Digitizing Packaging Processes Helps Big Players to Keep up with Innovative Craft Brands

In order to compete with the innovative strength of craft brands, big FMCG companies have to fundamentally revise their way of operating manufacturing processes. Especially when it comes to packaging production, digitization will be key to further drive their growth.

When marketers and advertisers working for craft brands search the internet for tips on how to catch up with big players, they’ll have many hits in their search engine results, for sure. But one thing that will be quite hard to achieve is the trust benefit consumers associate with well-known brands – not to mention the emotional bond and memories. After all, 57 per cent of consumers in developed markets say they prefer buying new products from brands familiar to them. Nevertheless, the innovative power of smaller brands often outperforms FMCG companies. So the latter have to look for ways to prove their ingenuity and flexibility. Connecting packaging technologies via digital tools might be the answer.

Missing Authenticity, Speed and Flexibility

This is even more crucial since famous brands with proven products experienced growth of only 0.7 per cent from 2012 to 2016 which is 7 per cent less compared to the years between 2006 and 2011 whereas craft brands are constantly growing. A reason for that development is probably that craft brands often have a narrow target audience they know and understand very well enabling them to engage them with personalized experiences and satisfy their customer’s demand for products with a strong sense of purpose. Additionally, consumers more and more care about the circumstances of production which are easier to retrace at a smaller brand.

From an economic point of view craft brands benefit from their usually high online affinity combined with a strong e-commerce presence and the fact that they’re really quick in creating and launching new products due to their agile principles. When it comes to product development projects bigger companies need much more time until rollout due to processes that aren’t digitized yet or many departments being involved in the approval process, for instance. All too often, this results in cancelled projects in the end since the product wouldn’t be trendy by the time they’re ready.

Digital Tools Benefit Familiar Brands to Increase their Speed-to-Market

But how exactly can time be cut out of new product launch plans? Digital tools simplify cross-functional work, especially when it comes to packaging processes. Web-based packaging management systems allow brands to:

  • create new packaging concepts using virtualization tools resp. designing digital assets other departments (e.g. marketing and packaging) can access from anywhere,
  • automate quality inspection such as proofreading in all stages along the value chain,
  • update packaging files simultaneously when changes are made,
  • inform all affected employees about new files and changes,

for example. Long story short: Using integrated systems streamlines inter-divisional coordination, speeds up processes and ensures transparency.

Is there anything missing to optimize workflows or do you know of other advantages digital tools offer? We’re looking forward to your input!