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I am a fan of good design. One thing in particular that I like is really well-designed packaging material. Apple is, of course, at the top of the list for this; I think I would appreciate the packaging even if I wasn’t an Apple fangirl. This week at work I’ve had the joy of unboxing two delicious Apple products, a new 15-inch MacBook Pro and a 27-inch Thunderbolt Apple Display. It makes me pretty excited to know that my employer values me (and my potential) so much that they are willing to invest in me like this, and to make my workspace such a joy to use.

Here is my shiny new set up:

(No I don’t really sit here looking at myself all day.)

And part of the joy was actually unpacking the items from their snug cocoons, peeling off the glossy protective plastic, seeing the screens unsmudged (probably for the last time ever).

Today I got a parcel in the post from T2, and I think we might have a packaging contender.

I like T2 tea but don’t often buy it because of the cost. When I do get it, I enjoy going to the stores, smelling and sampling the blends, coveting the teapots and cups and generally soaking up the highly art-directed ambience. Everything is black and orange and designed to feel premium and luxurious.

Lucky me, I got given a gift voucher, and decided to use it online (as I don’t seem to get to the shops much anymore, since going back to work full time). My usual experience of online shopping is that you get things sent in a postage bag, and if you’re really lucky, depending on the kind of shop you’re buying from, you might get  a sweet note or a free sample or something. My parcel of tea, however, impressed me to the point of writing a blog post about it, which is pretty odd really. Even the gift card itself felt fancy:

The parcel arrived in a black postage satchel. Inside that was a matte-finish black box, embossed with the T2 logo and held closed with magnets.

Inside that was a whole bunch of black tissue paper, a T2 promotional booklet, and two sample packets of tea (Girlie Grey and Morning Red, for the curious).

And then finally, nestled below all that and wrapped in bubble wrap and more black tissue paper, were my tins and box of tea (French Earl Grey, Chai and Gorgeous Geisha).

Yes, it’s just tea! But the process of opening the package made the purchase feel as special as if I had gone into one of their shops. It made me appreciate how much attention to detail and thinking through the whole user experience matters when you want to engage with people.

I can’t exactly apply those same principles to my work, as I don’t sell products. But one of my tasks is to think about promoting and protecting the brand of our organisation. Those who have the same task at T2 have obviously nailed it.