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FLEXO Magazine : November 2013
A product's ability to be recognized is critical to brand strength The beginning of the relationship with the consumer Among the data presented in the report, it was found that product satisfaction was the aspect of brand strength con- sumers favored most, noting it influenced tendency to make a first purchase and repeat purchases. PACKAGING PERFORMANCE Among culled data, the research also included a survey of various end-user companies to measure the 10 most impor- tant packaging performance attributes for global fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands (Figure 1). The results show the ability for a brand to be recognized as the No. 1 attribute. "Consequently, it is predominantly the visual dimension of packaging performance that brand managers measure," the report states. Color and quality preservation rounded out the top three responses. This data is further segregated into different categories based on end-use case. As show in Figure 2, these sub-seg- ments value each attribute differently: • In food product applications, visual differentiation is king and structural differentiation is "under-developed com- pared to other categories" • In beverage applications, sustainability is the primary driving force behind packaging development, "due to the high profile these products enjoy in terms of volume and frequency of consumption and publicity" • The personal care segment, even more so than food products, values the idea of " visual enticement" above all else. Because the market is more egocentric, sustain- ability does not even register as a concern, netting a 0.0 in the report's scoring • The wide-ranging "other non-food" category is focused on maximizing profits and includes a variety of products, including Laundry detergents Household cleaners Over-the-counter pharmaceuticals Car care items Gardening products Tobacco FUTURE FORECAST Growth in the packaging market will come from several places (Figure 3). By borrowing new technologies and innova- tions from other markets, packaging can become even more diverse, especially in food categories. "The creative interroga- tion and application of borrowed packag- ing should aim to contemporize product categories as a means of adding value over private label and outperforming competitive brands," the report says. As North America, Western Europe and overall Western markets reach saturation, it will be the South and East markets that will drive growth geographically. Because these markets are in their infantile stages, consumers do not suffer from what the report refers to as "brand fatigue" and as a result, differentiation is a key method to enable a brand to hit the ground running. Other potential breakout trends include: • Private Labels • Sustainability • "Smart" Packaging • Appealing to Senses Beyond Sight BRAND OWNER OPPORTUNITIES Takeaways from the report can be distilled down to three opportunities for brand owners: • Brand Alchemy: Using packaging to do more than it already does Know the purpose of packaging More closely align packaging to the brand and the target consumer Create the right skill sets and attitudes internally to realize the brand vision • Market Segmentation: Using and developing packaging "to target new usage occasions and specific user groups better than the competition"; adapting to changes in consumer lifestyles • Sustainability: Increasing sustainable practices and com- municating them to consumers will help increase a brand's trust, but this is only considered a central role for brands that place environmental concerns front and center CONVERTER OPPORTUNITIES Similarly, there are four key opportunities for packaging converters: • Brand-Centric Innovation: Promoting innovations to spe- cific brands and pursuing private-label opportunities • Ergonomics & Electronics: In the short term, making a package easier to open, hold, squeeze or manipulate makes it more enticing for a consumer; in the long term, this will transform into an electronics-related opportunity, whereby the experience can be improved with techno- logical add-ons • Icons & Acoustics: Creating a package that is desirable, to match the product contained within, is predicted to be a growth-driving trait. Examples of this include: Unique three-dimensional structures Silhouettes that deliver tactility Fine-tuned packaging acoustics Figure 2: Packaging Performance By End-Use Category Percent Share of Top 10 Packaging Performance Attributes End Use Market Functional Differential Visual Ethical Financial Total Food 24.5 27.3 37.3 6.4 4.5 100.0 Beverage 20.0 30.0 32.9 11.4 5.7 100.0 Personal Care 21.4 34.3 42.9 0.0 1.4 100.0 Other Non-Food 34.0 34.0 18.0 4.0 10.0 100.0 Total (Average) 24.3 30.7 34.3 5.7 5.0 100.0 Source: Pira International Ltd. 20 FLEXO NOVEMBER 2013 www.flexography.org