Ned: Finding harmony with quality hemp products and custom packaging
Ned is a wellness brand rooted in a mission and belief to help people feel better and live better through the powers of the natural world. With a line of full-spectrum hemp, CBD and other natural remedies, Ned brings a foundation of storytelling that immediately catches your eye.
They take you on a journey from remote mountaintops to the fresh soil of Paonia, Colorado. It’s the way in which they do this, along with the brand’s values and purpose that helps Ned to be fully transparent. Their story is thoughtfully and inextricably woven throughout the products, videos, website and even the packaging.
Ned co-founders Adriaan Zimmerman and Ret Taylor built a brand grounded in an appreciation of simpler means, the outdoor world and human connection. Both have a personal journey that started with a search for CBD and naturally sourced products. A ‘plants before pills’ approach that could replace prescription drugs as a first line of defense. Their journey culminated with the birth of Ned when the duo took their mission and purpose, and literally translated it into product.
The evolving customer experience
In the beginning, Taylor started meeting hemp farmers and heard whispers of a beautiful farming community in the western slopes of Colorado. He found a small farm that resonated with the transparency of the brand and matched the idea of quality over quantity. “The farmer was growing on a single acre and playing music to his plants,” notes Zimmerman. “It was nurturing of quality and spoke to the idea that when you give to something, it gives back.” Zimmerman and Taylor knew they had found the perfect farm. From the onset, they wanted to work with great people. “We talked about it a lot in those early days. If we surround ourselves with extraordinary people, this brand will be extraordinary,” says Zimmerman.
Ned launched in 2018 with 2 products; a hemp oil and hemp infused body butter. Positioned as a direct-to-consumer company the founders knew the importance of customer experience. Zimmerman puts it this way, “The customer experience doesn’t start or stop anywhere. It is an evolving thing. It’s what people see online, and on social. It’s what they touch, hear and watch.” Unpack that, and it means that the direct access point with customers is critical, especially with e-commerce companies. In fact, creating meaningful connections makes one more approachable. And in business, the more approachable, the better.
Pursuit of excellence
After a few months of shipping in plain brown boxes, the time came to design custom packaging. “I’d never created consumer packaging before, but there’s this inherit pursuit of excellence in our company,” explains Zimmerman. “We always knew we wanted to level up our packaging, but it was also a matter of managing resources.” CompanyBox stood out because of the low price and MOQ.
A local design agency took all of Ned’s quality ingredients; approachability, storytelling, human connection and excellent customer experience – and mixed them into a complete package. The result was product packaging that served as an extension of the Ned brand. “The boxes needed to give a sense of place to our products while maintaining a sense of transparency.”
Zimmerman explains, “This brand was born out of seeking, searching and adventure. We wanted the packaging to give that kind of experience to our customers.” Hold the box, and you first see the inconspicuous exterior. Then you open it and read words like “pristine mountains, deep cedar forest, and remote shorelines” and you feel like you’re part of Ned’s journey.
But he story doesn’t stop there. Along with helping people feel better, you’ll also find that Ned supports numerous social and environmental causes. This too is woven into their packaging.
Keeping the first order size small, Ned was able to financially manage the cost. “Our mission at CompanyBox is to make packaging for anyone,” says Cara Walters, Marketing Lead at CompanyBox. “Some companies need to start small and they are equally important as large orders. We get to watch them grow.”
honesty at every level
And Ned has grown.
Zimmerman says social media shares really started to pick up with the addition of new products and the new packaging. Through the last few years, the company has gone through several iterations of their product packaging, always keeping the story front and center. Most recently, they launched Mellö, a daily magnesium supplement.
They way Zimmerman and Taylor positioned their natural remedy brand has never wavered. Ned’s honesty and transparency has allowed them to not only initiate a connection with customers, but nurture it. The company now has a customer base of over 60,000 and retention rates are high. Because they lift the veil, people know exactly what they are getting and where it’s coming from. It’s clear the products are crafted with care and of the highest quality – that’s important anywhere, but especially in the CBD industry.
May we all follow Ned’s lead to Feel better. Live better.
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