Oldies Are Not Goodies Anymore
Packaging industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world as its rise is directly connected to growth of population and consumer goods. The number of companies offering packaging manufacturing services grows all the time and so does competition. To stand out of the crowd takes an incredible effort and time.
You have probably been heavily investing in research and innovation and can claim with all proof that your packaging is the best of its kind on the market. Your customer service is excellent and your prices are very competitive in comparison to what others can offer in your region for this type of packaging.
However, your profit margins might keep shrinking and some potential prospects still choose to switch to competitors.
You have broken your mind and spent thousands of hours on meetings to find out together with your team how to show your customers that your total offer is the best option for their products.
You have tried everything you could to make prospects choose you. You have lowered the prices as much as you could to make them most attractive. You have excelled in your customer service and focused on maximizing customer value to the extent that sometimes it hurts your own interests. And nevertheless, there is no increase in customers while you get under bigger pressure.
Why does this happen? Why so? Because the way companies compete has changed.
The way companies compete has changed and old tools, like lowering prices, do not work anymore
Several companies might be world class so there is no doubt that each of them has outstanding customer service. What then makes customers choose one supplier over another? The answer is that this supplier follows the modern rules of competition.
New Era of Competition
When the industrial revolution started and later on, there were several criteria playing biggest role when choosing a supplier and thus competing as well. First it was efficiency, later joined by scale and, finally, quality. Even though these criteria definitely still play an important part, they are not sufficient any more. The fact that a potential supplier is efficient and operates on a large scale providing high quality products is not a guarantee for success on the market.
Modern market is complicated with so many new variables at play like building networks and ecosystems blended with necessity to remain agile and based on constant inflow of data.
If you are doing what others are doing, then you are doing it wrong
For brand owners, their image and consistent innovation play probably most vital roles nowadays. Modern consumers do not want the cheapest product any more. They want products that are environmentally friendly, recyclable, appealing and strong at delivering a brand message. They want and expect brands to be creative, innovative and meaningful. With so many goods on shelves, brands need to be radically different to stand out from competitors. All that while sustaining constant rotation of products with new designs and shapes within a deadline and on a budget.
Even if the product reflects and represents everything what it is expected to be, it might be not worth anything if packaging does not go hand-in-hand with it. This creates a great platform for collaboration between a brand owner and a packaging manufacturer. Creating perfect packaging is something brand owners usually cannot achieve within their own ecosystem only. They need their suppliers to help them with research, consultation, and implementation to make sure new solution fits their product best and reflects their brand image.
In other words, we are talking about building strategic partnerships. It is not just about reducing price or having more and more add-ons to your services. Usually, they require significant investment in time and money and might end up costing more to the supplier that the value it adds to the customer. Learning new technology and educating personnel postpones the implementation of the add-on even further without always bringing expected results.
How do you know then you are a strategic partner? You might be making significant investments in innovation to improve your equipment, material or both. In a certain way, it might serve to the benefit of your customer. But is this the best way possible? Is it the best way to make your packaging stand out while all the others are doing it the very same way?
What is then the right way to help your customers succeed while improving your own positions? The answer is the different type of innovation.
They say that the quote “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses” belongs to Henry Ford. He might have never said it actually. Moreover, if he did really ask such question, “faster horses” would probably not be the answer like we do not ask for faster cars today. Modern people worry about emissions, producing safer cars to reduce the number of car crashes, and bad roads. In the same way, people back then were more concerned about tons of manure produced each day, flies, disease, cruelty towards horses, and etc. etc. etc.
But does it really matter what Ford said? It does not. It is more important what he did. Ford decided to eliminate all those problems people were experiencing at once with a radically different approach.
“People may never know what they want, and focusing on the problems they are specifically having might take us down paths towards iterating on “good enough” instead of understanding the base emotional problem and aspiring towards innovating something that solves problems in truly great ways.” 
So how do you know you do it right? It is easy. When you present your idea or innovation, it should not be a simple improvement to existent packaging or service. It should be something of unquestionable value which would make a true “Aha” moment for your customer who was not seeing such approach to his problem coming at all.
When excellent quality and service are supported by ability not just to implement what your customer wants, but to see and solve his problems in a truly efficient way, this is what makes you stand out above all others.
In other words, competing with other packaging manufacturers is not about just packaging any more. It is about building that type of partnership with your customers which would bring them instant value and help solve their problems in a way they might not have expected.
At TurnAvisual we help packaging manufacturers establish meaningful partnerships with brand owners by using latest online 3D technologies.
With our online 3D studio and 3D packshots solutions, we ensure packaging manufacturers play a significant role in their customers’ success in a fast, easy and efficient way. Among our customers are RPC Superfos, Ardagh Group Metal, Poeppelmann TEKU and FAMAC divisions and many others.
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