Developing a retail packaging for a product Essay
Instructions: Assume you are given the task of developing retail packaging for a new product. The product and package will be produced in a small town in China and then shipped and sold in the United States.
The product will be small runs at first and the package will be a folding carton with a three color print. What print methods might you consider for the first smaller runs? Would you change to a different method if the product does well and goes into larger production runs? Justify your reasoning and considerations.
Your assignement will be in APA format and must include a properly formatted reference list. Your paper must be 1000-1200 words, excluding title page and reference page.
Developing a retail packaging for a product
The development of new products is important for the strategic development of the company. The company has the obligation of not only investing in the product itself but also on research and advertisement. In the present market, most of the companies that launch new products often succeed by employing different strategies to give them an edge over their competitors. Among the main strategies used includes packaging. This paper focuses on developing an effective packaging strategy for a product to be produced in a small town in China and later transported to the USA. In product packaging and design, the role of manufacturers involves choosing the appropriate local manufacturer for the little town in China who understands the local’s taste and preferences. Such conditions that they must be aware of include social political, environmental, economic, and business factors.
In product development, the manufacturer must first consider the target market. The characteristics they consider when identifying the product they want to launch in the market include the demography of their target market (Gustafsson, 2009). Demography is the distribution in the market regarding age or gender. The firm must determine if the product they want to manufacture is better suited for younger generations or is meant for the older people in the society. A company seeking longevity of its product in the market always develops products that target youths or the youth within the society. Such a strategy helps them achieve generational customers who when hooked to their products, become loyal enough to purchase any new product released by the company.
Secondly, the firm chooses the appropriate manufacturer of its product. In chosen the manufacturer, the firm first considers the reputation of the contracting firm. Are they known for their quality? Do they make timely deliveries? What production methods do they use? And, how do they manage shortfalls in their production processes? (Hellström & Saghir, 2007) If the firm is satisfied with the answers they receive to these questions, then they can enter into a production contract with the selected manufacturer. The product is manufactured as per the specifications of the firm with their target market in mind.
In planning for the manufacturing process, the research and development team usually ventures first into the market and conducts several observations to get an accurate picture of how consumers may react to the product they are about to release to the market. While marketing and promotions help announce the arrival of the product to the market, they only serve to notify consumers of the presence and features of the commodity in question. However, the way the product is packaged ensures the customer gives the product a genuine identity and, depending on how it is done, can be the main marketing tool on its own.
The packaging for this particular product is done in a folding carton with a three color print. For the first time small runs I will choose the short-run digital printing since, in the present world, companies usually do not have the luxury of planning due to the volatile and dynamic nature of the market. The norm is rushing jobs and the need for competitive pricing. Therefore, digital printing has become the standard for copy and print shops over the last fifteen years.
Digital printing is a printing technique that involves printing data and images directly from a computer onto a paper and includes those developed over print media such as laser or inkjet printers (Hellström & Saghir, 2007). Most of the commercial printing is done through offset printing. This technique involves transferring an inked image from a plate to a rubber blanket. It is then transferred to the printing surface.
Therefore, such digital printing carries with it advantage for the manufacturer. First, every print can be done differently and does not require printing plates like in traditional methods (Sutzer, 2009). Such is especially important in the Chinese market that is full of competitors who are constantly reinventing themselves to increase their share of the market. Moreover, the method does not waste paper and chemical hence very economical especially as the company is just launching the product into the market.
The method is friendly to the environment since it does not use inks which damage the environment. This is an important especially in eco-friendly environments like China where the population may turn against the firm for using production methods which harm the environment and refuse to use their products. Finally, Digital printing is perfect for the short-run nature of the production process as the firm tries to get it footing in the Chinese market (Terrett, 2009).
If the product does well and requires mass production, then I will have to change some operations to meet the increased demand. However, some aspects of the product will have to remain the same. First, I will change the product manufacturer. Doing this involves an assessment of the current manufacturer if they can handle the large quantities demanded while maintaining the required levels of quality for exported goods. International standards are different from local standards therefore the quality of goods produced have to the best. If the manufacturer is unable to meet the demand, then the firm has to source for another manufacturer who will supplement the existing either demand or take over the whole production process.
Secondly, I would change the firm’s mode of packaging. I will use different packaging for the Chinese market and another one for the American market. The Chinese are loyal and readily identify with the three color print on their product. However, the same cannot be said for the American market (Gustafsson, 2009). The difference in culture may require the firm to display something that readily attracts American consumers when they observe the packaging of the product.
Thirdly, tariffs affect the geographic location of the production process. Production in China is cheaper due to the low labor costs. Therefore, the price of the commodity is lower in China than if the production was in the USA where the production is higher. Hence, the product can be produced and packaged in china then exported to the USA (Hellström & Nilsson, 2011). Such a method is only feasible if the production and shipping cost is offset by profit margins obtained.
In conclusion, firms conduct proper research
that informs their manufacturing on the type of product and their target
customers based on a study of the population demography. Digital printing in
the packaging process is important since it
is flexible, friendly to the environment and does not waste many resources.
When done perfectly, it also acts as an advertisement for the company. However,
in moving to foreign markets, the firm may have to change its current operating
methods such as the manufacturer, advertisement
systems, and the location for production.
Gustafsson, K. (2009). Retailing logistics and fresh food packaging. London: Kogan Page.
Hellström, D. & Nilsson, F. (2011). Logistics‐driven packaging innovation: a case study at IKEA. Intl J Of Retail & Distrib Mgt, 39(9), 638-657. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09590551111159323
Hellström, D. & Saghir, M. (2007). Packaging and logistics interactions in retail supply chains.Packaging Technology And Science, 20(3), 197-216. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pts.754
Sutzer, C. (2009). 1000 retail graphics. Gloucester, Mass.: Rockport.
Terrett, B. (2009). British design 2010. Amsterdam: BIS.
With the development in technology, numerous options are available for printing of packages the deciding factor being the quantity of packaging along with the complexity of the design and number of colors to be used, as these factors also impact price along with the budget for the printing and quality of output required.
Offset lithography misuse of a printing plate mostly made from aluminum having an imprint of the content needing to be printed. This imprint is then transferred from the plate onto a rubber blanket and subsequently to the printing surface. This process can be used on most material having flat surfaces including paper, cardboard, and plastic. As the process involves manufacturing a specific aluminum plate which can be expensive it is not economical for small scale printing but can be extremely economical for larger production runs. The printing quality is not optimal as it is a cost-effective option. The process has extensively adopted technology to remain the most widely used printing technique for an extensive range of applicable products as latest technology has vastly improved the speed and quality of the process making it the preferred option for the promotional material, newspaper, books, and stationery. There is however a shift to Flexo printing for packaging and digital printing for promotional material.
Flexography also uses a printing plate but the content it is printed on a relief of the printing plate which is made from rubber and not directly onto the plate. This plate used for printing is inked and the image transferred to the printing surfaces with the process being used for material such as paper, plastic, cellophane and other materials with a flat surface. The printing process becomes much more economical than offset due to the image being made from rubber used as a relief over the aluminum plate and not on the aluminum printing plate directly. This option can be used for large scale as well as small scale printing of packaging being economical for both quantities but not having benefits comparable to offset for large scale printing.
Digital printing uses multiple technologies for printing of material. Within inkjet Technology, the printer creates the specified image by propelling tiny droplets of ink from the nozzles of one or more print heads of the printhead onto the material to be printed which can be a wide range of substances from paper, cardboard, plastic or even floor tiles and other ceramic products or cloth. Being the latest technology method it is extremely flexible being the most economical option for short run products, providing exceptional quality with the flexibility of implementing changes within the design without extremely high-cost implications such as with offset.
Another method of digital printing is Xerography which uses laser technology transfer the image application of a charge to a metal cylinder referred to as the drum. Electrical charge acts on particles which are transferred to the material being printed upon with the material subsequently been passed through refusal to ensure that the toner has fixed on to the surface adequately. This method is useful for small-run printing of documents books and brochures or transactional printing within business organizations.
However, the method can be expensive for large-scale production in comparison with offset. the speed of the process along with the flexibility and minimal time requirements for processing the job makes it the most preferred option for short run products. This would be the preferred mode of printing for the small run.
For the large-scale process consideration would be provided to the printing process of rotogravure which uses a printing cylinder onto which image to be printed is engraved and subsequently transferred onto the material after it is inked. This also requires the manufacturing of a specific cylinder with the image engraved on it which can be cost-intensive but proves to be economical for high volume printing work for packaging on large scale. This technique is useful for printing packaging which is not absolutely flat and firm. The technique does not compare favorably for cost-effectiveness and for quality and flexibility provided by offset for large-scale printing so offset lithography would be the preferred choice for large-scale production.