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Mace & Crown | July 26, 2017

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Startup Company Offers Socially-Conscious Consumers Artisan Boxes

Startup Company Offers Socially-Conscious Consumers Artisan Boxes
Jason Kazi
Staff Writer

Launched in 2012, San Francisco-based startup company GlobeIn is taking a new approach to monthly subscription boxes, which have become recent, trendy gift. Popular companies like Dollar Shave Club and Try the World raised subscription company sales on Cyber Monday by 83 percent from 2014 to 2015. GlobeIn joins the market providing consumers with handmade gifts from around the world in their signature GlobeIn artisan box.

The company works with artisans from over 40 countries around the world to curate their monthly themed boxes. Recent boxes have included “The Kitchen Box,” “The Wander Box,” and “The Laundry Box.”

Many subscription companies like GlobeIn partner with artisans and fair trade organizations to provide customers with crafts and products, however, GlobeIn has a leg up on the competition with their curation process. Each box has a central theme with items which can be used together for the same purpose. The company works closely with bloggers and social media users to help spread the word.

Liza Moiseeva is a graduate from Old Dominion University’s Strome College of Business, having completed her master’s in business administration in the fall of 2014. She currently works as the marketing director for GlobeIn in San Francisco, California.

Moiseeva said what really sets apart GlobeIn from competitors is their unique approach to customer service and product marketing. The company’s artisan box curator conducts online research to see what customers want and need and attends fair trade conferences across the country.

“Our main channel of marketing is affiliate marketing, by which I mean that we pay food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, YouTubers and Pinteresters to review product boxes by doing unboxing videos,” Moiseeva said. “Customers like to e-mail us because of our quality customer service. Facebook and Instagram are also both big ways of getting feedback. We also do customer surveys on a monthly basis. There are only six questions in each survey. They also have a comment field where they can provide us with more detailed feedback.”

Most of the artisans making the products don’t speak English, but fortunately many of the company’s staff understand foreign languages. There country managers who manage the artisans in a specific country. They partner with organizations and companies with contacts on the ground. For example in Morocco, the company works with the Peace Corps.

While 90 percent of the products in GlobeIn boxes geared towards women, they often share products with their families. The company is potentially expanding into the area of children’s subscription boxes. Many customers are already making GlobeIn a family ritual by opening the boxes together and reading the story of the artisan who created the product to their children.

GlobeIn understands Americans’ budgets are tight. They provide a generic code for all new customers, which allows them to receive 25 percent off a new three or six month subscription. They also sometimes offer unique deals to current customers.

GlobeIn has partnered with a number of courses offered through the Strome College of Business at ODU, including marketing principles and problems, advertising portfolio and consumer behavior.

Students taking these business courses at ODU have the opportunity to be involved with the strategy-planning process at GlobeIn.

“Towards the end of the semester, [students] are given the opportunity to apply newly acquired knowledge from the course material into suggesting new business practices for GlobeIn by finding ways the company can better market themselves toward the ‘mindful consumer’. The student who creates the best marketing plan with this idea in mind, is awarded a three month subscription to the artisan boxes,” Girish Sreevatsan Nandakumar, consumer behavior course instructor, said.

GlobeIn offers three different tiers of subscriptions: a three month subscription for $38 per month (or a one-time charge of $114), a six month subscription for $35 per month (or a one-time charge of $210) and a twelve month subscription for $35 month (or a one-time charge of $240). Their online shop also allows interested customers purchase stand-alone gift items.