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Packaging potential: inke’s meteoric success story

Reading Time: 4 mins
By Published On: October 14, 20220 Comments

22 years old is a young age to achieve anything, let alone achieving the launch of a meteoric entrepreneurial success story from your own bedroom. But in the case of Jordan Shreeve, Founder and Director of packaging marketplace platform inke, that’s exactly what happened.

Having worked as a salesman in the packaging industry, inke was born from Shreeve’s frustrations at observing that technology in the industry had failed to keep up with the modern consumer. With suppliers behind the times holding a stranglehold on packaging processes, brands and retailers looking to source branded packaging options were often left dealing with a laborious and frequently expensive process.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to run my own business and operation. The concept of inke packaging was realised when, at the time, I was working in the print/packaging industry as a salesman for corrugated (cardboard) products,” explains Shreeve, “It was here working with brands [where] I saw that the industry lacked not just consumer/technology innovation, but [there was also] a clear gap in communication between manufacturers and customers.”

Confronting the frustrations he was observing, a 22 year old Shreeve set to work on plans to disrupt the stagnant packaging industry and modernise solutions of accessing custom packaging for brands, utilising a personal investment of $20,000 to launch inke from a bedroom in his family home.

That $20,000 has become more than $10 million in revenue, as brands and retailers have flocked to inke’s accessible, user-friendly web interface through which they can gain instant access to pricing, design templates and ordering tools for getting their branded packaging ambitions off the ground.

“From the beginning, I always wanted inke to be a disruptor to this traditional industry, as a modern-tech disruptive solution that allowed brands to order custom printed packaging, manufactured here in Australia in the simplest way possible,” Shreeve tells Power Retail, “In practice, this was realised through us building an interface that was easy to use, cutting out the unnecessary technical requirements and simplifying the process for our users.”

“Our goal is to be the most approachable & efficient option in the market, catering to all sizes of business and helping small businesses scale as demand meets supply, allowing for the most cost-effective & simplest solution to them in comparison to our competitors.”

Shreeve’s ingenuity and ambition in seeking to modernise the solutions for accessing custom packaging has since allowed him opportunities to work with some Australian retail’s biggest brands, alongside global brands such as Netflix.

“Since inception, we’ve helped over 8,500 brands improve their customer experience through custom packaging, including some of Australia’s biggest brands from the likes of Cotton On, Mecca, Netflix, Target, Lululemon & more,” Shreeve says, “Of course, it is always flattering and exciting to be working with high-profile brands that we all know and love, and something as the Founder of the business I am stoked to see), especially given we’ve never had a direct-outbound sales strategy.”

“Rather, all customer acquisitions come organically.”

The organic process of how inke has attracted brands to its interface, and putting trust in inke as a whole, comes largely as a result of direct rewards from what custom packaging options provide for brands. As brands have observed these rewards, the result has seen inke itself enjoy rewards of its own.

“I’d like to credit our success to not just our unique and innovative offering, being direct to manufacture access to custom packaging at no minimum order or set up fees, but to our community of customers who have realised the benefits of custom packaging,” Shreeve says, “Which has caused a snowball effect for us as their products are shared via social media or word of mouth, encouraging other brands to keep up to date with this growing trend and customer experience expectation.”

Now, with e-commerce predicted to continue its growth in Australia – already the eleventh largest e-commerce market in the world – Shreeve and inke are preparing to continue their meteoric rise. In turn, it hopes, the business will affirm itself as the go-to hub of custom packaging options for brands of all descriptions.

“We’re working on rolling out our latest update to the brand & interface in the coming months, which will take us to a new level of what we can offer customers regardless of needs and requirements, allowing more brands to get involved with custom packaging and improve their customer experiences as e-commerce grows and this element (a memorable unboxing experience) of the shopping experience becomes a growing customer expectation,” Shreeve offers, “We’re working on becoming a full-circle offering, improving our product offering and expanding the services customers can utilise, as well as introducing a rewards program to help customers scale and offset the costs of packaging.”

“Another key focus for us will be around spotlighting our customer successes and educating brands around the benefits that custom packaging has to offer in terms of customer retention and overall brand experience.”

Embracing such solutions as that offered by inke, and seeking to understand ways to overall enhance customer’s experiences, is one thing Shreeve points to as particularly vital for brands hoping to succeed into the future.

“It’s vital to adapt to new technology and innovate your offering,” says Shreeve, “It’s the reason we’ve had the success to date through building a simplified technological solution for our customers rather than a ‘stagnant’ traditional sales offering.”

With inke having seen a rise best described as meteoric, having only launched less than four years ago and grown at exponential rates since, there is seemingly no limit to the highs that Shreeve and his forward-thinking business could yet reach.

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  1. Cardboard Dancer October 26, 2022 at 1:42 PM - Reply

    This story fails to mention some of the facts… And BIG facts…

    What seems to be missing from a lot of these overnight success stories is the mention of the very rarely spoken about role that ‘privilege in success plays’ These articles leave us to believe that anyone can do it out of a bedroom with 10 or 20k… So lets look at the facts :

    1 : Jordan Shreeve is the son of multimillionaire Randal Shreeve.

    2 : Randal Shreeve owns one of the biggest digital printing companies in Australia which is http://www.billboardmedia.com.au They are a multimillion dollar manufacturing plant.

    3 : Jordan Shreeve claimed he worked for a printing and packaging company which will be either Billboard Media or Hugo Printing which were both owned by his farther Randal Shreeve.

    4 : The company Hugo Printing was closed on the 7/10/2021 and no longer has an existing website according to the internet. How convenient that a company that he worked for is now closed.

    5 : Inke separated itself from Billboard Media and Hugo Printing in the past few years to create the illusion that it is a stand alone business.

    6 : Now with a year separation from his dad’s business and based in a separate office he has come out with the claim that he started his business with $20,000 out of the family home…

    7 : The story doesn’t exactly have the same impact around it when you know he has a multi million dollar manufacturing plant behind him to help achieve his goals… I think that might be just a small advantage…

    8 : The concept is nothing new and is just a mash up of companies that already exist in the USA such as http://www.packlane.com etc Which existed long before Inke, so not sure how innovative the concept is.

    So the bottom line is for all the young entrepreneurs out there, don’t give up. But keep in mind when you read these rags to riches stories there is a lot more often going on behind the scenes that you are not told.

    I am also happy for anyone to correct me on the facts above if I have got them wrong, far from a keyboard warrior… But facts are facts. No business is easy and wishing Jordan the best of luck in his business moving forward.

    Three things cannot remain hidden long, the sun, the moon and the truth 🙂

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