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Consumer Goods PackagingAfter the effects of the recession, the consumer package goods industry has had to change its strategies and react to consumer demand. Today the emphasis is on faster, cheaper, and locally sourced packaging that meets costumer needs while remaining affordable. Several key markets have driven this trend towards specialized packaging.

Cosmetics

With the rise of the always-online lifestyle, consumers have less free time and are less inclined to spend time applying cosmetics. This has led to the creation of more functional, single purpose applicators that save time and effort for users. The market favors specialized containers over simple jars and so manufacturers are focusing on improving functionality of packaging over other concerns. One notable example is mascara applicators: over the last ten years there have been several products boasting of their new and improved applicator rather than the actual mascara itself.

Travel

Increased restrictions on hang luggage in recent years have created a reasonable market for miniature packages of various personal care and cosmetic products. This aspect of the market has gained increased visibility and there are more offerings than ever as manufacturers discover consumers are willing to pay the higher margins required for convenience.

Social Media

Social media has encouraged consumer oriented strategies by providing customers with an easy and effective forum for feedback. Customers are better able to compare prices and features between brands than ever before and brand loyalty is not what is was. Companies must find new ways to improve their market share and profitability and what better way than listening to the ideas and needs of your potential customers?

As shoppers become more mobile and brand-ambivalent there is greater pressure to deliver innovative products more quickly and at more competitive prices and this has fueled a competitive packaging marketplace which encourages coming up with new solutions. By utilizing shopper-driven innovation techniques through observation of spontaneous and unstructured consumer behavior, smart companies can gain better knowledge of the exact expectations of their targeted consumer and create a more coherent customer experience. To do this, companies must engage integrated, company-wide innovation approaches to develop ideas, resolve problems, and provide immediate feedback.

Innovation is a complex process with must encompass experts and developers to research, brainstorm, prototype, and test products. Networked collaboration is a great way to foster this process by harnessing the wealth of information available on social media platforms. This will help products reach the market more quickly and efficiently, be marketed in high volume, and incorporate design elements responsive to feedback from consumers.

“CPG companies are operating in a new environment, characterized by more cautious, value-driven consumers and volatile commodities. It will be tough to succeed using the same tactics employed during the recession. Novel approaches will be crucial – and that includes creating new trade promotions programs for retailers, rethinking how they spend their media dollars, targeting coveted demographic groups like Generation Y with smart social networking campaigns, reaching customers in more places, and tailoring their products for local customer tastes in emerging markets.”

-Lisa FeigenDugal, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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