Sometimes, to make a product truly great, a company must think outside the box. But for Dutch bike manufacturer VanMoof, thinking about the box itself solved a major problem when it came to shipping.

According to CNN, the company reported that more than 25 per cent of its bikes were damaged while being delivered last year. The problem was especially bad when shipping abroad, such as to USA.

"Your covetable products, your frictionless website, your killer brand  -  they all count for nothing when your delivery partner drops the ball," Bex Rad, Vanmoof's creative director, wrote in a Medium post last year.

The solution? Reconsider the packaging. "We asked ourselves, what do Americans really love? What would prompt couriers to be delicate with a parcel?" VanMoof co-founder Taco Carlier told CNN.

A TV was the obvious answer.

A big-screen TV box is roughly the same size and weight as a bike box. So to convince shippers to handle its products with more care, VanMoof began printing photos of TVs on its packaging. The boxes still depicted the bike, too, but at a glance it does look like you would find a massive widescreen TV inside instead of a high-end commuter bike.

Damages dropped by 80 per cent since then, according to the company. Even after a Wall Street Journal reporter spilled the beans by tweeting about the deception last year, the drop in damages has reportedly stayed consistent.



The "cheeky" bike box was so successful, in fact, that VanMoof began talking it up nearly as much as it did the bikes inside."The pared-back VanMoof TV box comes with a free bike box inside, making it a great addition to your house for children, pets, or grown-ups," its website reads.

Cyclists who have suffered shipping woes in their personal lives may wish to take heed.