Cosmo fans know: when you’re craving that iconic pink and bubbly drink, nothing else will do. And why shouldn’t you be able to indulge at any given moment—even, say, during an international flight?
That was Olivia Lovenmark’s thinking at least. On a flight home to Vancouver from New York, she figured, “Somebody should bottle cosmopolitans.” Why not her? She created the company Coupe Beverages and launched Duchess Cosmo in November 2020.
The product is a classic cosmopolitan featuring 12% vodka, sparkling water, and real cranberry and lime juice. It’s not too sweet but packed with personality, like all the best cosmos are, and served in a striking custom bottle.
Lovenmark’s original plan was to focus on the wholesale market, supplying specialty liquor stores only. But then, of course, a global pandemic hit, so the company had to do what nearly every other company did in early 2020: pivot. They opened up an e-commerce platform to cater to individual cosmo fans.
With this pivot, the company had a new set of packaging needs. That’s where Great Little Box Company/ Ideon Packaging (GLBC) stepped in.
From the start, Duchess’ extremely stylish branding was an essential part of the strategy. Olivia knew that helping consumers to see Duchess as a lifestyle-enhancing product would secure brand fans and repeat orders. The Duchess bottle had to look as elegant and iconic as the Chanel candle or Vogue magazine it might sit beside on a coffee table.
So, when GLBC was tasked with creating 4 pack/8 pack/24 pack shipper boxes as well as a 4 pack carrier, the challenge was clear. We had to make all the packaging look as stylish and high-end as the bottle. When customers ordered online, they had to get a package that wowed them, that made them feel they had made a truly premium choice.
To get the results Duchess needed, we printed the carriers and boxes first, then created a custom colour match to print the shippers in the exact same pink tone. After all, it’s all about the pink. It can be challenging to maintain total colour cohesion between different substrates but producing elements that are even subtly different can hurt the visual impact. Ensuring an absolutely seamless colour match was key to preserving the premium status of the Duchess brand.
Furthermore, we designed the 4 pack carriers to go inside the 24 pack shippers to create protective partitions between the bottles. This helped with volumes in the carrier, positively impacting the unit price.
As always, the litmus test for premium brand success is how enthusiastically customers will share their packaging experience online. Fortunately, the results are in for Duchess, and they’re as positive as can be. Customers are posting pictures of the pink packaging and they’re even keeping their 4 pack boxes because they say that “the box is too cute to throw out!”
GLBC’s approach to Duchess’ packaging needs has helped the company to:
- Increase competitiveness: by designing the carriers and shippers to work together, we helped reduce the unit price, making the Duchess Cosmo a more competitive product
- Maximize marketing investment: by driving online sharing, Duchess’ reach has expanded exponentially
It’s hard to imagine facing a challenge like growing a brand-new company during COVID-19. We’re incredibly proud of Olivia and Coupe Beverages for pulling it off.
Nothing is more gratifying than seeing social media posts from Duchess Cosmo fans who have fallen in love with the branding—and the packaging that helps express it. That’s the sign of an e-commerce product with the power to be a sustainable success. Kudos, Duchess Cosmo!