Shopper Marketing and Customer Experience Management

we believe it takes an inspiring story to make people buy

BUYSTORIES work – life of a shoe box

Story of a shoebox
“Someone I have never met put in a lot of effort in designing me. I was born in a factory with a lot of other boxes that were looked identical to me. I travelled a lot to miles sometime to another country to reach a godown where they made me a 3 dimensional object from the flat form that I had always had. They pasted a sticker on me, they call it a barcode. The barcode had a price and I soon realized that wasn’t my cost. I was free with the shoes that are placed inside this 3 dimensional object that I had become. They I am made to sit at the back of the store. When someone select the shoes I am used, put in a bag and go to someone’s home. And that is when my life ends. The shoes go out and sit in a shoe cabinet and I am thrown away.”

It is true, people do not keep what has no utility, especially when it comes without a cost.
Businesses cannot charge the customer for a shoe box, but while working on a shoe brand I wondered why one could not extend the life of a shoebox.
For a brand like Timberland that stands on the strong platform of caring for the environment by recycling could work on this insight – extending the life od a shoebox was the right thing to do.

timberland india

We took the box and did a little craft exercise. The shoebox could very simply be made into a CD rack, a magazine holder, a tissue box, a jewelry box, and a hand bag.  There you go, now the shoebox also had utility. We crafted communication giving simple steps to convert the shoebox into each of these utility items and placed the communication in the box for each shoe that was sold.



  • Life of a shoebox was identified as a potential story.
  • Core narrative stayed with the brand story of caring for the environment. Recycle your shoebox just like we recycle materials to use in the shoes we make.
  • Quality crafting the story in the most engaging manner
  • It is a story worth retelling, esp. when the utility object is spotted in the living room

This initiative was executed as part of the larger narrative of product story – use of recycled material, CSR initiative – we plant a tree in your name and it when thank you when it bears fruits, customer feedback mechanism – that could be reused and more.

2 comments on “BUYSTORIES work – life of a shoe box

  1. Karishma Attari
    May 21, 2013

    I like this story because every body wins!

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