How are consumers responding and adapting to packaged products in current times? It is appropriate to say that packaging is an “essential” function – it would be very difficult to manage without packaging. Regardless of what a product is for or its means of delivery, moving products into the hands of consumers will always require packaging in some form.
What has changed is the ability to manage and understand the fast-paced real-time marketing channels and how your product and its packaging will be supplied safely to consumers; especially in that so many consumers are now regularly shopping through ecommerce and relying on delivery services to avoid unnecessary disease exposure. What is the “best” way to meet demand and enhance marketing growth? How is your product packaging moving in the ecommerce environment and meeting the constant demand for change?
Some guideposts to consider:
- How is the consumer most likely to access your product? Much depends on your market segment, product portfolio, and consumer demand. Economic pressures caused by stay-at-home procedures, and the impact of job losses has significantly affected certain products and packaging as brands work to keep pricing low and products available.
- How is your packaging affected by cost and availability of product and materials? In my own experience, I can’t begin to define the number of products that aren’t available due to shortages. If you are going to change your packaging materials as a result of shortages, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of access to and availability of alternative material, and the effect that might have on keeping your brand identity top of consumer minds. At the same time, many companies are looking at alternative packaging materials that deliver a higher level of safety and security against disease transmission.
- Be aware of the economic impact of COVID. Statistics show that private label packaging demand is increasing as a cost-effective alternative. Consumers have less disposable income to spend on high priced brands that don’t offer significant differentiation to private label products, especially on commodity products. Now more than before, the need for a solid value proposition must meet the needs of consumer demand.
- Be attentive to primary, secondary, and tertiary packaging. It is no longer enough to put a product on a shelf; it has to appear just as effectively on digital platforms. Package design has to incorporate new standards for its ecommerce presence accordingly. Additionally, if your product has secondary packaging, how do you minimize waste while still providing package stability? If possible, you want to make sure the actual shipping container the consumer sees presents your branding as visually compelling as you would expect to see it on shelf. Your brand story is so much more than a blank, corrugated box.
- Be realistically cautious. This is a turbulent time. No one knows how long this current reality will play out, but we know consumers are using new channels to meet their needs, and ecommerce is now a fact of life. As consumers become increasingly cost-sensitive, it is more critical than ever to make smart investments in innovative packaging processes and materials that can deliver reduced packaging costs while meeting consumer product safety pressure. Now is the time for all facets of marketing to work in tight coordination to continue to engage the customer with clarity, consistency, and continuity through all its channels of distribution.
If you need help navigating your packaging decisions during these times, contact us at 920-886-7727 or [email protected] Throughout our 65 years of supporting customers with consumer brands large and small, we apply our experience and expertise to the entire process to create efficient and effective solutions.