Will emotional storytelling work for The Container Store?

Discussion
Photo: The Container Store
Feb 25, 2022

The Container Store introduced on Tuesday a new logo, tagline — “Welcome to The Organization” — and brand campaign.

The new logo, the brand’s first overhaul in its 44-year history, features three nested baskets positioned in a smile shape alongside the company’s name. The look is designed to demonstrate that many customers feel The Container Store is their “happy place” as they seek to organize their lives.

The baskets icon is also expected to help the brand translate better on smartphone screens as The Container Store’s first mobile app arrives in March. The retailer is launching a new three tiered-loyalty program, as well.

The “Welcome to The Organization” tagline and campaign is designed to offer a more inviting and inclusive call to welcome new customers and more emotionally engage existing ones.

The update follow’s last year’s shift in brand purpose to a more emotional one, centered around transforming lives, from its longstanding functional messaging. The former tagline, “Where Space Comes From,” spoke to overcoming space challenges.

Melissa Collins, chief marketing officer, told Advertising Age, “We moved to a more emotional thinking about what it means in a person’s life to be organized — the brand purpose of The Container Store exists to transform lives through the power of organization.”

“Our charge was to take The Container Store to a more emotional place,” added Greg Hunter, executive creative director, at Preacher, the Austin-based advertising agency that helped guide the updated messaging, in a press release.  “By treating organization as a club we can all join, not a chore we can often dread, Welcome to The Organization does just that.”

The retailer is also sponsoring its first TikTok challenge, #showusyourdrawers, in a partnership with Drew Barrymore. Influencers including The Home Edit, Marie Kondo and Cassandra Aarssen, who have exclusive lines at The Container Store, are also involved in the campaign.

The Container Store is making the campaign and branding updates at a time when its sales growth has slowed following robust sales during the pandemic when homeowners tackled home projects amid lockdowns.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are The Container Store’s new logo and “Welcome to The Organization” tagline both winners? Will emotional storytelling relate better than functional messaging for The Container Store?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"It's long past due for storage companies to realize that appealing to our emotions is an incredibly relevant way to sell storage and organizing solutions."
"As to the tagline, it sounds like they are after my soul. Not a winner in my book."
"We’re all humans and attached to our stuff, so it makes total sense that The Container Store move to a more personal way of connecting."

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31 Comments on "Will emotional storytelling work for The Container Store?"


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Jeff Weidauer
BrainTrust

Aside from the tagline having a faint dystopian feel, these moves are all positive for The Container Store. The fact that it’s taken this long to come up with its first mobile app is mildly alarming though – let’s hope they’ve seen the future and decided to be part of it.

Dr. Stephen Needel
BrainTrust

I’m sure that someone is going to get an emotional lift from organizing their home if they haven’t already done this during the pandemic. But for most of us, I think it’s less about emotion than The Container Store thinks. They are the epitome of functional and they are walking away from that – I’m not sure it’s the best approach.

Paula Rosenblum
BrainTrust

Agreed. And service.

Dr. Stephen Needel
BrainTrust

Yes — great service too, Paula.

Paula Rosenblum
BrainTrust

I don’t love the new branding, and I agree with Jeff about the mobile app.

What distinguishes The Container Store isn’t its logo or its commercials – it’s the assortment and great customer service. I would have thought they’d emphasize the service aspect more, not less.

Brian Delp
BrainTrust
5 months 16 days ago

This is definitely the right angle. Wellness is a key focus for products right now, so making a case for the wellness of your home aligns with this. Organization is a major craze — even before the pandemic, Marie Kondo’s show (which The Container Store licensed) started a movement. The show itself focused on the emotional side of organizing and the feeling you get from a harmonious home. Now as consumers are stuck at home, this trend has only increased. Consider also the show The Home Edit which Walmart licensed, however The Container Store was the main store featured in the series.

Mel Kleiman
BrainTrust

This is a great marketing move for two reasons:

  1. Emotions trump logic and reasoning all the time;
  2. Stories develop an emotional bond.
Cathy Hotka
BrainTrust

Agreed. Look at the bounce they got during the Marie Kondo days. Container Store can tap into pride and self-fulfillment to inspire more purchases.

David Spear
BrainTrust

I do think the move is a step in the right direction, although I’m not sure organizing a closet, a pantry, or a laundry room is “transformative.” And I’m alarmed to read that their first mobile app is being launched in March 2022. Apple’s first app launched in 2007 — that’s 15 years ago, which is a little frightening. That notwithstanding, I do think the emotion filled campaign can strike a chord with consumers and encourage traffic to its online and physical stores.

Ken Morris
BrainTrust

Red pill or blue pill? Great that they’ve tried to rethink their brand. They’ve realized that no consumer wants to be sold just a product; they want to be connected, and they want an experience. But “Welcome to the Organization?” That’s got The Matrix written all over it. And in what world does an emotionally drained blue invite shoppers to come join a fun club? The #showusyourdrawers hashtag link to their Drawer Organizers landing page is okay, I suppose, but why doesn’t the landing page have at least a couple of sentences of payoff copy that includes some of their newfound emotional storytelling? Sorry, but I think The Container Store has a long way to go in organizing a compelling brand.

DeAnn Campbell
BrainTrust

Emotions are at the core of nearly everything we own; the sweatshirt that no longer fits but reminds us of college, a grandmother’s antique china we’ll never use but can’t bear to part with. Marie Kondo built an entire industry around how our stuff “sparks joy” so it only stands to reason that how we store our joy matters to us all. It’s long past due for storage companies to realize that appealing to our emotions is an incredibly relevant way to sell storage and organizing solutions.

Ian Percy
BrainTrust

Could not be said better, DeAnn. But the connection is not with the container, it’s with our precious stuff. The story has to be about our stuff. If The Container Store finds how to tap into that reality, this rebranding has a chance.

DeAnn Campbell
BrainTrust

You’re so right Ian!

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

Ian, as usual, you’ve nailed it. Hard to be emotional about wire racking. But the “stuff” that fills that racking? Ah — there’s the magic.

Rich Kizer
BrainTrust

I hope this effort isn’t just the themes and signs. Storytelling with emotion always works. But a 30-second television spot selling the story, with emotion, is bound to generate leagues of success over print. The question is which will work better: a print ad or a story on TV? Think of your favorite ads.

Jeff Sward
BrainTrust

I always have a bit of a “feel good” moment after getting organized. There’s a sense of accomplishment to it. It’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but, hey, I’ll take an occasional small victory. If The Container Store can tap into that, it just adds a level of strength to the brand promise of being the go-to store for storage needs.

Ian Percy
BrainTrust

Forty-four years is well past the “best before” date so this initiative is to be applauded. “Show us your drawers” is brilliant, funny and engaging. And emotional stories are always effective if relevant and done well.

An emotional connection is usually based on something one can relate to emotionally. That doesn’t mean it requires a pulse, but it does need heart. A ’57 Chev Belaire is just a physical/mechanical/commodity thing — but, oh my, not to me. I have a hard time thinking of how one would connect emotionally to anything in The Container Store in the same way. I don’t know anyone who wistfully tells me about how they organized their drawers. Did I ever tell you about the time I saw my first ’57…

They have good (though IMO expensive) stuff, but that’s what it is – stuff.

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

Ian, “Show us your drawers” may be — well — cheeky, but in a era of PC policing it’s like putting a target in front of your face. At a time when everyone seems to want to be offended by something, I’m not sure I would have led with sexual innuendo. Bold — but chancy.

Ian Percy
BrainTrust

I see what you did there….

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

Thought you might.

DeAnn Campbell
BrainTrust

Ryan this reminds me of the “Sears catalog boxer shorts” controversy, which even inspired a song by Zoot Fenster (still on YouTube) called “The Man on Page 602.”

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

DeAnn … so many potential tempests in so many yet to be discovered teapots … but that’s the world we are operating in.

Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

The Container Store is my go-to place for organization. Why? Because they have the best people on the retail floor. I am not sure any other retailer comes close.

While I am surprised that they are just introducing an online app, The Container Store is the one place I actually want to go to the store, especially if I have an organizing challenge and am not sure how to solve it.

I like “Welcome to the Organization.” It associates the word “organization” uniquely with The Container Store in the consumer’s mind. But I would not call that emotional. I would call that functional. If I have an organizing challenge, I go to The Container Store.

Mohamed Amer, PhD
BrainTrust

I’m not crazy about the new tagline, but I applaud the shift to bringing out the emotional aspects of being organized. The marketing shift from functional to inspirational messaging will go a long way as long as the assortment and service offerings keep pace.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

I do not feel emotional about organizing my closets or junk drawers other than being cheesed off that I have to do it. This does not incite joy in any way, shape or form, although I do enjoy walking the aisles of The Container Store thinking about how I could organize but won’t. Most of the organization influencers’ ideas are too pretty for real life.

I am with Dr. Stephen and Paula: The Container Store should be about function and customer service.