While Facebook has largely taken over from postcards as the favoured means of making people jealous of your holiday, you can't eat a humblebrag. Enter Cookie Time's Postcard Cookies, which combine a bit of showing off with delicious biscuits.
Available from the newly refurbished Queenstown Cookie Muncher Cookie Bar or the new online store cookiebar.co.nz, buyers can send one Cookie Time biscuit in a postcard style box with a personal message to almost anywhere in the world for $8.50. At first it's just the classic chocolate on offer, but the range will be expanded in the next ten days to offer two sizes of cookie across four flavours. It's also available in four designs—two with a standard Cookie Muncher character and two with a Christmas Cookie Muncher."
In a similar vein to Cadbury's personalised Roses by You e-commerce platform, personalised messages can be added to the Postcard Cookie. At this stage, it's not clear where to put the message when ordering online, but Cookie Time's Kareen Floyd says people are managing to do it, and as it's meant to be a true postcard experience, if people order without a message one of the team goes back and checks if they would like to add one (she says it's currently in the process of simplifying the ordering process further).
"What makes the Postcard Cookie unique is the ability to send the personal message on the box. Anything you want so long as it's not offensive, and people have embraced this. There's been funny messages about sharing a taste of New Zealand - 'put this in your crockpot with your jandals' through to the more serious 'I hope you can forgive me for what I did' (what this was was not specified)."
It was an eight week project to develop the Postcard Cookie and create and stock the online store plus sort all postal, pack and send logistics. And Floyd says so far nearly 500 of them have been posted to New Zealand and international destinations, and there have been more than 400 other online products ordered online.
The website was built by Fluid, a Queenstown based web company.
Currently a Postcard Cookie can be sent to any country in the world except Costa Rica and Israel and Cookie Time is continuing to investigate how to meet food restriction regulations for these countries.
Cookie Time says it's a world-first use of NZ Post’s international airmail distribution networks. And the launch of cookiebar.co.nz to get a slice of the international market follows the opening of a licensed Cookie Muncher Cookie Bar in Harajuku, Tokyo in February. Another Japanese store is in the pipeline, and a Malaysian business partner is in discussions on opening a store there.
Cookie Time director Guy Pope-Mayell says the compant has been looking for an efficient way to export its freshly baked product for a number of years.
"We have been fielding international customer demand for many years but finding suitable importers and exporters in a global context, plus managing shelf life for product shipping, have proved to be significant barriers. The breakthrough was focusing our initiative on one small individual product, effectively creating a small parcel to tap into the NZ Post international airmail pipeline. Best of all there are no shelf life issues, so that someone in the UK can be eating a cookie from the same batch at the same time as someone in New Zealand is picking one up at the local dairy."
The online store also has new formats and flavours of cookies available, plus cookie-related gifts. The ever-popular seasonal gift range includes Cookie Muncher Christmas buckets in 1L and jumbo 4L sizes in two new flavours, salted caramel and dark chocolate caramel, as well as the classics. Gluten-free options are also available. All the online product is packed and sent from Queenstown, where Cookie Muncher has been running rampant recently and where a ‘Cookie Post’ shop has also been set up instore.
Elsewhere in the land of postage, New Zealand Post has created a new product called AdCard to help fill up the nation's increasingly barren letterboxes.
"Your DM material no longer needs to be just ink on paper, it can be a personalised postcard and it can be an enticing piece of collateral to engage your senses," says a release. "Imagine when you receive your mail and inside was a postcard that had the enticing aroma of freshly made coffee. That’s what makes mail different. It can let your customers and prospects use all their senses. The only limitation to your advertising is your creativity, creating great cut through for your messaging and it can work really well with your other campaign media choices to help increase response."
"With the launch of the AdCard product we have a market opportunity to provide a ‘one stop shop’ to help New Zealand businesses find customers, activate an offer into the market and then analyse the campaign results," says Sohail Choudhry, executive general manager eCommerce, customer solutions, strategy, sales and marketing.
AdCard comes in two sizes as a medium or large postcard and the delivery and return address placements are flexible, allowing for more space to promote your business.
While mail volumes are dropping, direct mail is growing. And, as NZ Post says, it continues to be an effective marketing tool with many businesses using it to successfully supplement their advertising campaigns. In research commissioned by New Zealand Post about direct mail effectiveness, it was found that 71 percent of respondents thought addressed direct mail improved the success of their campaign when they considered effectiveness and efficiency, and 85 percent of respondents rated their direct mail campaigns as successful or very successful when building brand equity.