Friday, October 17, 2008

Can You Profit From Pink Product Packaging?

Packaging News You Can Use
Tip Of The Week Issue #1309 - October 17, 2008

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Can You Profit From Pink Product Packaging? by JoAnn Hines Packaging Diva

I just took a stroll down the aisles at my local warehouse club BJs' this week and was amazed by the number of pink packages I saw. Definitely a considerable increase over the number of pink products in recent years. And a whole new range of products too, not just those associated with women.

I know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month but I found myself wondering do these marketing campaigns really work? Packaging a product for a cause or "cause marketing" has been used by CPG companies for a while. As brand marketers struggle for line extensions and market share its logical too look at "cause marketing" for additional opportunities.

Personally I look good in pink so I'm naturally attracted to any product in that color especially if its clothes for an adult woman (me). We all recognize the pink ribbon that has become the standard associated with Race For The Cure. Right now breast cancer is the most popular female issue used in "cause" marketing and consequently product packaging. It is closely identified with M2W, the 80+% purchaser and decision maker of all consumer goods categories, so naturally companies think pink products is a no-brainer for female audiences. But does pink packaging really work?

Yoplait started one of the first pink ribbon campaigns with the purchasing and retuning the yogurt lids with the pink ribbon on it. I'm sure its working for them because the campaign has lasted several years (of course spending major advertising dollars has helped too). One reason its been so successful is because of its simplicity. It appeals to the right target demographic, Its a popular product and its a simple consumer commitment to wash off a few lids and mail them in an envelope.

But what if you have an ordinary product? Can you capitalize of pink product packaging in the month of October? Let's step back for a minute and ask are you packaging pink because you think its a gimmick for more sales? What does supporting breast cancer research mean to you and your brand? Is their a way to incorporate and align your branding statement with breast cancer?

The connection has to make sense if you expect your consumer to make the "connection." Are you spelling out in clear and simple terms how the campaign works? Are you asking your consumer to do too much to make it happen? Lastly are you making it understood how much you will be donating to the cause if someone purchases your product?

With the economic slow down people are really scrutinizing what they are buying so it better be clear that you are offering value for their purchase. If supporting a cause is factored into the purchasing equation so much the better. Consumers may be tempted to purchase your product as a less expensive way to make a charitable donation too in lieu of writing a check to their favorite charity. So make it clear how your incentive works to benefit them.

Whether consumers are induced to make a purchase of your pink packaged product 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 just because it’s a popular initiative at the moment? So think pink packaging or not, be sure and understand how to utilize pink product packaging and why pink product packaging might be a profitable move to impact your bottom line.

I'm JoAnn Hines The Packaging Diva. I'm tapped in to the latest packaging news. I can help you assess why or not you should consider changing your product packaging. At the very least I can tell you what your competition is doing.

If you are just chumming the "packaging" waters then be sure and visit and one of my web sites for lots of information and advice or to get your free packaging report "Why Packaging Fails".
Considering that the cost of designing an average retail package is $7,000, what's a few dollars to get it right the first time (or risk spending thousands more to fix it later)! It pays to do your homework!

So if you are seeking packaging expertise, consultation, assistance, design or RFPs, or just plain help, I can assist you with your ideas, goals, questions, issues and challenges. I promise I *will* find your packaging solution!

Visit your one stop packaging solution site. Or give me a buzz at 678-594-6872.

Happy Packaging!

JoAnn Hines
Packaging Diva
All Packaging All Of The Time

I package people, products and services. Get started in the right direction by visiting any one of my web sites for free advice, articles or just plain help. You can ask a question to a packaging expert too, list your packaging request, subscribe to my complimentary newsletter Packaging News You Can Use or just visit my web site to ask me your packaging question. I *will* find your perfect packaging solution!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Incredible Shrinking Package

Packaging News You Can Use by JoAnn Hines Packaging Diva
Tip Of The Week
Issue #1308 - October 10, 2008


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The Incredible Shrinking Package by JoAnn Hines Packaging Diva

Has anyone noticed this lately? Your favorite brands are getting smaller yet the pricing remains the same.
Consumers are really starting to pay attention to "product shrink." I first noticed it in my yogurt cup but thought oh well its less calories any way but lately I'm seeing a lot of different products shrinking yet the prices remain the same and in some cases shrinking product contents combined with increasing prices.

This isn't the first time this has happened. If any of you have old cookbooks you will notice that the recommend amount of some of the products has changed. Especially when you are baking and you need one and a piece of something to complete the recipe. A cup of something is still however a cup so standard weights and measurements still apply.

We saw the shrinking of the detergent bottle (Ultra detergents) a while back along with the supposed claim of saving the environment with less packaging. The detergent is concentrated requiring less packaging material to make the bottle and less cost to ship it too. The real truth is however that it was a win for CPG companies and the packaging manufacturers not the consumer. You are actually paying more per wash with the new detergents rather than less. It looks good for the environmental packaging spin too.

But enough sour grapes on something that has become common place, packages are now shrinking to keep up with the cost of inflation. The price of raw materials is skyrocketing and companies are looking for ways to offset the increasing costs. One of the simplest ways is to reduce the amount of product inside while keeping the price the same hoping that consumers won't notice.

Sorry, but we now have an educated customer that's reading labels and taking notes. Not only are the reading them but they are comparing like products. Branded merchandise was already loosing ground to private label products, now even more so with the down turn in the economy. If your product shrinks and the consumer isn't happy they WILL look for alternative especially if they are less expensive.

There are however other cost saving options as it relates to packaging. Some companies are doing what's called "light-weighting". That is reducing the amount of packaging material that's used. I'm sure you seen how the thickness of your water bottles has decreased or how you can now squeeze your beer or soda can with one hand. That's because the manufacturers have figured out a way to take out packaging material while still keeping the structural integrity of the package. Packaging technology has new and improved materials that makes this possible. Its important to note however, that there is a fine line between reducing material costs and the failure of the package. If it doesn't get to the consumer in good condition then its a disaster.

Another way of reducing packaging costs is to re-configure the package to be more cost effective. That is to design a product in such a manner that it takes up less space on the store shelf or maximizes palletization and shipping or transportation by being a better shipping unit. A good example is the square milk bottle introduce by Wal-Mart where not only can the get more on the shelf a square bottle vs a round bottle but it also is more cost efficient shipping. This bottle redesign is a win for Wal-Mart considering the vast amount of money saved in making this change. A note of caution when contemplating a radical redesign of a common place item the jury is till out on consumer acceptance of the square milk bottle. Ever tried to pour one?

Considering consumer awareness of the incredible shrinking package a smart marketing person would be looking for ways to provide more value not less. Redesign, light-weighting or just simply keeping the product amount the same are all options in winning the hearts and minds in today's consumer brand loyalty isn't what it used to be and once they are gone they might never come back.

Keeping updated on the latest packaging issues and trends is easy. That's what I do keep abreast of packaging trends technology and innovation so you don't have too. Its all in my weekly newsletter Packaging News You Can Use. You may get a complimentary subscription to Packaging News You Can Use at