Pack Expo is just around the corner (November 6-9) and you will see first hand the dynamic world of packaging that is accelerating to places we cannot even imagine! It wasn’t very long ago that the packaging of your products was a simple way of telling your customers who you are and what the product is.
Times started to change and cereal companies started to put children’s favorite cartoon characters on the boxes to draw the customer to buy more. Today packaging is your competitive differentiator and in many cases your brand equity can win or lose on the store aisles.
One simple examples is the new Coca-Cola Life product which uses a natural sweetener instead of sugar. Instead of the traditional red, they chose green because it insinuates (does not guarantee) natural ingredients/products.
This was a paradigm shift that draws attention to what’s inside. If Coke had kept the red cans and simply printed on them “natural sugar or sweetener,” the results would not be the same.
So let’s go beyond the packaging and talk about the technology that makes it happen.
Budweiser is selling beer with your favorite NFL team printed on the can. While this can be a relatively straightforward marketing decision, the technology behind this is not so simple.
You need to make sure that:
- The right teams are printed on the right cans
- The right cans are delivered to the right cities
- They arrive in time for the games!
The includes a digitization strategy that includes order processing, flexible packing and printing, logistics, and making sure the right cans end up in the right markets before Sunday’s game!
A more complex example is a packaging solution aimed straight at the customer experience. Purina now has a brand of dog food called “Just Right” and it is a customer oriented product that ensures you get the right food at the right time for your dog without question.
You enter information about your dog (go ahead and take a look at the Purina website) and upload a picture to the site. One of the main areas is whether or not your dog has an allergy because if so, Purina cannot miss this. Imagine the technology that is behind website portals and information enabled factories to align orders – and even a photo of your dog one bag at a time….every time!
Cisco is the digitization engine that is driving these (and many more) manufacturers into the future. Visit the show to better understand what is happening but more importantly what’s next!
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