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As the role of the private label retailer continues to evolve into something that looks more like that of a consumer packaged goods manufacturer, private label retailers have found themselves facing many new challenges. In addition to managing the merchant and distribution channels, private label retailers now must consider how to make their own offerings tantamount to their stores.
The first step to accomplishing this is to readjust your mind-set as a private label owner and start thinking like a traditional consumer packaged goods manufacturer. A major component of the CPG manufacturer’s success in marrying the various aspects of a brand resides within the packaging components.
CPG manufacturers and private label retailers now are facing many of the same challenges when it comes to packaging. Whether it be FDA regulations, time-to-market expectations, or newly defined consumer preferences that are throwing a monkey wrench in your process, opportunities exist to improve the process.
Even though many of the overall packaging challenges may look the same on paper, we all realize that no two companies are alike, no matter how similar the product they produce. But, for some reason, the industry is bogged down with one-size-fits-all solutions that fit no one. These impractical band-aids are compounding the problem by not addressing the specific needs of the organization, needs that can change in any number of ways in an instant.
Packaging launch software is one adaptable solution to an ever-changing industry. Brand owners can use this technology to manage a host of packaging elements including individual design artwork, specifications and rules, pack copy, role-based preferences and approval hierarchy to keep your packaging process as unique as your needs. As time goes on, you can build upon your settings to accommodate company changes; companies don’t remain static and neither should your processes.
Private label retailers are in the midst of a major transformation into consumer packaged goods manufacturers. During this time, it is vitally important to use tools that can help facilitate that transformation, keeping your brand ahead of the competition.
Time is a company’s most valuable asset, and misuse of that asset can be devastating for a private label retailer trying to compete in today’s real-time market. Ongoing artwork changes and lengthy approval procedures often hold up packaging production. While these processes will never go away, there are ways to streamline them to keep your company competitive.
The way that many companies currently operate is one bottle-neck after another enduring duplicated work, multiple iterations in artwork and design, and approval processes that hinge upon the information sitting on a co-worker’s or vendor’s desktop. With the array of consumer packaged goods on the market growing with each passing day and the private label industry quickly becoming part of that exponential growth in the market, it is more important than ever that private label retailers get their product on shelf faster than the competition.
LACK OF INTUITIVE TOOLS
With every employee’s responsibilities growing daily, it is important to have tools that are easy to use and practical. So often, when launching a new product or making what should be a “minor” change to packaging, we find ourselves reinventing the wheel. While the trials and tribulations of each launch help employees evolve, our set of necessary tools often remain the same, keeping us locked in a routine of consistent manual updates.
When performing a task on the job we often think to ourselves, “there’s got to be a better way.” What we really mean is there’s got to be an easier way. We want that instant gratification of taking that great idea and turning it into a reality. That’s typically the point where things get messy. With packaging teams encompassing so many people, including off-site vendors, getting everybody on the same page at the same time can become a difficult task.
TROUBLE WITH GROWTH
The good news is, your product is selling and is a hit among consumers. Now for the bad news: You, as a brand owner, must figure out how you will increase your lines to fill the uptake in demand. As package line environments continue to grow and become more complex, backups can occur that cause problems in accommodating large volume increases.
Private label retailers are in the dawn of their evolution into major consumer packaged goods brands. Their need for processes that are scalable is greater than ever before. As competition continues to grow, companies will need technology that they can count on to accommodate growing product demands.
When all is said and done, the main concern is the bottom line. But many of the current processes that manufacturers are using to create labels and packaging do not dovetail with the target of increasing profits and decreasing loss. Many private label retailers have outsourced packaging and labeling, which can result in a costly expense.
Implementing a new idea, such as packaging launch software, can bring the process back in-house, reducing headcount. Having a range of information in one place keeps the process constantly moving to meet market demands.
Major consumer packaged goods brands continue to raise the bar with successful branding, much of which resides in the packaging of their products. The time is right for private label retailers to take a step back and consider how some of these packaging principles can be applied to their product offerings, helping to establish the brand of the private label beyond the retailer.