In the age of social media, consumers want to support the brands they see as being an extension of their own values. By building a community around your brand and engaging in co-creation with your own customers, you can set yourself up for long-term success as an online retailer. For Sarah and Lorcan Quinn of Enrich & Endure, it’s a joint passion for sustainability and craftsmanship that is the cornerstone of their brand’s success. They tell us about the importance of the handwritten note, and how their custom tissue paper helped to establish their identity within the delivery experience.
“We are a brother and sister duo making Irish Linen aprons for creative people! Five years ago, we had the vision to help revive the Irish Linen industry by creating practical, functional and beautiful products for the home. However, we are both very passionate about food and cooking and so were continuously being pulled towards this sector. We began by collaborating with coffee shops and restaurants to create customized aprons for their teams. We now make aprons for people at home in their kitchen or creatives in the studio, as well as for restaurants and cafes all over the world!”
Crafting a sustainable product
Creating a sustainable product from scratch is always a challenge, especially for new brands. It requires having oversight on every step of the supply chain, and not succumbing to the temptation to cut corners in design or manufacturing. The process was made easier for Sarah and Lorcan, as their Northern Irish town is the traditional home of the Irish linen industry. With experienced manufacturers just miles away from their base, they have been able to craft a long-lasting product to the highest standards:
“We have been very conscious of sustainability at Enrich & Endure - it's kind of where our brand name came from. We wanted to create products that not only 'Enrich' but also 'Endure'. We wanted to make things that are long-lasting and hard-wearing, yet practical and beautiful. That's why we use Irish Linen. Linen is one of the most sustainable fabrics in the world. Flax is easily grown, using little water and next to zero chemicals. Our town is famous for its Irish Linen heritage so we wanted to make use of this incredible resource right on our doorstep. We keep our manufacturing as local as possible. Where we get the fabric from is an 8-minute drive from our office and the aprons are made a mere further 12minutes away! We are proud to work so locally and to be fully immersed in the production side of our business. By using such quality materials we can be confident our products will last. We often get asked can we make a cheaper alternative in poly-cotton or cotton but neither of these are anywhere near as sustainable as linen, so we simply stick true to our roots.”
Crafting a unique brand identity
Creating a brand identity around a product is tough in the age of eCommerce, even when the product in question has a unique manufacturing story. The level of saturation within online marketplaces has made it harder than ever to stand out on those merits alone. Creating a community around your brand that empowers customers is the key to success as a small business. By uniting customers around an interest that your business helps to fulfill, you add a sense of value that far outlasts the buying journey.
Sarah and Lorcan have designed aprons for every kind of creative, from florists to baristas and bartenders. Providing a platform for artisans and makers across the world was a way to express the very essence of Enrich & Endure:
“Our brand means everything to us - it's not just our visible branding in terms of our logo or website. It's the tone of voice in our handwritten notes, the communication with the community of people who wear our aprons - it's our product and our team. We have always said our mantra or ethos is our company name (that's actually why we called the business Enrich & Endure). We strive to make products that enrich the lives of the people who use them, and that will endure for years to come. We try to bring these three words into our everyday lives and lifestyle choices through positive attitudes, fitness, work, and family. We try to inspire people to be creative and get their apron on and their hands dirty - this is our mission. We share our 'aprons in action' on social media to build a community of like-minded people who are excited and happy to be a part of what we do and our brand.”
For Sarah and Lorcan, custom tissue paper offered them the ability to extend their branding to every part of the customer experience, and provide a reminder of their commitment to quality and high craftsmanship:
“Our logo is a little linnet bird - it is a line drawing that subtly hints at the traditional Celtic style of art. The linnet bird is a local bird that would have fed on the flaxseed of the linen crop. We always say our little linnet logo is our stamp of approval. It nestles in the corner of every apron we make and is a big part of our brand identity. We really wanted to wrap our aprons in that symbol, so we were delighted when we came across you guys because the design process was so easy. We are already planning our next colour combinations!”
For more about great ways to use your logo as eCommerce business, check out our blog!
Crafting a memorable delivery experience
For online brands, the moment of delivery is a really important opportunity for post-purchase marketing. The final impression that a customer has of your brand is crucial to whether they will purchase from you again, or recommend you to others! Channeling an attractive unboxing experience into your delivery is a fantastic way to show how much you value your customers.
The delivery experience plays a huge role within the world of Enrich & Endure. As Sarah and Lorcan explain, it’s attention to detail within the fulfillment process that makes their brand unique:
“When you are ordering an apron off our website there is an option to write a personal note - these are handwritten postcards that come wrapped with the apron. Before any apron goes out, we take it off the shelf and iron it (this is our way of casting our eye over every detail for quality control). Then it is neatly folded and wrapped in our custom tissue paper, sealed with a sticker. If you don't choose to write a gift note, we'll write one to you anyway to thank you for your order. Going forward, we are going to include little recipe cards to inspire our customers to wear their aprons and get creative!”
“We chose noissue after coming across the custom tissue paper on social media - we just loved the personality and style of the whole brand. We had so much fun designing our tissue and can't wait to create another pattern for round two! A large portion of our aprons are bought as gifts, so having funky paper to tear into adds to that purchase/delivery experience. We are starting to see people opening their apron box/package and documenting the experience on social media to comment on how much they love it, which is amazing for us to see.”
Want to learn more about how packaging can lift your social media game? Check it out here!