The inspiring seller stories behind Amazon Story Boxes

“What unites people? Armies? Gold? Flags?

Stories…. There’s nothing more powerful than a good story” – Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones S8

Interestingly, Tyrion is not the only one who believes so!

Analysing the customer behaviour revealed a strong underlying insight – on receiving an Amazon delivery, we dig right into the box, looking for what it holds (I could almost see you nodding in agreement right now!). We nodded too and that’s what got us thinking. The Amazon box actually holds more than just a product; it holds inspirational stories of the hopes and aspirations of over 5.5 lakh sellers on Amazon. Unfortunately, these stories mostly go untold!

Satish Upadhyay
Satish Upadhyay

Enter…. StoryBoxes – an idea aimed at showcasing inspiring stories of our sellers to customers who shop on Amazon. Stories delivered straight to customers, on millions of boxes that reach them every single day! And what better timing than the Great Indian Festival, when the air is full of festivities and joy and the deliveries are at the peak. So, we started planning backward from there.

Making Storyboxes a reality.

The day we discussed the idea with our agency, Leo Burnett Orchards, we all knew this was going to have a special place in our hearts and a millions other hearts that the campaign touches, directly or indirectly! The only challenge was that as we were deciding this, the country was already celebrating Independence Day and we had just over a month to make Storyboxes a reality. Multiple interviews and phone calls later, we had hundreds of stories that could make it to the StoryBoxes, all so immensely inspiring that each of these could be a book in itself. But sometimes six is better than hundred (at least when you are up against time!).

Choosing the stories

Rani, the first online seller from Periyakulam (a tier 3 town), was an instant choice, for she broke the biggest known barrier – the mental barrier and the societal taboos. Vijaya Rajan, on the other hand, wrote the script of a successful brand starting from just a desire to take good care of her family. Biswajit and Ibansara gave up their laid paths to bring their states on the map of India prominently. Ashwin stunned the world with a brand that was built on customer feedback and Abdul, in his passion to save a 300 year old legacy, went on to win the Padma Shree!

The birth of #IAmAmazon

So the first part was sealed. But who would tell these stories? The answer was hidden in what Charles De Lint once said, “No one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell’. We wanted the sellers to tell the world about their identity, through StoryBoxes. And we also wanted to bring out the message that every such seller represents Amazon. That’s how we zeroed in on the campaign thought #IAmAmazon.

Story  box
The team behind the "Story Boxes"

Scan a code, read a story

Next came the creative part – the design. With it came the complexity of different sizes of boxes. We firmly believed that a campaign so unique deserved a distinct visual approach as well. We knew we would use a QR code on the box to let customers know more about the stories and read similar inspiring stories of our sellers. So, why not make the face of the seller a QR code instead? While many would instantly dismiss the idea, we pounced on it almost instantly. Several nights that followed, were spent recreating all the seller faces with just the pixels from a QR code. The results were absolutely stunning and allowed a customer to read similar stories by just scanning the face of the seller on the StoryBoxes.
Now that the assets were in place, the team focused on building a website that communicated the overall story while the Ops team started working with the vendors to ensure that we hit the Fulfilment Centres with the StoryBoxes in a week’s time (yes – that’s all we had at hand). On 26th September, the StoryBoxes reached the FCs and a proud team dispatched the first Storybox to deliver delight, in every sense of the word.

When you meet our sellers, you meet Amazon

A month later, social media is brimming with people noticing and acknowledging the inspirational stories of the faces behind the Amazon boxes. And we are elated that customers know these faces and Amazon better now. After all, when you meet our sellers, you meet Amazon!

In the times to come, we will continue to bring more seller stories that leave us mesmerised. But it doesn’t end there. StoryBoxes will also feature other key partners like delivery associate, Alexa developers, store owners etc. who come together to make the Amazon experience, simply amazing.

We truly admire these sellers who inspired us to think of StoryBoxes. Their relentless struggles and unpopular choices are what make them today. And in the words of Jeff Bezos, “In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story”.

That, in short, is the story behind StoryBoxes.