Packaging Logo July 18, 2012 Forward
Package Development
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Solving the marketing disconnect
By Bob Sperber, Special Projects Editor

Brand, sales and, marketing managers for packaged goods products have a tough job. Charged with identifying market opportunities and fending off competitive threats from rival brands and private labels, they can tend to go overboard asking their packaging engineering departments for packaging that pops.
Packaging engineers sometimes immediately know when such a package is not going to fly in the way the creative team initially envisions it, either from a cost or timeline standpoint, or a packaging line compatibility standpoint.

Trouble is, most marketing people don't take "no" for an answer, which can create problems in package development, because most marketers lack a packaging background. In such cases, packaging engineers have no choice but to dutifully create the mockups, do the costing, show the impact on the financials, and let the marketing people reach the conclusion on feasibility (or lack thereof ) on their own.

There are a few things that can be done to mitigate the naturally occurring disconnect between Marketing and Packaging, Engineering, and Production:

1. Insist on functional package descriptions. When communicating consumer and brand requirements to the packaging team, brand and marketing managers should provide functional package descriptions, as well as design-oriented descriptions. In addition to defining the desired brand image by saying things like, "We need a package that's soft and lowing," or "masculine and angular," objective design criteria need to be articulated as well. Using only subjective terms can make an unstable basis for engineering a package, and can lead to additional design revisions (and hence, development time), until the final objective is achieved.

Read More...
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