Differentiation is one of the biggest reasons why brand customers invest in value-added packaging. Why else would they take more time, spend more money and require more internal resources and suppliers to achieve the end game? After all, stock packaging is cheaper, faster and less resource-intensive to produce. The Dimensional Research study Jabil Packaging Solutions commissioned last year clearly indicates that packaging is a powerful investment area. In fact, 78% of respondents viewed value added packaging as a strategic brand investment. But, we would argue - isn’t it time to mix it up a bit?
We believe that it’s time for truly differentiated differentiation to be offered by the brands. And, we believe next gen differentiation in packaging comes in the form of “Devicification.”
What is devicification? It is a shift to consumer device solution models that marry the consumable to the connected device to drive convenience and loyalty in the home, office – or just about anywhere! Thanks to IoT technology that makes connections ubiquitous and drives ease of use for consumers – the possibilities are endless!
Imagine the opportunities device ecosystems can create. Connected coffee, connected laundry, connected cosmetics and connected lawn and garden – the list goes on and on.
Let’s look at a few examples – starting with laundry. You manage a busy household with children in school and sports and both parents work all day. You share the laundry duties and recognize that keeping the detergent stock high enough to keep the baseball practice and game uniforms clean for two games a week requires active replenishment – with convenience. Besides, who wants to run to the store after a long day at the office and at the baseball field? So you choose a laundry detergent that maps to a device or smart appliance that will know when the detergent is running low re-order before it runs out. Consumer device solutions like this one take the thinking out of home management.
The same can be said for the convenience of cosmetic mixing, application and replenishment. Think how convenient it would be to have a cosmetic device that flawlessly dispenses and applies your foundation in exactly the color and skin type formula that’s perfect for your skin – and then reorders the exact same formula when the supply is running low. You will never run out and you will never be without your preferred foundation.
Coffee is another favorite. Many households choose to brew their coffee one cup at a time to reduce waste and ensure freshness by leveraging a pod and a brewer. Imagine the convenience when the coffee simply arrives at your home – in the flavor you’ve selected just as your pod supply is running low, in exactly the pod type your device requires. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it - especially when you consider a morning without coffee?
The value of device offerings to consumers is clear. It’s all about convenience. But for the brand – the loyalty created is invaluable. Drive convenience and make it easy and your buyers will not only keep coming back – they won’t have the opportunity or inclination to stray to the competition.
Connected device to consumable value also comes in the form of priceless data about your consumers to support improved brand experiences and better supply chain efficiency.
Do your consumers use more laundry detergent during the spring when they are more likely to be outdoors? Do they prefer different skin care formulations with sunblock in the summer when exposed to more sun? And do they want more pumpkin spice flavored coffee in the Fall when the air turns crisp? When you can predict preferences and increased (or decreased) demand based on the data you gather through devices, you can create a superior experience for your customers.
In an era where consumer convenience is king and big data makes superior products and truly differentiated customer experiences – the only question left to be asked is: What are you waiting for?
Julio Oropeza joined Jabil Packaging Solutions (formerly known as Nypro, Inc.) in 1999 as program manager and is currently responsible for the consumer device division. He leads the smart packaging initiative, which offers durable and connected solutions to brands that drive convenience, loyalty and consumer data value.