18 December 2023

The art of effective collaboration: Infusing value from concept to cart

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Recently, I read a LinkedIn post by Adam Peek, a self-proclaimed packaging evangelist. In the post, he boldly stated that label printing is becoming a commodity and explained that the differentiator is the value a good label supplier can add to the process, not just what they add to creating the label itself.
After reading comments, I could not help but wonder about the value converters bring to CPG brands and their sales. What parts of the design process are ripe for converters to add value and collaborate with brand managers and creative professionals? What ‘entry points’ are ideal for converters to step in and offer their experience, advice and inspiration? Why do some converters become valuable partners while others remain stuck in a cycle of commoditization and order-taking?
Collaboration begins with a need
Just like any endeavor, designing a label starts with a need. How many times have you heard any of the following requests from your clients?
We need a line extension.
This is typically requested by a brand that is expanding to more flavors, formulas, categories, etc. In the last issue, I discussed a rebranding project I did for a specialty food company, Wildfare, where I described the design process and the various extensions within Wildfare’s product lines. The brand’s need was for more shelf appeal – to get shoppers to quickly notice its products on the retail shelf while also differentiating from its competitors. Most converters I know have strong opinions about what gives packaging its shelf appeal, whether it’s a finish, a specialty effect, a format or something else. Here is an entry point for converters to add value by sharing their opinion and experience.
We need to create a ‘wow’ moment during our unboxing experience.
This is typically requested by a brand that sells primarily online. Unboxing experiences are valuable because so many people post videos on social media as they open their purchases, potentially reaching a vast audience. Did you know that one of the most popular ways that people shop today is by researching unboxing videos online?
In fact, 62 percent of people watching unboxing videos intend to make a purchase. For those of you with experience in corrugated packaging, you may have ideas about how to improve a brand’s unboxing experience. Another opportunity to bring value.
We need to show our customers we care about the environment.
Many of you may have customers who are trying to reduce their carbon footprint or make their packaging more sustainable and recyclable. This is an area where not only converters but also suppliers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can educate brand managers, packaging designers, production managers and procurement managers about new innovative materials and processes that meet the brand’s sustainability goals and initiatives.
For the full Labels & Labeling article click here.


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