Times are certainly changing, with the pace of the New Year accelerating for the packaging industry. Once upon a time, brand-owners could take time to reflect on the previous year, gradually preparing their next steps, but businesses that do so may find themselves lagging behind packaging’s go-getters.
It’s incredible that I can write this foreword on a bus in the countryside, where access to WiFi is non-existent, but still be able to get it ready to email to my office when I am connected once more. For brands, this ability to prepare material offline before going online is essential for engaging with consumers who are not readily available or physically present. I am, of course, referring to millennials and how they have fast become the market’s biggest source of purchasing power, thus shaking up the packaging industry’s status quo.
In cosmetics, products have to deliver quality, be easy to use, fit seamlessly into individualised daily routines and look good enough to have a photo placed on social media platforms, such as Instagram. On top of this, every product has the mammoth task of competing against similar items in a saturated market. Even more pressure is piled onto cosmetic companies, as brand loyalty comes in short supply. With so much competition, consumers do not forgive brands that make mistakes, empty promises or products that fail to deliver first time.
However, brands are wising up to these issues, and responding with clever engagement stories and marketing that address consumer needs and grab their attention; a discerning group of shoppers are shown that specific brands have the tools they need, including the ability to integrate digital and communications connectivity, so they can always learn about a product, engage with the producer and provide feedback.
Materials and shows are another core focus of our first 2018 edition. See page 27 for an exclusive preview of Packaging Innovations, Empack and Label&Print, which takes place in February at the NEC in Birmingham. Finally, there is a design feature on page 13 about beverage packaging, which also provides insight into another major FMCG market.
Whether you are reading this on a phone, tablet or in an office, I hope you enjoy the latest edition. We continue to rely on your support to cover the issues that matter in 2018, and I look forward to seeing you at the next show or conference.