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Drive Design Innovation through Collaborative Packaging

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It has been proven that packaging has a direct impact on
sales, most notably in influencing many purchase decisions that take place at
the point-of-sale. Over and over again, studies find that innovative packaging
systems (new shapes, materials, dispensing systems, etc.) are very powerful in
their ability to differentiate brands, justify price premiums and increase
brand loyalty. The challenge, however, is to identify opportunities for
innovation'and to measure the business value of packaging
Jane Chase, senior director, packaging innovation and
R&D, The Schwan Food Co., recently sat down with Packaging
to discuss exactly how to drive innovation through collaborative
packaging.  One of the keys to innovation
is collaboration, according to Chase. Without gaining alignment with the other
functional areas that are impacted by the change in the company early, package
will not happen.
'By insuring that your key partners-Marketing, Product
Development, Process Engineering, Operations and Legal-are engaged in the
development process, you allow them to become invested in the success of the
project. Their input at key points in the development of the package innovation
strengthens the design and produces a more robust commercializable package,'
she explained.

But, a red flag that you're working with the wrong partner on a package
innovation is missed deliverables early on in the process. 'There are times
where we as end users push our partners to commit to timing that they know is unattainable.
A true partner is strong enough to call for reasonable time for development,'
she added.

A lot of companies come to an end user with a new innovative
technology that they would like to get commercialized, but sometimes the partner
is unwilling to make changes because the development is done and you are just
looking to sell the technology.
"It's really important that the partner be willing and
able to make the technology work for your application,' she said.
Chase believes that brands need to design their packaging to
optimize shelf space because, to a retailer, the bottom line is that shelf
space equals money. The more productive a shelf space is in turning product and
generating revenue, the more profitable the space is for the retailer and the

Amanda Ciccatelli,
Social Media Strategist at IIR USA in New York City, has a background in
digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business
strategy, marketing, and technology. She previously worked at Technology
Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and
feature stories in the tech industry.  She can be reached
at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc. 

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