A Shoebox Worth Reading

A couple of weeks back, I ordered a pair of Timberland shoes online. I’ve always appreciated their quality and rugged style.

So the package arrives at my door; I open it and pull out the Timberland shoebox.

Immediately, this simple shoebox starts sending me brand signals and expectations. The box is crisp, recycled kraft-colored stock, an earthy look with a hinged top adorned with a stitched-designed Timberland logo.

I check the side of the box to make sure it was the right size. I learn not only about the size, but also the label provides information on Timberland’s key environmental stats including how many trees the company has planted in the past year (over 1 million, in case you’re interested).

But it’s what was inside the box that impressed me most. And it wasn’t the shoes.

Printed on the inside of the box lid was a message that I couldn’t help but read:


The opportunity to make it better is everywhere if we choose to act. Better is seeing a void and filling it. Hearing a call for help and answering it. Taking a wrong and making it right. It is as small as making boots, shoes, and gear or as big as challenging the world. Better is giving employees paid time to serve. Building a house. Painting a school. Empowering our youth. Feeding the hungry. Or revitalizing a community. Better is a call to action. A rallying cry. Fearless. Determined. Passionate. And connected. It is searching within. Reaching out. Heading into the eye of the storm. Adventuring out to the middle of nowhere. And doing so with purpose. So when the sun sets and we think about what tomorrow will bring, we understand that better is not what we do. It is who we are. 

WOW! Those are some powerful words.

As best I can tell, the words are genuine and come directly from the heart and soul of the company founders. They are inspirational not only for Timberland employees but also every consumer who touches a Timberland shoebox.

Now that is communicating your brand.

Timberland, I hope you sell millions more shoes!