Packaging – The Ultimate Customer “Touch”point
Manufacturers today are looking for new and innovative ways to differentiate their products. Whether it’s a fight for shelf space or creating a new way to communicate with their customers, packaging presents an opportunity to establish one’s product as a premium, connect with a new generation, or even provide an avenue to provide the information required by today’s consumer. With the advent of the smartphone, consumers have access to information instantaneously. Many are also demanding information that brands never before needed to include. QR codes, barcode scanning apps, and real time customer reviews are putting a tremendous amount of pressure on packaging developers. At the same time there is also a proliferation of skus as brands try to differentiate products for various channels and retailers. For example, consumer electronics have virtually identical models with only slight package or model variations for selling the basically same product at different retailers. This makes comparison shopping more complex and also creates the need for multiple variations of the same package. Yet, the process for developing this packaging hasn’t changed and remains a very manual process.
The current process usually involves using a Vector graphics tool like the clear market leader Adobe® Illustrator®. Needed data such as logos, specifications, product descriptions, pricing, and barcodes all live in disparate systems that cross multiple departments in a normal enterprise. Marketing and Creative departments or their agencies typically are forced to call IT departments for data exports so that this data can be manually copy and pasted into Illustrator®. Not only is this process time intensive, often requires further updating since data becomes stale quickly, and also requires long proofreading and QA cycles. Copy and paste errors are common and any error on packaging can be costly for the business. Variations for languages, skus, or anything else are produced as separate files altogether and there is little time or cost savings in these variations.
Priint’s new Illustrator plug-in place the most current information into the creative files
There is tremendous potential for process improvement and automation in the entire process. What is required is a toolset that allows for easy access to multiple corporate systems directly from Adobe® Illustrator® as well as semi and fully automated production of any needed variation. This would allow for organizations to ensure that their packaging contains the most current and accurate data available, directly from their systems of record. Priint’s new Illustrator plug-in can dramatically enhance this outdated process and provide marketers the ability to instantly place the most current information needed into the creative files.