPG

  5. #25
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    Re: Packaging

    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Manthey View Post
    Yeah, but what's sillier than a post on a thread in an internet forum about a blog entry on how hard it is to deal with customers who expect what they bought to arrive at their doorstep in good condition?

    A picture of a post on a thread in an internet forum about a blog entry on how hard it is to deal with customers who expect what they bought to arrive at their doorstep in good condition!

    photo.JPG
    He's doing anything to keep himself occupied so he doesn't think too much about his fantasy football matchup this week.

  6. #26
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    Re: Packaging

    Quote Originally Posted by David D View Post
    These are all great responses. Thanks to those of you commenting here in this chain. It's a great help to see all the views of the customer perspective, which is why I write the rather provocative blog posts to begin with -- to garner response and use that response to start a dialogue.
    If this were really the case, then why not allow customer comments on your blog? Is it easier to level criticism when a direct retort, or even dialogue, is not allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post
    What's sillier than a blog entry on how hard it is to deal with customers who expect what they bought to arrive at their doorstep in good condition? An entire thread on such a blog entry in an internet forum.
    Josh, I that might answer your (rhetorical) question about why it is here.
    Last edited by LostBottle; 10-09-2013 at 13:44.

  7. #27
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    Re: Packaging

    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Manthey View Post
    Yeah, but what's sillier than a post on a thread in an internet forum about a blog entry on how hard it is to deal with customers who expect what they bought to arrive at their doorstep in good condition?

    A picture of a post on a thread in an internet forum about a blog entry on how hard it is to deal with customers who expect what they bought to arrive at their doorstep in good condition!

    photo.JPG
    touche.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti View Post
    He's doing anything to keep himself occupied so he doesn't think too much about his fantasy football matchup this week.
    What can I say? My usual mid-season nose-dive is starting early this year!
    bibamus, moriendum est
    Sipology Blog

  8. #28
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    Re: Packaging

    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Manthey View Post
    I think the underlying root of the problem is what he addressed in the final paragraph. Just get rid of the additional packaging. It shouldn't even be part of the equation, and it just makes whiskey more expensive at the consumer level. It makes sense to package something in a box if there are glasses or a flask or some other tchotchke included, but otherwise it's just a waste of materials. This sort of thing is rampant in the Scotch whiskey realm, and I really hope it doesn't bleed over into the American market. Wild Turkey is probably the worst offender off the top of my head.
    I agree completely. Sick to death of all those boxes and tubes, which I chuck in the trash/recycle anyway. Some may argue about $300 Scotch packaging, but what is added to OGD114 by using that silly box? It's wasteful.

    Wasteful in the same way it's wasteful for Josh to hope Detroit wins the Central Division.(Yeah, I said Central.)

  9. #29
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    Re: Packaging

    I appreciate David D's post showing he can take a punch, we do discuss his blog here a bit.

    When Hancocks Reserve came out in the round wooden box my young son appropriated it for his toy soldiers then asked me to buy another for the opposing army and that's the sum total of use I have for Bourbon packaging.

    If I could afford $400+ for a bottle I would instead be buying a barrel and inviting my friends along to pick it out.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  10. #30
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    Re: Packaging

    I liked David's post. I think the focus on the decoration and presentation of high-end whiskies all too often represents more effort than went into making or tasting the whisky inside. We've all tasted high-end whiskies that when tasted blind aren't all that interesting (cough, Dalmores, cough, Signet) but sure do have great packaging. The recent fetishization of packaging is a distraction, in my mind, from the whisky inside. I'd gladly pay less for a bottle with a simple label than pay more for the same whisky in a fancy package. @WhiteDog is spot on - why the heck does OGD114 come in cardboard box? That being said I'm human and I still have my nice velvet Pappy bags.

 

 

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