Image:  Building a Brand - Coachella 2013 Ticket Packaging

A strong brand is built before, during and after the actual transaction.

I’ve never been to Coachella, the two-weekend music festival coming soon to Indio, California. But I still feel like I’m in on the experience.

Three years ago, my son’s Coachella ticket (actually a scannable RFID wristband) arrived in the mail. He’d paid $300. online for the ticket; he was already sold! But the ticket didn’t come in some flimsy envelope. Oh, no. Buying the ticket was just the beginning.

Like the event itself, the ticket packaging was an extravaganza. This year’s is no exception.

Mike Rocchio, owner of 1424 Studios, who designs and produces the Coachella ticket packaging, liked my first post about it so much, he now sends me the package each year. One of the tough things about setting the bar high with exceptional packaging and customer experience is that you have to top yourself the following year. Even though the Coachella ticket packaging budget is north of $400,000., the concert’s producer has decided his customers, and his brand, are worth it. 

This year’s package, replete with numerous photographs and illustrations, includes a box printed in four-colors inside and out, a die-cut diorama DIY kit featuring art and artifacts one would find at Coachella, a 12- month calendar (which becomes part of the diorama), a complete A-Z guide for attending the concert, a car sticker and metal buttons depicting various Coachella icons (these look to have been recycled from previous packaging). Opportunities for fun interaction abound: make the diorama, trade the buttons, use the calendar, decorate your vehicle, let your imagination run wild! By the time the audience arrives at Coachella, they’re bound to have a good time…because they’ve already been having one before they even get there. 

The Coachella ticket packaging is  an example of branding done beautifully…and effectively. The ultimate branding component, beyond what the product or service looks like or sounds like, is how it makes the customer feel.

This one feels pretty good.