Let this sink in – more than one-third of consumers choose a product because of its packaging design alone. Packaging redesign is a risky undertaking – get it right, and the rewards are plenty, but get it wrong, and the fallout can be considerable.
Social media has amplified the negative response to packaging and rebranding. When Glad Cling Wrap changed the location of its cutter bar in 2014, the consumer backlash was so intense that the story was picked up by international news. As a result, Glad was forced to ditch the design and reissue stock in new packaging, no doubt at considerable cost. Plus there was the dip in sales when customers switched to other brands.
Packaging lawsuits can also be quite expensive. Heinz has been fined $2.25 million for misleading health messaging on the ‘Little Kids Shredz' product packaging. After the initial complaint was filed in 2016, Heinz was forced to pull the product from stores, which also came at a high cost.
So the question is, when a product is pulled, what can brands do to get back on the shelf as quickly as possible? Speed is key to maintaining market share, repairing a damaged reputation and minimising time off the supermarket shelf.
The better prepared you are,
the better the outcome.
The truth is, the better prepared you are before an emergency, the better the outcome. So here are some things that brands can do now to ensure that they’re ready for anything, and as a bonus, they can speed up their current packaging production process.
Tip #1 – Streamline your production process and save a ton of time
Designs move through many stages to be ready for printing. And the more suppliers and touchpoints you have involved along the way, the higher the chance of delays. This often happens because multiple suppliers duplicate steps, errors are made due to lack of central oversight, and time is wasted going back and forth between various people.
In our experience, brands can get their products on shelf twice as fast, just by having a single design execution supplier be responsible for the packaging design to print process. They can manage production and transform master designs from the agency into 100% press ready and accurate colour files for the printers quickly and efficiently.
Streamlining the design to print process eliminates step duplication by multiple suppliers, reduces the time spent fixing errors, and ensures that you have control over the timing and quality of delivery.
Tip #2 – Tidy-up your internal design approvals process
Involving the right departments and stakeholders for design or artwork sign-off is a critical step in speeding up your packaging design production. Once you’ve identified the key stakeholders, let them know what you need, and when you need it by.
Having a manual approvals process wastes a ton of time. For example, some brands use printed copies of PDFs and distribute them to stakeholders who comment on them by hand. In the end, collecting, collating and tracking these changes becomes exceptionally time-consuming and disorganised, not to mention that it can lead to mistakes which in turn cause more delays!
Having an efficient process can speed up approvals by 40% and reduce bottlenecks. We recommend our clients use online collaboration software to enable all stakeholders to comment on a single file in real time, eliminating collation and simplifying the tracking of changes.
Tip #3 – Demand designers with the right technical and print knowledge
Does your existing supplier ever take a long time to deliver artwork rollout because they don’t have the technical resources required for the fast turnarounds? Do they provide artwork designs that still needs many rounds of corrections to get it genuinely print-ready? Many brands have this problem.
The trick is to find an agency that specialises in design execution. They should have the necessary resources to speed up any step of the design-to-print process, from artwork rollout to prepress to proofing. They should also have the print knowledge and technical design skills to create artwork that is print-ready and colour accurate the first time, every time.
A specialist like that can be counted on to meet the deadlines for your project.