Kaushal Shah, Founder & CEO of envoPAP, talks about his company, the process of selecting their brand name and raising the standard of sustainable packaging solutions.
Why envoPAP? What do you do and how does your brand name fit into it?
The world is sinking in plastic and its green cover is vanishing at a previously unseen rate. As global leaders and corporations alike are pledging their commitment to first stop and gradually revert climate change, every sector needs to innovate for the future of our existence. envoPAP plays its part in that global effort by making the most sustainable printing and packaging materials in the world, using abundantly available agricultural waste that would otherwise be burnt to cause widespread air pollution. Instead of using wood-fibre or single-use plastic in its products, envoPAP has managed to build a flyover to the future, saving close to a million trees in the process.
‘envo’ has been derived from environment and ‘pap’ from paper. It fits perfectly with what we do and I’ve been told it’s got a nice ring to it!
What was the process of selecting a brand name like? When did you know this was the one?
The company was called Paper Plus Europe for the first 3 years of its existence and envoPAP was the name of our flagship copy paper. Being our best selling product of that time its name became more famous than company’s, to the point that one of my colleagues was asked: “So you work for the company that makes envoPAP?” In that light-bulb moment, it became clear that it was time for a change. The board of directors unanimously agreed to the proposal and since then we have proudly been envoPAP.
How has owning envoPAP.com affected your business?
Every modern business should have its own domain name. In fact, I know some founders that have changed the first-choice name of their company because the domain was taken! The internet is everybody’s best friend nowadays and that’s where the due diligence starts before people think of business and transactions. Having our domain secured helped us a lot in our early days when we had to do some good old cold calling. When the person isn’t expecting your call and all of a sudden you’re telling them about this magical paper that they should buy. The first thing everybody did was perform an internet search and the first impression was good, thankfully.
Having our domain secured helped us a lot in our early days when we had to do some good old cold calling. When the person isn’t expecting your call and all of a sudden you’re telling them about this magical paper that they should buy. The first thing everybody did was perform an internet search and the first impression was good, thankfully.
Kaushal Shah, Founder & CEO of envoPAP
How has envoPAP evolved as a brand since you launched?
As I said before, envoPAP was the name of a product for 3 years and once it became the name of our company, we rechristened the product envoCOPY. We had to find a good logo, change our main colours, revamp our website, and redesign envoCOPY. The brand has evolved just as we had hoped it would. The key was in the ‘envo’ and we began renaming all our products with the prefix. envoKRAFT, envoOFFSET and more were born as a result. We also designed an artistic mascot – a side view of a woman’s face with leaves for hair – as a tribute to mother nature. Due to these measures, we are more easily recognised as a force of good today.
Why should entrepreneurs value their brand?
A product is ‘what’ a company sells, ‘where’ is its location, ‘why’ is the problem it aims to solve and ‘how’ is its IP. If asked ‘who’, the answer is its brand. Your brand is what people say about your company when you’re not in the room, it is how your company is perceived. The brand is the soul of the company and a robust brand strategy can help founders tell their story in the most effective and compelling way. It certainly helps in attracting the best talent and adds emotions to any company. A company is an intangible construct, so you need a brand to humanise it and make it relatable.
Has the pandemic affected your company in any way? What has changed since?
The pandemic kicked us in the teeth, like it did most businesses. At the outset, we needed to scale down our operations significantly to make sure all our colleagues were safe and healthy. Even on reduced capacity, many of our oceanic shipments were stuck at their destination ports, with our customers unable to clear them because of lockdowns in their respective countries. But as the COVID dust settled, a meteoric rise in the demand for sustainable packaging emerged, which we were really well-positioned to serve. We set out to raise £150,000 through a crowdfunding campaign during the height of the pandemic and managed to raise £381,128 which was 254% of the target amount.
Pre-pandemic, sustainability was important no doubt. However, it was mainly cocktail-party rhetoric and business decisions were down to the bottom line. Although that may never change, sustainability is a high-importance factor now and that has helped knock down many stubborn doors for us. It has highlighted the need for products like ours, that do not harm the natural regeneration cycle of any natural resource, scarce or otherwise.
What do you do to make sure your marketing is effective?
Effective marketing is what gets your customers as well as builds your brand. At envoPAP, we like to explore several avenues to do so and it has worked for us so far. Although we’re essentially a company that makes paper, we write blogs, have a monthly podcast, quarterly webinar, yearly magazine, and many more engagement vehicles at the intersection of business, environment and paper. We focus on engaging with whoever we have in our community, rather than just building an impersonal and disconnected digital family. We strive for our syntax to be impeccable and accessible at the same time. Being a sustainable company also helps because there is never a shortage of issues and events to pivot our strategy on. On social media, we share a healthy mix of content that is industry-specific, envoPAP specific and light-hearted stuff. My marketing team wouldn’t want me to delve into any more specifics!
What is next for envoPAP?
We are trying to help create a world where not a single sheet of paper or bag or straw or chips packet harms the environment and diminishes the quality of the world we will be handing over to the next generation. So there is a lot of work to be done! In the immediate future, we shall be expanding our R&D division to find more applications for our materials and growing our team across 3 cities – London, Frankfurt and Mumbai. We have had our fair share of success in Europe, Asia and Africa with all our products and have been happy to concentrate all our efforts there. But now the time is right to look at the Americas and we have plans to cross the pond very soon.
We hope the above information will help you in making informed decisions about your brand. If you want to say hi or have any questions about naming, branding, and domain names get in touch, we’re always happy to hear from you.