Rebrand earns positive reaction for patented Naked And Free card invention
Reducing waste and excess packaging was the concept behind Derren Seal’s Envelopd invention – and he and wife Ceri have now rebranded their patented invention as Bare Cards to really get the point across.
With a new website and Bare Cards’ Naked And Free slogan to boot, the couple have given themselves the mission of reducing “needless waste in the greeting card industry by eliminating the requirement of a separate envelope which, in addition, eliminates the need for cello wrap”.
Having worked in the industry for over a decade as a sales agent, Derren could see the way the eco-friendly winds were blowing and came up with his idea of a card and envelope in one, with a third leaf and sticking strip: “No separate envelope means no need for any packaging to keep the card with its envelope – whether that be plastic cello wrap or card clasps/seals, and the envelope has no way of departing from its card within a retail environment.
“The other benefit is that we can be as creative as we wish across the card and posting pages giving that extra wow factor! With the peel-away adhesive strip there’s no need to lick ’n’ stick which, given the Covid era, was a great USP, and no throwaway parts on receipt as the cover sticks back on itself ready for display.
“The feedback we received from consumers, retailers and the publishing industry at Brand Licensing Europe’s License This! competition was overwhelmingly positive.”
Above & top: Bare Cards’ tutorial showcasing the patent-protected card design and company mission
While Derren is still working as a sales agent, with Ceri on part-time hours as a teaching assistant to help build the brand, the couple launched the company just over a year ago, partnering with Kingfisher Cards to produce a 24-strong range displayed on a spinner with an instructional header which retailers loved as “it meant they’d no longer have to hunt around for missing envelopes which is the bane of their lives”.
He explained they sold a lot of spinners but customers needed retailers to take the time explaining the concept and benefits, so lower than anticipated sales meant Kingfisher couldn’t justify producing more designs.
Pleased with their working product after three years of work, Derren and Ceri decided to shrug off this “huge blow” and take the idea forward themselves with a website and Etsy shop.
Derren explained: “Once we pressed publish, I imagined we’d be inundated with orders, but quickly realised that website traffic doesn’t just happen – we had to plan marketing campaigns and join social media platforms.
“We then enlisted the help of a marketing professional who immediately told us our company name EnvelopD was probably the biggest barrier to success – it was not only hard to pronounce and grammatically incorrect but no one connected it to greeting cards or the USP our product offers, so we were already on the back foot in such a fiercely-contested environment.
“Therefore, this year we’ve changed our name to Bare Cards with a tag line ‘naked and free’ – naked of an envelope and free from waste. And we’re now also working with a printer who allows us to do small print runs at a very reasonable cost and is very supportive as he really gets our mission. It allows him to be more creative with a new concept as opposed to printing run-of-the-mill single-fold cards.
“We’ve since been frantically designing cards to build our portfolio to appeal to a wider market and been posting on social media. We’ve created LGBTQ+ and non-binary ranges to help fill the gaps in this market with the hope of becoming a more inclusive industry. We now have over 100 cards across many varied categories and designs and are increasing these daily,” explains Derren.
“The response so far has been fantastically positive, with customers really understanding our product and the reasons for doing it. This has been the driving factor of our unrelenting passion to make this idea successful and keep pushing through to ultimately encouraging other publishers to join our quest.
“It’s still early days, but we remain optimistic that we can build Bare Cards into a household name and the show it’s the most ecological way to send and receive cards.”