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Are you a marketing pro with a passion for product packaging development? PR, social campaign development and strategy writing also top the list, but when packaging needs a refresh or a new product is launching, you are the first to raise your hand to lead the packaging effort.

“I’ll lead that!”

Well, thanks for stopping by. I have written this blog with you in mind.

You probably know this:

The packaging industry is very fragmented and highly specialized. It’s likely you will have 10 or more suppliers working on any given project. These suppliers are often not on your radar yet they are the key to differentiating your brand. Sadly you may not have any interaction with them. I’m talking about your printers ink and coating supplier or the foil-maker or the substrate supplier.


TIP: It’s important to develop relationships beyond your package designer and printer. Walk a few tradeshows and make some connections in the packaging supply chain. Learn to lean on these trusted advisors to keep you informed, insightful and knowledgeable about what’s trending and what’s coming up.


As you know, packaging development is often treated as a product ingredient and cost. Investment dollars are hard to get but if you can get them from your leadership team, I’ve got some good ideas here on how you can use those funds to leverage the power of packaging and grow profits.

Have you considered the upside of leveraging automation and packaging technology to tell a better product story and get products to market faster, with less risk?

In this blog, I’m sharing 3 hacks to help you get inspired by packaging technology and automation.

Let’s get started!

Companies like Coca-Cola know how to leverage packaging tech. I’m pretty sure this digital packaging story has been in your newsfeed:

IMG_5279

While, personalization does enhance a consumer’s emotional connection to products, not every brand has the scale or budget to take on personalization campaigns.

When exploring what tech can do for your brands and packages, consider going beyond the hype of digital printing and personalization.

Think differently. Discover more. On a budget.

To help you make better, faster and easier packaging, consider investigating these 3 hacks to improve your results.

TIP: I’ve included social media hashtags to get you started on your packaging tech journey.

Hack #1:

Invest in Automation! Your package development team needs automation tools, especially if your organization is planning to roll out more line extensions this year. Workflow automation and community proofing tools save time, money and can help reduce design risk! Is your package designer still emailing PDF’s for approval? Ugh. Ask them for online review and approval tools (aka community proofing). There is a cost to using the tools (they may ask you to fund it). Say yes! You and I both know that the cost of not automating is much greater, going forward. Get automated and free up time and resources for other productive tasks. #workflow #proofing

line extensions, packaging development

Hack #2:

Get Insightful! In 2018 category captains and their challengers had access to, and used big data more than ever before. As said by W. Edwards Deming – Data Scientist “Without data your just another person with an opinion.” All package designs need the human touch, however, insight gathered from data will help direct your package design brief and final packaging towards better consumer engagement. It’s time to leverage data to better understand consumer behavior. If you don’t have access to Big Data or any data, go get some! Conduct a Visual Brand Analysis (VBA) where your product will live in omnichannel, do consumer behavior research to optimize package design decisions, turn to social data to learn what consumers are saying and doing in your product category. Facts derived from data and insight help to reduce package design change risks. Get the data and use the insight in your creative brief! #IoE #bigdata #socialdata

packaging ROI, CX, client services, data

Hack #3:

Discover Printed Innovation and Connected Packaging! –  Jump on Twitter and other Social Platforms to learn about what is going on with PI (printed)  and AI (artificial). Technology suppliers are out there and want you to discover how their technology will take consumer experiences to the next level. I’m talking about printed innovation such as white ink powder, foils, matte finishes, and raised ink textures and, connected packaging tech such as NFC, QR, and AR. At your next press approval, ask your printer to arrange an Innovation Discovery session with their/your supply chain. Get your packaging supply chain working for you! And if you are on Twitter, find and follow the hashtags!  #packaging (image below from Microsoft: AI in Retail)

connected packaging, intelligent packaging microsoft

Another example of packaging tech:

canada150, package innovation, package design

I hope these 3 hacks prove useful to you and will help you execute efficient and thoughtful package designs in 2019.

Oh, one more thing.

When researching new packaging technologies for product packaging such as connected packaging,  do these 3 things up-front:

  1. Write a brief with specific outcomes. Share it with the tech company.
  2. Prepare an NDA and ask them to sign it.
  3. Ask for a Proof of Concept from the technology suppliers you choose to engage.

Need help? I am a consumer packaging expert and consultant with over 12 years of leadership and experience in packaging strategy, design, and development. Please do reach out for a consultation.

Karen@karenblumelconsulting.com

OVER TO YOU!

How has your team automated packaging development? What tools do you use to get insight? Have you launched a connected package?

We’d love to hear from you!

If you enjoyed reading this blog please like and share it. Spread the word on how automation makes better, faster and easier product packaging.

And happier packaging development teams:)

Thank you.

Be well!

Karen

 

 


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