Through budget cuts, new corporate management styles, a focus on other functions, mergers/acquisitions, and the like, many brand owners have been stripped of the internal knowledge/expertise to even know what to look for in selecting the right packaging materials to achieve commercialization objectives. Because they are almost solely focused on marketing functions, there are tremendous opportunities for suppliers to fill the knowledge gap.
In order to create successful relationships with brand owners, today’s plastics suppliers should look for ways they can function as an extension of that company…a remotely located department, if you will. The key is to integrate with the client on an interdepartmental level.
Here are eight strategies/opportunities to consider when trying to solidify customer relationships.
1. What core competency do you have that your brand owner customer can benefit from? Do you clearly communicate that competency?
2. What functional burdens can you take off of their shoulders?
3. Can you offer critical suggestions on how to improve the development lifecycle?
4. What technical expertise do you have, that they don’t, and that can help them redesign a package or launch a new one?
5. How experienced are you with virtual prototyping and simulation tools to help them quickly visualize options?
6. Is a key person at the brand about to retire for whom your services can be substituted?
7. Is the company looking to reduce employee overhead?
8. Are you capable of hosting seminars/instruction to help staff members gain a basic understanding of specific materials?
What you never want to hear from a brand owner or other customer type is, “I didn’t know you could do that.” Those words mean that you have failed at clearly communicating what your team is capable of delivering. That leaves the door open for someone else to take that business away from you.
Author: Craig Robinson, vice president of business development and innovation, PTI, has a strong track record in understanding the brand owner’s packaging needs and how to translate them into commercial successes. Robinson has more than 35 years of experience in packaging, creative agencies, orthopedic products and medical device organizations.
About PTI Global
PTI Global is recognized worldwide as a leading resource for preform and package design, package development, rapid prototyping, pre-production prototyping and material evaluation engineering for the plastic packaging industry. For more information: www.pti-usa.com.
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