Together with growing population the number of packaged food consumption is increasing rapidly. According to latest researches only European market is predicted to grow up to 953 billion packages by 2020.

Growing market means growing competition for both packaging manufacturers and brand owners. Their cooperation while creating packaging becomes a crucial factor for success.

When a market is growing so rapidly it is important to answer the question of what would be the best way to differentiate your packaging when each of us encounters around 25 packages per day? How can a brand owner make sure that chosen packaging will make best impression? How should a packaging manufacturer’s  strategy be different from competitors’? What would make this specific company’s packaging structural and graphic design exquisite?

What customers really want from packaging suppliers

time to market strategic partner turnavisualWhile 19% of companies still believe that prices on BTB market play one of the dominant roles the researches show the opposite results. Among top priorities for B2B buyers while making decision on a purchase are

  • fitting with buyers values and beliefs,
  • being a driver of innovation,
  • providing a broad product catalog. (McKinsey&Company 2013)

B2B companies are expected to be more customers oriented. Buyers want them to understand their needs, to provide the best innovative solution which would allow them to keep on top of the market while being able to give an overview of everything they have in a simple and easily accessible way.

What does it mean in the world of packaging industry? As Gordon Crichton puts it, this is not just about price but about how we capture innovation and how we work with our strategic suppliers and how we do it quickly to put products onto the shelves as fast as possible.

Cooperation between a brand owner and packaging manufacturer is the key! But how to achieve it? How to be more than just a supplier? What a packaging manufacturer can and should do to win customers over and become their strategic partner in product development?

Time to market – make it work

In a rapidly growing market time is the new black. Time-to-market means everything. “Timely deliveries are crucial to how customers view your reliability. A quick turnaround can become the key to minimizing your inventory, which in turn translates to less risk of inventory obsolescence and lower cash needs.” (Bob Reiss, 2010). Sometimes it is not the best product that wins but the best timed product.

In such situation ability to meet brand owners need to release product on time is one of the best services a packaging supplier can offer.

How can it be done? There can be quite a few options. One of them is using 3D printers for fast packaging prototyping. Another could be considering web-to-print for packaging production. Third one is using online 3D tools like TurnAvisual to turn mockup creation in not just a DIY process but a DIY-very-fast process.

RPC Superfos and Food Products International case: when a packaging manufacturer turns into a strategic supplier

food products international turnavisual time to marketOne of the best illustrations of how simple developments made by packaging manufacturers can help brand owners release products significantly sooner is cooperation between RPC Superfos and Food Products International S.r.l. Food Products International used RPC Superfos 3D studio powered by TurnAvisual for creating new product designs and redesigning the old one. The result was that re-design took only three weeks while new design project time was less than six weeks. Read full case here.

RPC Superfos, by adding value to its service through implementing online 3D studio, turned into strategic supplier and a driver of innovation proving that changing traditional ways of working and implementing innovative approaches to packaging design and production can reduce time and money spent in a fast and often easy way. This saved time for both the company and its customers. Get your copy of an online 3D studio guide here.

Where is YOUR company on a way to innovation?

How many packaging manufacturers are ready to change the way they work to adapt to new circumstances? How many can claim that they have evolved into strategic partners for their customers rather than just suppliers? Is it achievable in general?

“For many of the B2B companies we know, the biggest hurdle to reallocating budgets isn’t identifying the new opportunities; it’s having the courage to test them. Seasoned executives and sales leaders often struggle to accept the reality that long-standing “truths” about how to best serve customers no longer apply” (McKinsey&Company 2015).

Change is associated with struggle to implement new ways of working and functioning. When potential profit is not precisely estimated it might seem that there are too many risks to take. But would avoiding change benefit companies in the end?

There are many questions a company has to answer before making this or that decision. Has your company already managed to become a strategic supplier who drives innovation? How do you help your customers? Share with us your experience! Or are you only hoping to be one?..

Contact TurnAvisual and we will tell you more about our online 3D visualisation tool for packaging graphic design. Send us a message here.

You might also be interested in “How to Sell More Packaging: a 3(D)-Step Guide to Success”.