Friday, October 27, 2006

Packaging: A Cause For Profit

Packaging News You Can Use Tip Of The Week
Issue #1260 - October 26, 2006
Publisher: JoAnn Hines ,
© Packaging News You Can UseBy JoAnn Hines The Packaging Diva

FROM THE DIVA'S READERS: Walking loudly and carrying a big stick by Wendy Jedlicka, CPP

SO -- did my last note about Wal-Mart's points system (score card) announcement from the Sustainable Packaging Forum make you take-notice? If it didn't -- you weren't paying attention. When the elephant in the room decides to get up and move, everyone needs to pay attention. The new points system means both buyers and vendors alike will be judged on how they measure-up to goals Wal-Mart is establishing or itself for both near and long term change.

Like the elephant, Wal-Mart's moves are not always going to be pretty, and some will be crushed by them. Is it nice? No. Is it needed? Oh. my yes. In the ever more rapid drive to the bottom, to meet the "Lowest Price Guarantee", vendors cut corners and leverage every advantage possible. Though all perfectly legal (in the country they are leveraged in) many of these advantages offer short-term profits but create greater long-term costs -- usually for the environment and health/well-being of workers and their communities. To get the rest of Wendy's report email me at

IN RESPONSE TO MY ARTICLES:"The Perils of Packaging Junk Food"Marketers roll out healthier, vegetable-based snacksUSA Today - USA... Product tracker Mintel has counted 45 veggie snack rollouts in the past year, says Lynn Dornblaser, director of customer solutions. ...

"What's In Your Bottle"Bling H20 Is More Than Just A Pretty Face, But Would You Pay For a Bottle?

At $35 a bottle, Bling H20 is no ordinary water. The runway model-like thin, tall, frosted glass bottle is a fashion statement. Each 750ml bottle is handcrafted, corked, and decorated with exquisite Swarovski Crystals. Couture water? Sure, this product is positioned to target the ever expanding super-luxury consumer market.

THE DIVA'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK:How can I find out the latest information about Wal-Mart and its packaging mandates? Good news! if you want to package products for Wal-Mart be sure and check out the latest information on packaging archived at

FEATURE ARTICLE:Packaging: A Cause For Profit by JoAnn Hines Packaging DivaRecently I wrote the article “How to Package a Cause to Sell More Products.” It was one of my most popular ones. If you missed it you can read it archived at As it turns out many new companies are jumping on the "cause marketing" bandwagon in conjunction with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Right now breast cancer is the most popular cause used at market because it is October and it can be closely identified with marketing to women. (80% purchaser and decision maker.)

So companies are thinking it’s a win-win to both audiences. Yoplait has been supporting breast cancer for a number of years; in fact I spoke about it at the Marketing to Women Conference last year. It is important to recognize the fact that not all women are swayed by supporting a cause in their purchasing decision. It’s more complicated than just slapping a new (pink) label on the package.

A recent example of campaigns that are working include: Campbell Soup which made some tremendous profits with their changed design of their red and white cans to pink with ribbons in support of the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an initiative that has resulted in the doubling of its sales to its biggest retailer.

There are lots of "limited" edition products being introduced in hope that you will be swayed into purchasing them in support of a good cause. In fact the proliferation of "pink" products since last year is quite amazing. Even NASCAR is getting in on the action. Remember my article “What Can NASCAR Teach Us about Packaging?” Well, VIVA® Towels debuted a pink race car in the NASCAR Busch Series as part of partnership with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Look at this extended group of product offerings from The Republic of Tea'm not sure how much they are donating but what a great range of "cause marketing" packaging. You can capitalize through product packaging on other causes too. In fact you can create ongoing cause marketing campaigns throughout the year with a little creative license.

But be sure and consider this: There are two sides to this issue: companies that really believe in supporting the cause (ask for my article "It's Easy Being Green - Packaging Your Green Brand") for which they are endorsing and developing pink products AND companies that are just using a cause as a marketing gimmick to sell more product. Many people question the amount of money that is actually donated. Is it insignificant compared to the profits made during a special cause marketing campaign? I think the issue revolves around the words "a portion of the profits" and that varies from company to company.

But whatever your opinion -- whether you are induced to make a purchase or to support a cause -- packaging for cause marketing is here to stay. The question is can you make it profitable for your company to support this endeavor. Will your customer, the ultimate decision maker, look at your company in a favorable light or be turned off because they think you are out there to make a quick buck?

For more insights on how to package a product for a cause come to the Packaging Bootcamp at or contact the Packaging Diva via email at or by phone at 1-678-594-6872.

THE DIVA'S PICKS OF THE WEEK:Remember what you don't know can hurt you.Target Stores Refuse to Address Toxic Products and Packaging Linked to Cancer and Birth Defects

More than 60 Health & Environmental Organizations Urge Target to Join Wal-Mart, Microsoft and Other Retailers in Phasing Out Dangerous PVC (Vinyl) Toys, Shower Curtains and Other Products and Packaging

China woman richest on paperInternational Herald Tribune - FranceAP. SHANGHAI The wealthiest person in China prospered by turning recycled paper from the United States into Chinese packaging products - and like many fellow ...


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