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Article | February 28, 2013
New book shows packaging’s leading role in creating consumer value
Written by three packaging veterans, this book provides foresight and insight across the entire value chain.
When package development occurs without collaboration or strategic vision, novelty may result, but true innovation isn’t likely. In the new book, Creating Value Through Packaging, the authors demonstrate the value of a more holistic approach. Consumer and supplier perspectives, materials performance, sustainability, holistic packaging design, and new technologies—each plays a role and needs to be considered. When they are, and organizations view the development process comprehensively, success follows and packaging becomes a core business function that drives innovation.
In one compact volume, Creating Value Through Packaging becomes a central resource for the packaging community. The book investigates packaging’s impact on the customer and is rich in consumer insights. It fully examines distribution channels and shows how packaging has to respond to them. The authors explore the packaging “value web” and delve into design. Green packaging, global growth, and risk management also are major topics. The breadth of content helps packaging leaders understand how social and business drivers may be more important than technical specifications of new materials.
The authors draw on their 80 collective years of packaging-related experience, with each offering a unique perspective based on his area of focus and expertise. Jim Peters is an editor and consultant, Mike Richmond brings insight from academia, corporate, and consulting worlds, and Brian Wagner offers expertise in supply chain. The authors use resources from Packaging Technology Integrated Solutions, a division of HAVI Global Solutions, LLC, to show how a dynamic packaging process becomes vital to corporate management.
The book is concise. With scenarios, case stories, and insights on key packaging drivers, it delivers a huge amount of content in 200-plus pages. Moreover, it takes a global view with the premise that the world-wide flow of ideas goes many ways—sometimes moving from developed to developing markets, and at other times from bottom-of-the-pyramid tactics to high-end product packaging. The scenarios it offers lead readers to look to the future. Here are some of the book’s most salient points:
• Packaging is a lever. Holistic package development embraces customer and consumer needs in tandem with design, sustainability considerations, and sourcing. Each of these, important on its own, is a major element of the whole.
• Package development is a collaborative process. That means packaging requires a team consisting of both internal staff and outside contributors. Without a team, a leader simply can’t embrace all the elements that affect packaging and product development.
• Package development is customized. The book suggests good packaging leaders first examine their business and ask: Who are my customers and consumers? What are my distribution channels? To whom do I need to connect along the value web? How can I integrate packaging into my company’s strategic and sustainability directions? The answers yield a management strategy that can be far more effective than cookie-cutter approaches.
• Look for ways to lead with packaging. The book’s use of many case stories and analyses of leading packagers points out critical junctures in the development process. Examples are varied, ranging from P&G’s insistent focus on meeting consumer needs to Method’s approach to design as a soul issue.
The packaging profession continues to undergo major changes, pushing its people more and more toward leadership roles. This message needs to extend to the C-Suite and to academia in both business and packaging schools. Creating Value Through Packaging is the guideline we need to understand those changes, their impact on business and the future of our profession. It provides foresight and insight across the entire value chain.
Michael Okoroafor is vice president of Global Packaging R&D and Breakthrough Innovation at H.J. Heinz Co. For a copy of Creating Value Through Packaging, go to the IoPP bookstore at www.bit.ly/pwe00464.
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