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FLEXO Magazine : January 2012
Plants & Processes Color Consistency: The New Marketing Tool one simple Instrument can Make color Management easy By Matthew Gryczan During the past 50 years, Shop-Vac has established a reputation as one of the best brands of wet-dry vacu- ums in the world, with a specialty in the design and manufacture of consumer goods such as shop vacuums, leaf blowers industrial vacuums and air moving equipment. It has distribution and manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. “Our biggest target market is consumers in the United States,” says Rick Shadle, director of creative services for Shop-Vac. “ T he way that the market is today, retail real estate is very tight. They are doing away with elaborate displays and point of sales materials, so packaging has to sell—it has to act as a marketing tool. ” When Shadle visited some of Shop-Vac Corp’s largest customers, such as Lowe’s and Wal-Mart about a year ago, he was assaulted by what he calls “a carnival of colors” in the aisles that featured his company ’s products. “ We were seeing a lot of variations—there could be five or six different shades of the same color, even blacks, in our corrugated packaging,” Shadle admits. “And we had to do something because color consistency in your packaging reinforces that you are a brand.” After launching a program that uses data supplied by color measurement instruments throughout his supply chain of a dozen corrugated suppliers, Shadle sees nothing but “Shop- Vac Red” when he returns to those same stores today. Now it’s other hardware suppliers that are enjoying the “carnival” ride. “ When I look at the shelves in home centers, hardware stores, and retail chains, I see that it wasn’t just us,” 12 FLEXO january 2012 www.flexography.org REMOVE OPINION, INSTITUTE CONTROLS • Color consistency in your packaging reinforces that you are a brand • Instead of fielding up to seven color-related com- plaints a week, Shop-Vac now handles one color- matching issue a month • Studies show that consumers judge the product by its package, and everything from poor print quality to holes in the cardboard packaging can cause them to pass on a purchase • Achieving consistent color takes a combination of science, diplomacy and patience • Science in the form of good color measurements and reliable ink formulations • Diplomacy in handling resistance to change by large and small corrugators alike • Patience to give the changes time to take hold