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Integrated Packaging Management

By: Dieter Bakic
Posted: August 7, 2007, from the August 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

What is the right method for successful packaging? As a rule, individual design and standard packaging are shown as opposite poles and the only alternatives. This perspective gets in the way of understanding the complex correlations. Conclusive packaging solutions are created through an integrated approach.

Strategically oriented packaging companies that comprehend design as a primary component in brand development can contribute to the expansion or relaunching of brands. They have the potential to act as brand consultants because they go a decisive step further than the classic packaging producers or design agencies. They deliver ideas, concepts and plans—as well as realizing the comprehensive packaging solutions.

In integrated packaging management, the components of competition, brand, product, distribution, logistics and target group are considered in their interplay and not as isolated factors. At the same time, special attention is paid to the complex interrelations: Which factors mutually influence each other? Where can synergy be applied? Where are the redundancies that cost time and money? When all of the relevant factors are considered at an early stage, companies gain capacities and can concentrate on their core competencies: promoting and further developing their brands and products.

After initial analysis, a decision must be made on the basic type of packaging. The possibilities range from individual design to standardized packaging. In recent years, the mixed forms and all of their different characteristics have become considerably more important. Ideally, packaging developers should openly advise their clients about all possible approaches to solutions, as well as the pros and cons. Cost, volume, time and brand image play the largest roles in this decision. The basic principle can be formulated as follows: There is an appropriate packaging solution for every need; whether a new launch on the market or an established premium brand, whether a discounter or selective marketing—the design suggestions must match the concept, the target group and the price structure.

Within this context, the required legal protection of the design and/or the exclusiveness of the right of use is a critical point. Even for standardized designs, there are now options for guaranteeing the protection of design patents or exclusiveness for a user during a limited time period or area. It is essential to overcome outdated thinking and keep a constructive eye on the most current possibilities.

Good Design Requires High-level Consulting Skills