With 85% of shopping decisions made in-store within seconds of seeing a product on the shelf, a product’s packaging can make or break a sale. The package design, color and artwork chosen must stop, hold and capture the shopper—or else the consumer looks elsewhere.
Well-designed packaging can be the difference between gaining market share against the competition or forcing a company to go back to the drawing board for costly rework. But disparate innovation processes and systems involved in the complex package design process can slow companies down, making it difficult to anticipate and deliver new products that meet ever-changing consumer needs.
However, with 3-D tools and strong collaboration technology, consumer goods companies can rapidly visualize and experience their ideas and work together with their design agencies to create perfect packaging every time. Here’s how:
Improving Design Process Efficiency
3-D technologies are perfect for virtual mock-ups, conceptual reviews and the editing process because they allow new ideas to take shape, be experienced and implemented (or changed) virtually, accelerating speed to market. They also allow designers to take advantage of existing resources and reuse colors, artwork and styling when appropriate. By uniting the highly fragmented artwork and labeling process, these technologies enable all internal and external contributors to collaborate and ensure that the designs meet regulatory restrictions and brand equity requirements early-on in the process.
By enabling all of the contributors to design, experience and review the optimal package concurrently via 3-D technology, companies accelerate the development process and eliminate version control issues. As a result, new packaging is approved and on the shelf faster and costly rework and recalls are reduced or eliminated.
Uniting Manufacturing with Design to Ensure Success
With social media tools, manufacturing and process engineers can collaborate with the package design team early in the design process, breaking down the walls that have traditionally kept these groups separate, to ensure that designs are developed with manufacturing constraints in mind. This helps eliminate costly rework.
In addition, 3-D tools let companies simulate the production line from start to finish. Any time a change is made to the packaging, the virtual 3-D model can be automatically revised and updated, allowing any errors to be caught well before any 3-D printed model or physical prototype is produced.
Refining Package Testing
3-D simulation technology enables organizations to experience and test products as many times as desired to perfect their packaging virtually. By simulating the packaging characteristics and testing in a lifelike virtual environment, companies can, for example, drop a detergent bottle 100 times in a row to see where any stress points or breaks may be, enabling them to modify the design before spending to produce a physical prototype. This dramatically cuts costs by ensuring package performance before investing in molds.
In addition, simulating and testing products and packaging in a virtual world allows organizations to conduct lightweighting and other analyses to ensure sustainability. By simulating how different types of packaging or different packaging materials react, companies can more easily select the materials they need to be more sustainable than ever before.
Selling on the Shelf
Once the perfect package is designed, companies can use 3-D technology to build virtual store environments where real human interactions with store shelves and the products themselves can be modeled and tested. These tools help companies understand exactly how packaging changes impact the shopping experience—and allow them to make real-time adjustments to the packaging or store layout.
Measuring Package Impact
The last step in designing the perfect package is to gather information around the impact of packaging designs from both external and internal data sources, such as social media sites, tracking trends and competitive reactions. This will help companies fully understand the shopping experience, whether it improved and whether overall sales increased—which is of course, the ultimate measurement.
From Idea to Shelf
Perfect packages are made possible through a comprehensive, collaborative effort between all design contributors. 3-D technology allows the numerous teams involved to work together to create and experience breakthrough designs that provide value to the ultimate consumer while enabling rapid iterations from initial designs all the way to the shelf. This significantly shortens package design cycles, lowers production issues, eliminates the chance for recalls and decreases overall costs.
About the Author
Eric Seiberling is currently the director of CPG-retail industry marketing for Dassault Systèmes, responsible for all marketing programs worldwide for CPG-retail that promote the business value provided by the company to CPG-retail companies every day. Previously, Eric led the design of the CPG and retail experiences to deliver breakthrough transformation of how CPG and retail companies bring new products and new retail spaces to life.
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