Striking the Balance Between Cost and Innovation
It’s an age-old dilemma that’s plagued businesses in emerging markets and established industries alike for many years. How do you strike a balance between cost and innovation without compromising what your brand stands for and what product you produce? On the one hand, you can seek out top technology, ideas and talent for a premium price. On the other, you can settle for the status-quo while staying within a tighter budget. Throw global competition that claims to provide high innovation for low cost into the mix, and the issue gets even stickier.
The Low Cost Model
The low cost model says to develop a product that meets industry standards and slightly differentiates itself from the competition. The goal is to make sales, not develop customers. However, when it comes to creating customized packaging where quality, high-level differentiation, and brand equity matter, the low cost model doesn’t always hold up well.
The Innovation Model
The innovation model puts the focus on creating high-level products that deliver value and build brand equity. Instead of sales, you put the emphasis on the product, knowing that innovation will deliver sales. Because it takes time, effort and extra energy to create original ideas, innovation almost always costs more. That’s where the debate originates.
Customized Print and Packaging Solutions
When you look at customized print and packaging solutions, it becomes clearer that the focus cannot be on cost and innovation as independent issues. They are symbiotic and must be viewed as such. Whether it’s plastic folding cartons, luxury packaging, product launch kits, or anything in between, 21st century packaging must be creative and enticing to keep brands competitive in a crowded marketplace.
Instead of focusing on price first, it’s wise to think about innovation and its many forms. Packaging innovation can be structural, tactile, or even visual. But, sometimes powerful innovation is an ingenious manufacturing process; using machinery in new ways, or experienced colleagues conferring to take costs down. When you select a partner, remember that prices might change, but a lack of innovative ideas on their part won’t.
Finding a domestic-based partner that allows you to be nimble enough to pursue high-end packaging at prices that don’t push you over budget is tricky, however. Here are some of the things you’ll want to look for:
- Customer-first. When discussing options with a potential partner, gauge their attitudes and attention. While you should certainly be their main focus, you also want to ensure they think about your end-customer. Do they simply want to please you, or are they keeping your customers in mind as well? In the end, your goal is to increase sales and raise brand awareness—and you need a partner that can help you get there.
- Versatile experience. It’s one thing for a company to have experience, and a totally different thing for them to have versatile experience. When choosing a print and packaging company, look for a partner whose portfolio isn’t one that is limited to a particular industry. Especially when it comes to packaging, the wider the range of experience, the better the final product usually is. Your packaging solutions provider can use its vast array of knowledge to expertly tailor designs, materials and finishes to the target market.
- Innovative. The word “innovation” is thrown around a lot, but there are very few companies who take innovation to the next level. Look for a partner that isn’t afraid to fully customize new designs and deliverables. If you are truly looking to follow a model that values innovation as much as it does cost, you’ll need partners that adhere to the same philosophies. An innovative partner will allow you to differentiate from the competition efficiently and effectively.
- Streamlined. When you’re trying to get a product to market, the packaging design phase shouldn’t hold you back. Look for a partner that offers customized solutions via a streamlined process. The key is for the production and process to be optimized, not the actual ideas and creations. When your partner is confident in the process, they are free to spend their time developing innovative ideas without constraints.
- Flexible. When working on product packaging, flexibility is one of the keys to a project. Companies that are too set in their ways can kill the process of creativity and innovation. It’s the companies’ willingness to make changes on the go that thrive.
Where Budget and Quality Come Together
At JohnsByrne, we believe in pressing the limits to deliver high-quality, customized print and packaging solutions. For more information on our modern technologies and streamlined single-source business model, please contact us today.