If you’ve run ad campaigns, done price discounts, redesigned your logos, and launched new sku’s and you still can’t get your profits where you need them, you’d be wise to zoom out and take a big picture view of your supply chain. Just for a moment, let your mind open up to some new possibilities.
Why try to optimize the supply chain? Because it’s probably the one difficult area that you won’t look into, or you’re stuck on doing everything by yourself. Sometimes you need other’s help. It’s quite possible your supply chain partners can create success for you if you give them what they need. They need efficiency in storage, shipping, display, and handling — which will affect your packaging.
Start at the end – those doing the selling and the buying. Forget what you must have for now and consider what might be the optimal solution for retailers and end customers. What could win better? Could a packaging change create optimization throughout the supply chain? Some brands have discovered it can create monumental success.
Supply chain optimization is no small topic, but packaging is no small part of optimizing your product’s attractiveness to distributors, retailers, and consumers.
Tetley Tea made some bold changes in their packaging and distribution. They not only adopted cardboard tube packaging instead of paperboard box, they also redesigned that package’s graphics. They put more of their tea product in a consumer friendly format through the distribution chain. At POP, they simultaneously flooded the shelves with these mini tubes (24 tea bags) and introduced new favours such as Pomegranite, Honey, Lemon & Ginseng, Rooibos, etc. Tetley’s since created more flavours and redesigned their packaging. They dropped the price to $2 per pack and that must have hurt competitors.
Pringles Chips also adopted cardboard tubes for their potato chips. Didn’t seem like a good idea at the time, however who can argue with the success of that product? The tubes are certainly a superior packaging solution to plastic/foil bags and they’re very sustainable since consumers dispose of the tubes in their recycling box. Unlike bags of chips, they stack nicely and you can fit a lot of them on a skid. Many consumers such as women actually prefer how tidy the cylinders are and how you can put the plastic lid back on for freshness. Tidiness and practicality trumps volume. And bagged chips go stale quickly.
Previously, cardboard tube packaging was considered gauche. Now it’s smart, sustainable, efficient, and there’s plenty of surface space for clear brand promotion. Tubes are used for a lot of products now and there’s little doubt someone will fashion something even more creative out of it. It’s inevitable – it’s all about paperboard and cardboard now.
Creative Brainstorming on Packaging
Maybe it’s time to give a packaging design company a shot at coming up with some new packaging that solves retailers and consumer’s needs. Forget tradition and give them something that’s convenient and intensely practical. Innovative, fresh packaging design is an attraction in itself. With major retailers pushing their sustainability guidelines, you might be opening up new markets for your brand.
The goal of your creative brainstorming would be to optimize packaging density, sustainability, and consumer attraction. Give the end of the chain what it needs and they may show a preference for your products. Given the power of computer aided graphics today, only the imagination limits what can be done. Of course, a creative packaging engineer is key too.
Packaging as Value Generator
Packaging that enables greater density (more product on the skid) can generate more profit. Retailers and distributors are going to like that. With innovation in design, it will catch more eyes and build desire to purchase. Change has its place. Value added packaging enhances a retail environment.
Laundry detergent is another packaging that has undergone big changes. Retailers and distributors demanded laundry detergent brands consolidate their packaging because of the costs of shipping and storage. We’re all familiar with the heavy tubs of liquid detergent.
New product entrepreneurs experience the most difficulty because balancing consumer needs with supply chain needs is something done well through experience.
Whether you’re launching a new brand of soap, custom tea, sports beverage, electronic toy, or confectionary candy, packaging doesn’t just build the brand and sell the product at point of purchase. It organizes and optimizes the shipping and warehousing of your product.
Many companies aren’t using fulfillment providers because they feel there isn’t sufficient competitive advantage or cost savings. Fulfillment companies use regular, consistent shipping services and can pass on cost savings. A fulfillment company will understand your supply chain needs and appreciate the roll of packaging optimization. If anyone can understand and help with supply chain optimization, it’s a fulfillment provider.
There are plenty of other packaging trends evolving in the marketplace. Packaging solutions are becoming more ingenious and working harder to promote and sell products. Ready for retail, digital couponing, qr codes, stand up pouches, and cardboard are playing an increasing role in POP packaging. Take a good look at what our Markham packaging company can do for you to optimize your supply chain and provide reliable packaging solutions for 2013 and beyond.