Innovate or Die. You’ve heard that one right? Do you take it seriously?
The packaging and point of sale industry has opportunities for innovation, and I’m just wondering what you as a packaging buyer or product manager think of innovation. How do you describe the role of packaging improvement and evolution in how you do POP marketing? Is your own entrepreneurial makeup affecting your company’s ability to innovate and become a market leader?
Packaging has come a long way in the past twenty years and with demands to be sustainable, cost effective, create brand lift, increase sales, and to add value, what choice is there but to be innovative? Are you discovering the next big packaging design breakthrough to seize market domination?
Are innovative ideas the responsibility of the packaging company or is the impetus yours? If you’re not open to innovation yourself, will your packaging company be able to help you meet the challenges ahead?
Think Like An Entrepreneur
It could be you’re not innovative until you actually think about it. And it seems there’s a strong correlation between innovation and entrepreneurship. The topic is popular and its beginning to generate its own vocabulary. With North America coming out of the recession, entrepreneurialism will go mainstream. Huge numbers of new small businesses are expected to be created and that means millions of new products and services. This is the hive where creative, innnovative products and packaging designs will come from.
The startup, product entrepreneur has no choice but to innovate because they’re not even close to having a winning product let alone a market leader. They’re in the process of finding a winning product idea and finding a way to produce it, package it, get it to market, manage channels, maintain sales and keep enhancing the brand.
As a current manager of a successful brand, company, or product, thinking more like an entrepreneur is the best way to ensure you’re ready for the challenges ahead. It’s probably true in most cases, that the emergencies you’ve had in your packaging and fulfillment processes didn’t just happen. The telltale signs were there that you were falling behind and not adapting to market changes fast enough. If you were to receive a call from WalMart who are interested in taking your product mainstream, would you be ready? Have you explored those types of opportunities and what will win that contract, a better product, better packaging, or better branding?
As a future top flight entrepreneur, brand manager, or product manager you need to think like an entrepreneur such as Richard Branson, Sergei Brin and Larry Page, or Steve Jobs. POPAI has seminars that might help.
“Entrepreneurship is the ability to “create and build something from practically nothing. It is initiating, doing, achieving and building an enterprise or organisation, rather than just watching, analysing or describing one. It is the knack of sensing an opportunity where others see chaos, contradiction and confusion. It is the ability to build a founding team to complement your own skills and talents. It is the know-how to find, marshal and control resources and to make sure you don’t run out of money when you need it most. Finally, it is the willingness to take calculated risks, both personal and financial, and then to do everything possible to get the odds in your favour” (Jeffrey Timmons, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Babson College 1989).
Are you Entrepreneurial?
You may already be entrepreneurial but consider these 12 habits of entrepreneurial people:
- I read extensively on my industry with a purpose to find new opportunities and trends
- I search for and keep up to date on my competitor’s changes and breakthroughs
- I purchase relevant research related to my product or market
- I discuss change, growth and evolution with staff/partners
- I network a great deal in person and via social media
- I watch Sharktank and Dragon’s Den
- I ask others for their opinions and input
- I have a blog where I write to capture other’s opinions, tips and criticisms
- I encourage others to see through my strategies and tell me where I’m weak
- I respect the power of branding and work to find the correct brand image
- I analyze small failures to discover flaws in my concepts and plans
- I am constantly thinking about new ideas, technology, markets, products and services to keep my entrepreneurial imagination primed
Are price discounts and free samples are the core of your POP marketing? Maybe it’s time to look to more disruptive packaging strategies, innovative product launch strategies, or outstanding POP design ideas to produce better sales results. Read our 10 tips for improving POP displays, and a case study on how some retail display changes made a significant improvement in sales.
Ravenshoe Packaging is located in Markham, Ontario, Canada. They specialize in selected primary packaging (blister packaging, clamshell) and in secondary packaging and fulfillment services. See their gallery of temporary POP displays, photograhpy, printing and POP marketing services.