Founded by entrepreneur and frustrated contact lens wearer Shaun Polovin in 2018, Dimple has grown in its short life to be one of the best-known optical dispensers in Australia. In their own words, Dimple’s founders were “tired of big pharma markups and outdated retail models.”
Dimple’s mission is to provide a solution for contact-wearers with busy lifestyles that require an easy, affordable and no-fuss way to, well, see. They want to take the thought process out of the equation completely and bring Australians the best dailies at an affordable price.
Although subscription contact lenses are nothing new, Dimple is the first Australian brand to use it as its primary sales model. Dimple operates on a no-contract, ‘set and forget’ subscription model, where customers supply their prescription, choose their preferred frequency of deliveries (every four, six or eight weeks), and basically never forget to order their lenses again. Customers can easily change, pause or opt-out of their subscription whenever they please.
Packaging is integral to Dimple’s service, with each individual lens supplied in a colour-coded blister pack to cater to those who have different prescriptions for each eye, and take the guesswork out of determining which is which. Orders come packaged in colourful, wider, flatter boxes than traditional contact lens boxes (which are smaller for optometrists’ convenience) to fit the monthly subscription neatly inside standard letterboxes and also to avoid the textbook mess of them spilling out off the vanity and onto the bathroom floor. The design also enhances visibility, an extremely important factor when it’s 6 am and you haven’t got your contacts in.
Also of chief concern to the brand is customer experience, and Dimple knows the role packaging plays in creating one that is unique, tangible and convenient. First impressions are so important for any brand, but even more so for startups and those new to the market. Dimple knew the value of using custom packaging from the beginning, for its launch and for all consignment, as a means of creating an end-to-end experience that is playful, memorable and exciting. That’s why they chose inke as they scaled up.
“A very important part of our business is our brand experience, and being a direct-to-consumer business, the packaging is an important customer touchpoint. “
Another goal of dimples is to maintain its clear brand identity across all assets, including, of course, the packaging. Dimple worked with Sydney design agency Universal Favourite to create its signature blue boxes and simple type. The hues chosen for Dimple’s box designs marry up with the colour coding of each contact, to create a seamless and uniform aesthetic. They then took these design principles to create the green inke mailers each customer’s subscription arrives in. Dimple knows “customers love receiving their delivery every month,” so designing boxes that create joy and stand out against the rest of their mail was important.
This worked so well, their packaging was awarded at the Good Design Awards 2019 in the Branding & Identity and Packaging categories. Dimple also won at the AGDA Design Awards 2019, taking home a Distinction and Volunteer’s Choice in the Packaging category, with a Distinction and Judge’s Choice in Branding. Outside Australia, the brand won Gold in the Colour Awards Graphics and Small Brand Identity at the Best Awards New Zealand.
Dimple is also big on sustainability, boasting a full range of eco-friendly packaging, from our inke mailers to the blisters each pair of daily contacts is kept in.
Despite the cost of custom packaging being potentially daunting for a new brand, Dimple was happy to invest a little extra to ensure their lenses be sent in sustainable style.
“For a startup, branded packaging is always more expensive than generic, especially at lower order volumes. For us, it was essential to stand out, so we factored the cost into our margins back when we started doing our financial models. This way, we knew that if we could make it work at smaller volumes, it could only improve as we scaled up.”
“The team at inke were great to deal with, from the initial communication through to delivery. We ordered a few samples for our 3-month subscription box, worked out which size was best, uploaded the template with our designs, and inke worked their magic! 10 days later, we had our boxes ready to go.”
The Dimple team have also received great reviews from their loyal customer base, with contact-wearers not only thrilled at the concept of subscription optical but also the packaging it comes in. So it has certainly paid its dividends!