Yuppiechef ditches its trademark hand-written cards in quest for authenticity


Yuppiechef, the South African ecommerce site, is ditching the trademark hand-written cards it sends out with every delivery.

In an official blog post by brand impact manager Jonathan Cherry, the company says it will be abandoning the practice, which has always been one of the cornerstones of its customer-service strategy, because it feels it “can offer even more value to our customers in other ways”.

In the post, Cherry relates the history of the practice, which originated as a celebration of the very first order to come from someone who wasn’t a family member or friend of the founders.

“It was the way we did things then and how we have done things ever since; honest, truthful and appreciative to our core,” he writes.

The best part of a decade later and the company is worried that the hand-written cards are starting to lose their authenticity.

“You would think that this seemingly inexpensive stroke of marketing genius would be something we smugly high-five each other about everyday,” Cherry writes, “but in fact, the opposite over time has become true”.

Read more: The Yuppiechef cult: how a startup sparked a religion

According to the brand impact manager, things started “getting a bit weird” when the company found itself hiring dedicated staff to write the cards.

The practice of sending customers hand-written cards has also become fairly common in the South African ecommerce space and, as Cherry notes, is no longer as disruptive as it once was.

“Maybe it’s a sign of the times that the rest of the world has cottoned onto the idea that showing that you care through a handwritten note is an effective disruption strategy,” he writes, “but we’ve become increasingly concerned about our own card writing activities”.

Cherry says the company is still immensely grateful for the support it receives from its customers, which is what the cards are meant to express. It now believes however that there are better ways for it to express that gratitude.

“Back then all we could do to was write a card,” he writes, “today we can make your whole experience with us memorable”.

Yuppiechef will not however be ditching hand-written cards entirely.

In what it says is a bid to retain the “authenticity and integrity” with which it does things, it will reserve the practice for instances “where it is appropriate and where we are inspired”.

Image: Yuppiechef.



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