Wipe a Nose. Build a Brand.

By BKV in Design on July 13th, 2011

For the savvy marketer...

even product packaging can become a platform for branding.

Nobody seems to understand this better than the folks at Trader Joe’s. Their store brands personify their positioning: affordable, witty, gourmet-on-a-shoestring.

Consider, for example, their 75-count box of store brand tissue. Far from simply being a plain Jane box of 2-ply relief, Trader Joe’s elevates this lowly item to loyalty builder.

Every side of the box beguiles with a charming message from the tissue itself.


“I’m there when you’re sick. Feel better, Tissue.”


“I’m there when you need to pick up icky things. Kindly, Tissue.”

“I’m there when you’re sad. Love, Tissue.”

And my personal favorite, “I’m there when you run out of toilet paper. You’re welcome, Tissue.”


Even the top of the box sports a playful appeal. “Please don’t leave me in your pocket when you do laundry!”

Married with vintage illustrations, the result is the most engaging box of paper hankies you’re likely to find anywhere.

It’s impossible to look at this box of tissue and not smile, or at least note the humor and care Trader Joe’s has taken to turn what would otherwise be a generic package into a chance to solidify my relationship with their brand. In an unexpected way, they’ve made a box of tissue my friend.

It didn’t take any more money. The box would have been printed anyway. (Think Kleenex contemporary graphics in their rainbow of décor-worthy shades.) But because Trader Joe’s used imagination and forethought, they’ve successfully leveraged tissue to their advantage.


Hats off to Trader Joe’s for shining a bit of sunshine into an otherwise dreary product category!