Marketers understand that custom product packaging can be an important part of the overall customer experience. Smart marketers dedicate time upfront ensuring that package design supports a number of critical business goals ranging from the product’s “attract” and shelf-life to its ability to meet run-speed and cost targets.
But a marketer’s work is never done. Advancements in packaging materials and production technologies – particularly in plastic packaging – offer marketers new options for enhancing the product experience, as well as reducing costs. On top of this, consumer preferences and expectations are also changing. Consider the rapid growth in packaging made from ‘bioplastics’ – in part a response to shopper demand for more earth-friendly materials.
When it comes to packaging, marketer’s need to stay on top of changing market needs, as well as advancements in plastic packaging production and materials. Consider these possibilities and what they might mean to your customers and your business:
- Increasing shelf-life to improve product value for consumers, or to reduce waste and costs for you
- Increasing your packaging’s protective properties – a big plus, for instance, in the medical packaging arena
- Improving your packaging’s attract and messaging, capitalizing on advancements in packaging “decoration” technology
- Offering new packaging shapes and sizes, or reducing the amount of material used in them by taking advantage of improved plastics production technologies
- Using less or more sustainable materials in your packaging and promoting this change
- Working with a plastic packaging manufacturer with superior quality control processes to reduce scrap while improving packaging consistency
If you are interested in any of these possibilities for your business, please feel free to contact CMG Plastics. We are a custom plastic packaging manufacturer focused on the food, healthcare and packaged goods industries. We offer a range of sophisticated customization capabilities, and the ability to produce custom packaging with excellent consistency at high-speed. Please contact Jens (pronounced “Yens”) Duerr at 908.218.7997 ext. 203.
Okay, so you’ve got a really cool plastic packaging design for your product – one that supports your product’s story, stands out and offers some kind of important advantage to your customers. Plus, initial cost estimates to mass produce it fit your business plan. Time to pull the trigger? Not yet. Here are several things we recommend you do first:
- Don’t just look at the overall cost to mass produce your design. Understand the cost of each design element – particularly in more complex designs or those with multiple parts. Your goal is to assess whether or not the benefit that each element provides is worth the cost it adds.
- Once you have a good handle on costs, you need to have an equally strong understanding of the time it will take to bring your package design through prototyping, testing and tooling to final production. Each step can sometimes take weeks to months. This is particularly important if getting your product to market fast is a critical part of your business plan.
- Before approving a prototype have a discussion with your plastic packaging supplier about the potential differences that may exist between the prototype and actual factory production. Will there be any? There don’t have to be, but the process for developing a prototype is so different from factory production, it pays to ask.
- The last issue is your choice of supplier. It pays to work with a plastics packaging provider who can not only help you understand the issues covered here, but also vertically coordinate the process of taking a design through prototyping, testing, and tooling to final production. It’s easier for you than coordinating multiple suppliers, and can save you both time and money.
For more information on any of this, please feel free to contact CMG Plastics. We are a custom plastic packaging manufacturer focused on the food, healthcare and packaged goods industries. We offer a range of sophisticated customization capabilities, and the ability to produce custom packaging with excellent consistency at high-speed. Please contact Jens (pronounced “Yens”) Duerr at 908.218.7997 ext. 203.
In our hyper-competitive world, differentiating your products is critical. It’s also harder and harder to do. Many factors go into product differentiation such as price, quality, availability and, of course, packaging design. Our last post emphasized the importance of smart, considered, custom package design. This one brings a designer perspective to the question, “What constitutes a good design?”
The Design Management Institute asked over 100 industrial and corporate/consultant designers to define their criteria for good design. They got back a wide range of opinions. Some respondents focused on the customer-side of the experience, believing that great design starts with deep understanding of how the customer feels about and interacts with the product. Others focused on brand appropriateness. And still more on how design plays into business performance and results. But, of course, in the end, all of these things are part of a good design.
So when it comes to custom, plastic packaging design, our suggestion is to eliminate disagreement by ensuring that your marketing and product teams have a shared checklist for what constitutes an effective design. While this needs to be tailored to your business, here’s a possible list based on both the DMI study and our own experience:
- Is it attractive to the target?
- Does it provide a great user experience for the customer?
- Is it innovative – does it help separate you in a good way from your competition?
- Is it consistent and supportive of your brand’s story?
- Does it effectively communicate key messages?
- Does it meet all other functionality requirements (e.g., protection, shelf life)
- Is it completely supportive of business goals/desired results (e.g., costs, profitability, run speeds)?
- Does it meet regulatory requirements?
- Does it work well where it is going to end up at POS?
- Does it meet environmental goals – both yours and the customers?
As custom, plastic packaging manufacturer focused on the food, healthcare and packaged goods industries, CMG Plastics can produce a wide range of custom package designs. Our expertise can also help you get to your own definition of what constitutes an effective, functional package design. For more information on any of our capabilities, please contact Jens (pronounced “Yens”) Duerr at 908.218.7997 ext. 203.
1. Design Management Institute study authors; Julie H. Hertenstein, Marjorie B. Platt, Robert W. Veryzer.
In the words of the American Chemistry Council, “plastic packaging must serve many masters,” including marketers, regulators, logistics engineers, recyclers, consumers and more. The roles it has to play are many and varied:
- Protecting product as it moves from manufacturer to end use
- Meeting regulatory requirements, a higher hurdle for most food and healthcare related packaging
- Minimizing the costs to make it and fill it in terms of materials, shipping, handling, processing and packing times
- Maximizing run speeds
- Meeting the functionality requirements of the end user (e.g., ease of storing, opening, resealing), perhaps even offering some unique functionality that differentiates it from competitors
- Meeting the recyclability/sustainability expectations set by the product’s manufacturer, and the people who use it (e.g., made from readily recyclable resins and/or bioplastic)
- And of course, presenting the brand image that will get the product shelf space, communicate brand messages and ultimately help give the product “shelf impact,” interest and appeal
All of this puts a serious premium on smart, considered package design. It also puts a premium on the custom manufacturing capabilities of your packaging suppliers.
At CMG Plastics we are a custom plastic packaging manufacturer focused on the food, healthcare and packaged goods industries. We offer a range of sophisticated customization capabilities, and the ability to produce custom packaging with excellent consistency at high-speeds. In fact, we have just added an automated high speed, thin-walled plastic packaging and printing system to our Somerville, NJ facility. You can read about it here. For more information on any of our capabilities, please contact Jens (pronounced “Yens”) Duerr at 908.218.7997 ext. 203.