A recent study revealed that subscription businesses are growing revenues nine times faster than S&P 500 company revenues, and four times faster than US retail sales over 15 consecutive quarters. As entrepreneurs who deliver subscriptions, subscription box founders are not just running a business they are the engine behind a whole new economy -- The Subscription Economy.  Subscription box shopping has grown by leveraging digitally-centered and social media driven lifestyle of their customer, who love the mystery and surprise of unboxing something new every month.

But what does it take to be successful in this new economy? The subscription box business model is anchored on recurring fees, keeping the contents it curates fresh, limiting churn, and connecting with their customer in a whole new way.  Add onto that new boxes coming online everyday with products ranging from food to fashion, trying to rise your brand above the others in a crowded field can prove to be difficult, but not impossible. 

In distinguishing you box above others it is important to understand how people found you in the first and why they subscribed. 

The subscription box is not just one product it is 5+ products packaged in a single box. So instead of promoting the products, promote the lifestyle.

  • Define your niche.
  • Build your story. Help the consumer come along on your journey and be a part of what you are trying to accomplish.
  • Create the content or a library of assets such as images, video, trends and tips and then plug that content into an editorial calendar to match the news cycle, trending issues and key events. For example, each box should have its own media strategy.
  • Identify the influencers (Social, Media) and start developing relationships with them, perhaps engage them to help promote your box. 
  • Retain a freelance journalist to contribute articles to select publications and sites.
  • Collaborate with like-minded SubBox Cos. to create a package for television around an event or theme.  Ex. Father’s Day, graduation and other events and holidays
  • Try to leverage your clients, or the products we find in your box, to help promote the box and create co-branded content, through tips and leveraging their social media media channels.

My marketing advice to subscription box companies

While we wait for traditional media to catch up to the explosion of subscription boxes in the marketplace, subscription box companies should continue to invest in influencer marketing and find the right mix of people to promote their boxes on Instagram, You Tube and Twitter.

Subscription box companies should seek out and partner with complimentary subscription boxes to currate its own content to promote around holidays and in gift guides, for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Graduation, and other holidays.

At the same time, subscription box founders should share their business journey.  How did you get here?  Why did you create this box? What are the events that led to you "aha" moment and help me in my business to apply the lessons your learned to improve my own business. 

Finally, subscription box companies must leverage their own media assets, their website and social media to develop deeper relatinships with other infuenncers.  Not so much in selling a box, but promoting a lifestyle and building a community to unbox together.