Demand More

Contributed by Dayna Neumann

When it comes to disruptive behavior in the consumer packaged goods market Method is taking on the laundry soap category like the super spin cycle on your Whirlpool.  Method has unabashedly taken on the Goliath of Proctor and Gamble with eye-catching packages that demand your attention and practically beg to be left on the counter and admired.  Despite the woefully un-hip nature of the cleaning products category, Method has challenged the notion that form and function cannot have equal roles in packaging.  Method demands more from their package design.  Method demands to be noticed.  What is holding other companies back from trying new designs?  One factor is the inherent complexity in changing a label or package.

In the not-so-distant past the limitations of package design were dictated by the production capabilities of the output devices.  A conventional litho press or foil stamping operation were typically cost and time prohibitive for adequate testing of a new package or label designs.  If the cost and time to convert to a new label or package is prohibitive, innovation is stifled.  Companies stayed with the tried and true designs making annual tweaks or cautious adjustments.  Over time, this approach begins to dictate your presence in the marketplace.  Why do we allow an output device to determine our market presence?

In the digital era these limitations were improved but other limitations took their place, like size constraints and poor color.  Unfortunately, the speed of innovation in digital print has not matched the market demand for change until recently.  With larger format sizes, remarkable color quality and enhanced coatings techniques, consumer packaged goods companies have a new found freedom in the latest digital press technology.

Even the most staid products, like laundry soap, will enjoy new growth opportunities with digital print.  Companies who learn to harness the power of digital print for packaging stand to gain ground on their competitors by testing new package and label designs in a cost effective way.  Beyond testing, CPG companies can localize their labeling to the store level and create a totally unique customer experience.  Imagine seeing your local landmark or event displayed on labels in your nearby Home Depot.  With advances in press technology, digital has begun to disrupt the packaging world and given not-so-hip products the freedom to shake things up a bit.

Are you demanding more from your packaging?

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The Demand for On Demand

Contributed by Terry Gill

Output agnostic. That’s where I’d like to start this conversation. It’s a concept we’ve been knocking around for several years as we’ve watched the incredible pace of change inside the marketing communications and business solutions marketplace.

As a company, we want to establish mindset where the output is whatever it needs to be. It can be determined by economics, risk factors, consumer preference or some other determinant, but we are to have zero bias. It may need to deliver from a very large piece of iron, the latest digital press or it may simply remain in its digital state as PDF.

Our role is to ensure the output choice isn’t influencing how we chose to manage the content. Think of it as the antithesis of the well-worn “Begin with the end in mind” approach. It’s beginning without worrying about what comes at the end. It’s really a freeing and powerful concept, but requires a different philosophy.

To really embrace and live out this concept you have to choose a different path. Its one where the value proposition isn’t defined by size, number or speed of our output devices; those are things that are easy to understand and exploit. They are linear and scalable. They plug in.

Marrying smartly designed and functional web facing content management tools with an output agnostic business model creates a new kind of value. And for those souls who live inside business climates that are heavily regulated, this new way can be more than just a means of surviving. Will this become a real competitive advantage or at least a fair fight?