I had the opportunity to speak in Silicon Valley about packaging, which is NOT something locals in the valley discuss every day. These digital natives are more likely to talk about apps than end caps, think more about adoption than regulation and worry more about code lines than dielines.

(It was encouraging that VP of Platform Ecosystem at HubSpot, Scott Brinker had just published my article “Brand Packaging Needs a Marketing Tech Stack Too, Who Knew?” on his Chief Marketing Technologist blog, but still…)

I was a tinge nervous that my presentation about all the work and communication and collaboration and technology that goes into the consumer experience of seeing a product, feeling a connection to the brand and purchasing it would seem quaint to the digital natives. But these components are exactly what they are doing in a digital environment! Essentially, packaging is a marketing vehicle to elicit purchase.

At the CMO Summit, senior marketers shared case studies, best practices and inspired each other (mostly with amazing, creative images to make each other jealous). We received presentations from brands with deep legacies like Levi’s, Clorox and Kimpton Hotels and also from famous start-ups-turned-dominators like Uber, Amazon and Adobe.

Below I’ll briefly summarize my presentation, but you can learn more about the topic by downloading the maturity model paper here and checking out the framework itself here.

Packaging is of primary importance for consumer goods companies. Packaging is the first impression of quality for the brand and the first expression of the brand essence. Consumers connect differently with packaging than with other marketing vehicles. Packaging is owned media. Packaging often IS the product — the two are indistinguishable from the consumer’s perspective.

Through research conducted with the CMO Council, we have found that most marketing leaders do not know just how painfully slow their packaging processes are. Perhaps you’ve heard the saying that news gets better as it travels to the top of the organization? Well, that seems to be true of packaging lead times which actually take 198 days, but which marketing leaders think take about 90 days and which consumers think should only take 1 day.

esko ad

The Digital Maturity Model for Brand Packaging is a framework for viewing the digital transformation of packaging was developed using insights and contributions from Pantone, MediaBeacon, Esko, X-Rite and AVT. This framework also provides a language for teams to use to align their efforts and work toward common goals and a vibrant future state. Given the disconnects between marketing and packaging, this kind of common vision and language is sorely needed.

Using this framework and language, marketers can:

  • Spark conversations among cross-functional teams to determine which capability level best describes their organization. Which dimensions are outliers, lagging far behind the others?

  • Investigate which technologies comprise their packaging tech stack, how deep into the value chain their stack penetrates, and the benefits that await them if they are to gain further digital capabilities.

  • Put plans in place to increase speed-to-market, develop deeper cross-collaboration between departments such as design and packaging and improve quality and cost position.

[Download the Digital Maturity Model for Brand Packaging here.]

It was a privilege to share the stage with leaders from these powerhouse brands in Silicon Valley and to find out we have more in common than I ever thought possible. To learn more about the CMO Summit, visit: https://theinnovationenterprise.com/summits/chief-marketing-officer-summit-san-francisco-2018

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