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Isn’t it funny how things come full circle sometimes? Years ago (way before my time, of course!) everyone used to buy their groceries from small local shops, who even delivered our weekly shopping based on our personal standard shopping list. It was small, local, and tailored to our individual needs. Occasionally the shopkeeper would even add in an extra item or two that she thought we might appreciate (upselling is not new!) – and the recipient would thank them for their thoughtfulness.

Then along came self-service supermarkets, and the rest is history.

Or is it? Because now, it’s increasingly popular to have our weekly shopping delivered again. Barely an evening goes by without an Ocado van arriving on my street.

The next step in the evolution of grocery shopping is the subscription model. (And it’s not just groceries either – check out our recent blog about Itch – petcare products by subscription.) There is an increasing array of grocery and other household products available on regular subscription. We’ve already covered toilet paper by Who Gives a Crap?  and today we’re revisiting the household cleaning section and looking at laundry detergent and dishwasher tablets from Smol.

We’re loving the marvellous marketing demonstrated by Smol. From their eco-and-postage-friendly packaging (yes, it fits through your letterbox),

Smol packaging - marvellous marketing

to the charming little tongue-in-cheek ‘Truth about laundry’ and ‘Truth about dishwashing’ cards that are included in every pack,

this is a business that has absolutely nailed its messaging through a razor sharp focus on the needs and aspirations of its target customers. Yes, we want clean clothes and clean dishes, but we’re worried about the environmental impact of all that packaging, plus the boxes are big and heavy to carry home from the supermarket, and are a huge pain in the neck to store at home.

So, by reducing the size of their packaging they’ve solved multiple problems in one hit. And by using the subscription model, they’re tapping into a trend that’s rapidly growing right now. And this gives them the added bonus of bypassing the big supermarkets where fierce competition for shelf space is a huge barrier to entry for any new kids on the block.

But it’s the little things that please us the most about Smol. The slightly wry humour of those ‘Truth’ cards (who hasn’t lost a sock in the wash, or surreptitiously rearranged the dishwasher after their partner loaded it all wrong?), gives us a lovely fuzzy feeling and makes the brand very human and warm. The ordering process is an absolute breeze, and you have full flexibility to cancel or alter your delivery schedule in case of a laundry emergency at any time. We love the attention to detail that’s gone into the design and build of the website – they’ve made it look so beautifully simple that signing up and ordering is a complete no-brainer.

Truly Marvellous Marketing at its very best. Now, if only they could sort out the ironing for me too, I’d be a very happy marketer!

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