flexible packaging

Flexible Packaging as a Marketing Tool

PART 3 OF A 3-PART SERIES ON FLEXIBLE PACKAGING.

You have a great product. You’ve developed, refined, and perfected it until you have a product you’re proud of and that has great profit potential. Whether your company revolves around a single product, or several product lines, chances are, you’ve invested a ton of time, energy and other resources to get to this point.

Now, what about packaging? The type of packaging you choose for your product will have a huge impact on its success. Factors like freshness, protection, and convenience will impact how your product is perceived by consumers – and whether they’ll buy it repeatedly. Packaging choice obviously plays a major role here. But are you giving packaging enough credit for its ability to impact your product’s success through branding and differentiation? What about product information and education?

The first two installments of this three-part blog series on flexible packaging discussed the many types of flexible packaging available. We covered which types of flexible packaging may be best for various products, and the potential cost savings involved. Here, in Part 3: Flexible Packaging as a Marketing Tool, we discuss the advantages of flexible product packaging when it comes to marketing your product.

The ability to use every square inch of the package.

Since flexible packaging is printed while flat, the capability is there to print on every square inch of the package, essentially turning the whole thing into a label.

The entire package can be a bright, eye-catching color. Additional colors, graphics, even photography can be added. Front, back, sides – even the gusset – can carry product messaging and information. So, with flexible packaging, you can include all regulation-required information, and still have plenty of space for product features and benefits, plus eye-catching graphics and call-to-action.

The right packaging allows you to differentiate.

Yours may not be one of them, but we find that many companies still view their product packaging as an afterthought. A tremendous commitment of resources goes into the painstaking creation of their products, but the wrong – or underutilized – packaging can whittle away at the products’ chances of success.

It pays to view product packaging as an essential part of your branding, marketing and merchandising efforts. The packaging you choose can attract consumers and sway their purchases, right at the decision point. Will consumers notice your product amongst the sea of competing products? Will they properly perceive its value? Quality? Flavor? Packaging helps determine all of this.

Packaging has become an integral part of every successful company’s marketing mix. And we have seen a major shift toward flexible retail packaging, and a wide recognition of the power it has to build brands and attract loyal customers.

Choosing the right flexible packaging is vital.

With so many sizes, shapes, materials and printing processes available within the flexible packaging arena, it’s a good idea to do your homework. A good, knowledgeable packaging and labeling expert can help you look at every aspect – including what kind of package messaging is important to the success of your product.

Questions to consider include:

  • What is your competition doing?
  • How do consumers feel about existing products in your category and how they’re packaged?
  • Are there consumer complaints or requests that you can address through the right flexible packaging?
  • What colors, graphics and messaging are you seeing on your close competitors’ flexible packaging?
  • Pouch functionality – how is the consumer using your product?
  • How could flexible packaging help you continuously update your product design, so your product doesn’t become overlooked on the shelf?

Flexible packaging. A powerful tool.

Product packaging is vital to every product’s success, this we know for sure. Flexible packaging, specifically, can be a powerful tool in your marketing and branding tool kit. It must be eye-catching, intuitive, and functional. Flexible packaging allows manufacturers to package their products to answer these consumer demands.

Eye-catching is possible when you work with a flexible packaging supplier that has cutting-edge print capabilities. Full color. Wide web. Roll stock. The options for designing and producing eye-catching packaging are virtually endless.

Creating lasting brands in consumer goods involves the right packaging.

Designed and printed correctly, flexible packaging should have the following characteristics. It should be:

  • Visible - Stand out from the competition and have stopping power.
  • Visceral - Create positive emotional reactions with consumers resulting in a preference.
  • Memorable - Pass the memory sketch test.

Here’s more on each of these points.

Powerful visible brand identity.

A powerful brand identity visually captures the unique essence of the brand strategy. It also connects the heart of the brand to consumers in a memorable way. Flexible packaging allows the freedom to accomplish this through full-package print, texture, colors and shapes.

Visceral expression of the product.

The visual impact of your flexible packaging design should express the unique part of the product experience, and emotionally engage consumers’ senses to create a craving for the product. An example of a tool we use to involve the senses, is soft touch matte. Consumers find it hard to resist touching product packaging that includes this soft-to-the-touch effect. And consumer engagement increases the chance of a sale.

Flexible packaging, a background for impact.

The right packaging background creates dimension, and pulls consumers in. Colors and textures can be used to create visible brand blocks, product differentiation in retail settings, and contribute to the product’s memorability.

Make the most of the power without.

While it goes without saying that what’s inside the package must be good, your product packaging can be the turbo power of your marketing and branding. As a (literally) flexible option, flexible packaging – done well – involves each one of the points above.

Flexible packaging can not only protect and store your product, it can present your product in the best light. It can display the price and value of your product, communicate the features and benefits to consumers, and influence them to choose your product over countless others.

Even if your product is the very best on the market, the wrong packaging can keep it from moving off store shelves. And the right packaging can be the turbo boost your product needs to start flying off store shelves and into the hearts and homes of consumers.

Once you determine that flexible packaging is right for your product, find a trusted supplier with extensive capabilities and experience–one that can help you design and produce a packaging powerhouse for your product. After all, it may be what’s on the inside that counts, but It’s on the outside that products are discovered and chosen in the retail space.

Would it Pay to Flex Your Packaging? Flexible Packaging Options. Which One is Right for You?

PART 2 OF A 3-PART SERIES ON FLEXIBLE PACKAGING.

As you consider flexible packaging, your options are just about endless. Pouches, films, bags, envelopes, sachets, wraps, stick packs and foils–stand-up and lay-flat–are all types of flexible packaging widely used by manufacturers today.

Everything from juice to nuts; candies to jerky;  and even lawn & garden products can be found in flexible packaging.

There are many ways to flex.

Two-, Three-, or Four-Side Seal Bags or Pouches – Slim and convenient, these work great for single servings, sample-sizes and more. These three-side seal-flat pouches, are a great flexible packaging option for products with flat or flexible shapes, like beef jerky and dry powders or mixes. This slim packaging option is packable, portable and can save on shipping costs. Features that can be included in flat barrier bags include zip locks, hang holes and child resistance.

These types of high-barrier pouches are in high demand because of their superior properties, including improved durability, strength, and protection of products from moisture and oxygen. Another key benefit is the ability to print on the entire package in full color while offering reduced material and less negative impact on the environment.

Printed Roll Stock – If you make your own packaging but need the right film to maintain product quality and control costs, printed roll stock might be your answer. It can be used to convert into many different types of products, such as stick packs, sachets, lidding, flow wrap and vertical or horizontal form and fill. These types of packaging require different types of film dependent on the application. The choices are endless, from clear OPP to metalized to foil film to multiple layer constructions.

Your Century Label packaging consultant can help you determine the best material, specs and design. We'll need to know the application, materials going into the pouches, preferred web width, diameter or length of rolls, heat settings and dwell time. No project is too big or too small, as we can offer digital or HD flexo printing to accommodate all your custom printed packaging needs.

High Vapor Barrier Pouches – Product accessibility can be limited with the use of this flexible dispensary packaging option. When child resistance or legal locking bags are needed for consumer preference or to comply with government regulations, Century Label offers these packaging solutions.

Uses include packaging of medical marijuana, edibles, laundry pods and medicines. These durable, high vapor barrier bags and pouches help maintain product aroma, freshness, shape, viability and structure, and can be custom printed digitally or flexographically. Our fully custom printed stock pouches are available in quantities as low as 5000 bags or pouches.

K-Style Bottom Gusset Stand Up Pouches – K-bottom gusset style pouches have a K-shaped seal profile on the front and back sides of the bottom edges. This design tends to guide product toward the center and bottom of the pouch, making it an excellent choice for lightweight products like crackers, cookies and snacks.

This type of flexible packaging is strong and able to stand upright without falling over. It protects fragile product while offering an attention-grabbing presentation and, of course, can be customized to meet your branding needs.

Unlike a round-bottom pouch, the tooling required to manufacture the “K” style seal is not affected by pouch size. This makes it easy and affordable to make just about any size pouch, making changes in package size without needing to change tooling.

Plow-Bottom Gusset Stand Up Pouches – Heavy, bulky products require a slightly different flexible packaging design. Recommended for products weighing five pounds or more, the plow-bottom gusseted stand-up pouch is a convenient, cost-reducing choice for sugar, salt, and other granular products. They offer an excellent way to package, transport, store and display heavy products in a way that is easy to get to and keep fresh.

The plow-bottom design does not have seals on either the front or back edges of its bottom. The weight of its contents settled at the bottom provides a foundation on which the pouch can stably stand. While recommended for products weighing five pounds or more, products that are lighter can be packaged in this style of a pouch.

Round-Bottom, or Doyen Style Gusset Stand Up Pouches – With a round-bottom gusset that features a curved seal profile on the front and back sides of the bottom edges, this can be another good option for lightweight products. The rounded bottom evenly distributes product weight and maintains balance.

This style offers an impactful display that stays upright or hangs, can carry a full-color product message, is resealable, and does a great job of protecting fragile products. Products like grains, coffee grounds, loose-leaf tea and flour, as well as soaps and liquid detergents are good choices for this kind of economical packaging. The round gusset stand-up packaging is convenient for consumers as well, especially with the popular resealable zip closure.

Tooling required to manufacture round bottom seals is specific to the size of the pouch, so custom tooling might be needed, depending on the desired pouch size.

Our experts can help you decide on the best flexible packaging for your products and market.

It’s true that flexible packaging can reduce your packaging costs, minimize waste, and draw attention to your products. Well-designed, quality printed flexible packaging can help get your products noticed among the competition in stores and pharmacies, especially when lined up against plastic bottles and containers.

It's all about product differentiation. Will the consumer choose your package over the competition? How can you improve your chances while controlling costs? It has been proven that product packaged in pouches and other flexible packaging sell better than rigid packaging, overall.

The right flexible packaging solution can do all this while protecting the condition and freshness of your products. Our flexible packaging experts will help you weigh the pros and cons of each and come to the best packaging decision for your product and market.

Our experts can share with you the many fully custom printed pouch programs we offer on both standard- and high vapor-barrier pouches.

In Part 3 of this series, we’ll cover more specific flexible packaging printing options and how to make the most of product messaging and improve your chances of standing out in retail spaces.

When Does it Pay to Flex Your Packaging? Flexible Packaging 101

Part 1 of a 3-part Series on Flexible Packaging.

There are times when it’s wise to be rigid. In matters of principle. In important areas of self-discipline. And, sometimes, in your packaging choices.

However, there are also times when flexibility can be the wise choice. Here, we’ll stick with flexibility as it relates to packaging. We’ll leave matters of the heart, raising children, and self-indulgence for another time.

Glass and plastic bottles and containers will always have their place in the packaging world. Their ability to hold and display a wide range of products – as only they can – will ensure that. But, for some product manufacturers, flexible packaging offers strong benefits over plastic and glass.

We’ll explore flexible packaging in this three-part series.

What is flexible packaging?

Pouches, films, bags, envelopes, sachets, wraps, stick packs and foils – stand-up and lay-flat – are types of flexible packaging widely used by manufacturers today. Chances are, you’ve seen flexible packaging on store shelves and in coolers everywhere. Products ranging from juice, to nuts; candies, to jerky – even lawn & garden products – can be found in flexible packaging.

These are the packages that flex to hold product and flatten to be disposed of while taking up less space in trash receptacles and landfills. They are easy to transport, don’t break, take up less space on store shelves, coolers, home pantries and refrigerators.

From the consumer’s viewpoint, flexible packaging can provide the convenience to enjoy products on the go with single serve portions that can bend, fold and be stored almost anywhere. There’s also the desirable ability to provide resealable product packaging and tolerance to microwave oven temperatures.

Why flexible packaging?

From the perspective of product manufacturers, flex packaging can offer a multitude of benefits – for the right products and conditions.

Flex packaging can reduce packaging costs, minimize waste, and attract attention. Yes, well-designed, quality printed flexible packaging can help get your products noticed among the competition in stores and pharmacies, especially when lined up against plastic bottles and containers.

The right flexible packaging solution can do all this while protecting the condition and freshness of your products.

No label required.

Flexible packaging requires no label because the graphics and product information are printed directly onto the packaging material. This allows manufacturers to showcase high quality graphics on packaging that also protects the contents with an air-tight seal. Century Label offers FDA-approved finishes to further prevent moisture from affecting the product inside.

Flexible packaging and digital printing – a powerful duo.

Century Label is a leader in digital flexible packaging. Our advanced digital print equipment and capabilities allow us to provide short- to medium-run custom flexible packaging at the highest quality and quickest turnaround in the industry.

Here are a few of the benefits of digitally printed flex packaging:

  • Cost Savings - No plate charges, print-on-demand so no inventory required, no waste due to obsolescence

  • Customizable - Use variable data to target any demographic or promotional opportunity

  • Speed-to-Market -Shipping ten business days from approval of artwork

  • Low Minimum Quantities - Ideal for short runs and multi-SKU jobs

  • High Print Quality - High Definition quality, extended color gamut, perfect registration

For long-run jobs, Century Label capabilities include flexo printing for flexible packaging, which may offer cost savings over digital. Our experts can help you determine which method is best for your needs.

When is flexible packaging the best choice?

As you consider your packaging options, our experts can help. Once we gain a knowledge of your products, processes, logistics, and customers, we’ll recommend the best packaging size and structure for your product.

If you already have a package specification in mind, let us know and we’ll work with you on maximizing efficiencies while meeting your packaging, messaging, and merchandising needs.

Here are some important factors to keep in mind when considering various packaging options:

  • How do your customers view your products and how would a packaging change effect that?

  • How does your current packaging compare to the competition?

  • Are there potential cost savings in your packaging process?

  • What would new or different options do to your transit costs?

In Part 2 of this series, we’ll cover specific types of flexible packaging, and the benefits – and drawbacks – of each.

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