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Beyond One Dimensional

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: June 16, 2008
Supplemental to Fanning the Flames of Innovation, from the June 2008 issue, MWV (MeadWestvaco) discusses brand/supplier partnerships, brand/packaging strategic uses, sustainable packaging and more.

GCI: When creating a brand, do marketers consider what the packaging can do to foster or elevate a brand? Beyond simply being a fashionable or trendy looking, can a package create real marketing advantages?

Alison von Puschendorf, director of public relations, MWV: The short answer is yes, product packaging can elevate a brand with real marketing advantages. MWV works directly with brand owners to fulfill their specific packaging needs and to enhance consumer relationships. We strive to go beyond one-dimensional packaging to provide unique, innovative and functional packaging solutions that truly connect brands with consumers. Given that consumers make their purchasing decision within a few seconds at the store shelf, packaging serves a critical role in engaging the consumer and communicating the brand.

There are cases where the packaging is more desirable than the product it contains or becomes so over time, such in the case of collector’s editions. However, there are many other ways packaging can help differentiate a brand. For instance, an environmentally-conscious brand can enhance its position by using recycled packaging materials. Partnering with the correct packaging solutions provider is a vital element to ensuring that the ultimate goal is achieved without compromising other values. Historically, incorporating post consumer fiber has led to a compromise of integrity in the package function of the board or added weight to maintain strength. However, MWV has addressed these concerns and recently introduced Printkote Eagle with 30% post consumer fiber and a technology that allows it to retain the sturdiness of a 100 percent virgin fiber paperboard without becoming denser and heavier.

MWV’s approach is to engage deeply with customers to understand their consumers and their packaging needs, and to develop customized packaging solutions that are meaningful—and valuable—in the marketplace.