In the United States, one of the largest and most lucrative industries is consumer packaged goods.
Valued at approximately $2 trillion, products that consumers use and purchase often are key drivers of our economy, but because they are quickly used and replaced, the market has become crowded with competition. Brands producing goods in this fast-moving industry – such as food, beverages, and household items – need to be able to distinguish their products from the rest and sustain their growth so they are able to securely launch new items and attract new customers.
Because most CPGs are high volume and low margin items, manufacturers tend to make little profit from each product. However, because sales volumes are so large, there is plenty of opportunity for major success in this market. Companies are always working to innovate their products and introduce something truly revolutionary and exciting. However, keeping the end user in mind must always be at the core of a product launch or refresh. Today’s consumers expect the very best from the brands they commit their time and money to, and if a product – or its packaging – doesn’t work or seems irrelevant to their lifestyles, they’ll pass and move on, and brand reputations will suffer as a result.
Instantly’s new “State of CPG” report outlines five common reasons new products fail, and we’re delving in to each of these areas to explain how an item’s image and presentation can help companies stay afloat and support innovative product launches.
1. The Company Cannot Support Rapid Growth
Thought thousands of products are launched each year, a whopping 80 percent will disappear from retail shelves in two years. Just as starting a business can be a risky and challenging feat, supporting sustained growth can be difficult as well. Nurturing a base of loyal customers and brand advocates can help companies see a steady stream of revenue, which, over time, can help them slowly improve their existing products and customer service rather than pumping out new goods and services that detract from their core brand promise.
2. Product Doesn’t Meet Consumer Expectations
Companies often make the mistake of releasing beta versions of their products without testing rigorously and listening to consumer feedback. You must make sure your product – and its packaging – works, or people are going to feel mislead or angry. Not to mention, this will cost your business a considerable amount of time and money fixing the item and attempting to reintroduce it to the market.
This is why partnering with a packaging supplier can help reduce many parts of this problem. A supplier of innovative containers like flexible box bags will be able to provide companies complimentary samples and prototypes that feature each businesses’ unique branding quickly and effectively. You don’t have time for holdups, but you also cannot afford to throw something out on shelves that isn’t absolutely perfect. Flexible box bags and other lightweight packaging is becoming the preferred way to present new products because it is inexpensive, highly effective, and a good supplier will be able to provide both small and very large runs of the packaging your product needs to appeal to consumers and retailers alike.
3. Your Item is Stuck in “Product Limbo”
This is a common – but often unrecognized – mistake brands make when revamping a product or introducing something similar to an existing good but “better.” Companies conduct market research to see how they can improve their offerings, but sometimes their solution still misses the mark. What might appeal to one demographic may turn another off, which is why testing is absolutely crucial. Again, this not only means gauging response of the product itself, but also of the way it is packaged and presented. The key is to get the product in tip-top shape quickly so you can get it in the hands of your test audiences and fine-tune it before it goes up for sale.
4. Consumer Education Falls Short
Bottom line: If people don’t understand how your product works, they aren’t going to use it. Your company may spend countless hours brainstorming and creating a revolutionary new item that is going to change the way your industry operates forever. But if isn’t not user friendly, and your packaging labels are too vague to understand, people are going to resort to the items they’re traditionally most comfortable with.
Product packaging like flexible box bags allow the perfect amount of retail space for brands to include in their educational campaigns. Printing clear and simple instructions, graphics, logos, and labels that explain the product’s benefits and how consumers use it is vital. The key here is not to load the packaging with a ton of text, but rather to make the product itself simple to use and choose efficient packaging that people won’t waste time trying to get open or closed.
5. There’s No Market for Your Product
Companies love to come up with the next big idea. There are plenty of smart, creative thinkers out there doing tremendous things, but if they are the only ones excited by their invention, it’s not going to make any money. Brands must always ask themselves “Who will buy this?” “Why would someone buy this?” and “How will this benefit people?” before putting something wacky and arbitrary out on retail shelves.
Innovative packaging like flat bottom bags can really help sell the product home and reflect its inventive features and functions. Using existing successful products to inspire your new ideas, coupled with listening to audience feedback and changing trends, can help your business launch a new consumer packaged good that has the ability to transform lives and our society for the better.
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(Image Sources: Best in Packaging, ReadLabel.com.au)