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Brand Security's White Knight—Packaging

By: John Perkins
Posted: February 3, 2009, from the February 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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These systems, too, can provide tangible benefits once purchased—tamper evidence clips can be re-purposed to serve as a spout protector to shield against contamination and dryness as well as spilling during transport and traveling, for example—that add further value. For premium products and product lines at high-end outlets, anti-divergent packaging technology is an additional security packaging that may be considered. This covert packaging solution uses barcodes and serial numbers, also known as serialization, so brand owners can track their product shipments to ensure they arrive at their predetermined destination. In other words, this technology helps prevent products from diverging off their planned shipping and delivery paths. The high-end fragrance market, where licensing agreements specify exclusive logistics and sales partnerships, is known to invest more in this technology because these high-recognition, highly sought products have a higher potential for counterfeiting.

Going Global Securely

Today more than ever, brands must truly operate on a global scale to ensure profitability. Emerging markets—such as Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and India—offer brands an opportunity for exponential growth, and a company’s operating capacity and distribution channels must be able to satisfy the demands of local markets scattered worldwide. For brand owners looking to expand into emerging markets, it is imperative to partner with a packaging solutions provider that offers secure packaging and a secure supply chain that has the ability to strengthen long-term customer affiliations in high-growth parts of the world.

Material scientists working side-by-side with brand managers and supply chain experts is critical when striving for next-generation solutions that change the way packaging performs, protects and communicates. Innovations that result—including radio-frequency identification, anticounterfeiting technologies and interactive “smart packaging”—make packaging more functional, durable and secure and provide dividends for the brands that utilize them.

Sustainable Security Solutions for a Better Future

Brands are also starting to be defined, in part, by consumer-friendly, sustainable security packaging solutions. Retailers often seek the best eco-friendly products that address current, environmental concerns evident in consumer trends. And alternatives to traditional plastic clamshells are very visible manifestations of this push. Sustainable paperboard-based solutions are renewable—often using 50–60% less plastic, on average, than clamshells and, in some examples, up to 50% recycled materials. Packaging such as this can also achieve smaller footprints on shelf while offering the safe-to-open attributes consumers want and maintaining the product display benefits of plastic clamshells and the theft resistance critical to loss prevention.

John Perkins is vice president, Americas for MWV Personal & Beauty Care, responsible for growth strategies, global accounts, regional marketing, solution selling and innovation. He also drives customer-facing leadership of sustainability marketing and has accountability for retail channel management.