“We don’t like to think about things anymore than we have to,” Pawlowski explained. “So give consumers a shortcut. Think about on-pack branding as a way to reduce consumer frustration.”
Other ideas the 24-year Wrigley veteran shared at the event, sponsored by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute, included these:
• CPG companies need to get better at understanding the importance of taking a holistic approach to packaging, where the brand message and personality are reinforced everywhere.
• Today’s typical retail scene is a “cacophony of clutter.” By the time consumers get to the checkout counter, where a Wrigley product is typically merchandised, their frustration budget is spent. So Wrigley’s package designs had better not add to the consumer’s frustration.
• Never forget that packaging, not advertising, is the most efficient media impression, because millions of impressions are generated by package design.
• Remember that each and every touch point is the key to consumer loyalty.
• QR codes on packages and other forms of interactive mobile marketing extend the brand.
• Don’t forget that as we look to the future of branding and package design, consumers will want multicultural communication, customization, and evidence that brand owners have a sense of environmental and social responsibility.
Preceding Pawlowski in the program, PMMI president and CEO Chuck Yuska opined that one of the things Pack Expo International accomplished in Chicago in 2010 was to establish that Pack Expo is “the place for processing as well as packaging.” So the Processing Zone, a hit in Chicago, will be part of Pack Expo Las Vegas come September. Debuting at the Vegas show, added Yuska, will be a Pharmaceutical Pavilion, which is already sold out.
Also part of the program was a brief presentation by PMMI’s Tom Egan, vice president of industry services, on the Alliance for Innovation and Operational Excellence (AIOE). A charter partner with PMMI on this initiative is the Grocery Manufacturers Association, whose GMA Upstream program was actually a precursor to AIOE. The purpose of AIOE, Egan explained, is to bring together operations professionals from CPG companies and solutions providers to address key industry issues and establish best practices on a range of critical operational topics. This initiative is aimed to benefit CPG companies large and small. But it may prove especially beneficial, said Egan, to small and mid-tier CPG companies that can’t bring a whole lot of resources to this sort of thing. “The goal is to come up with a work product from which everyone in the supply chain can gain,” said Egan.