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What Brands Need to Know About the Digitization of Packaging

Packaging design is undergoing another overhaul, this time to more closely mirror accepted digital technologies that provide consumers what they want when they want it the most. Chief Packaging Officer says the benefits include better buy-in from stakeholders, cost control, risk management, quality, transparency, and responsiveness. Here is how the digitization of the packaging process is helping brands to create a better customer experience as well as a smoother in-house process

Digital Transformation in Packaging Design

Speed is of the essence in a world dependent on digital technologies. Traditional packaging design and product launch planning have been turned upside down by more streamlined, agile processes that stem from the digital era. Our customers have been spoiled by the immediacy of the Internet-era, so their product loyalty can shift at digital speeds. But if corporate processes aren’t digitized, or older Waterfall methodologies run cross-departmental teams, the chances are high that by the time packaging design looks at launching the market has changed.

The old product launch models simply don’t work in this environment; Drupa says, “All too often, this results in canceled projects in the end since the product won’t be trendy by the time they’re ready.” Digitizing packaging design can help brands by:

  • Creating new concepts with virtualization tools that cross-functional teams can access from anywhere;
  • Automating the quality inspection process to increase the speed of unwieldy processes with multiple approval points;
  • Updating packaging files simultaneously when any changes occur, so version control is never an issue; and
  • Updating all stakeholders when changes take place, potentially automating the next round of approvals for any changes that occur. 

McKinsey spells out the benefits of packaging design digitization. “Fast-track product development, advanced software techniques, and the ready availability of digital channels have made products dramatically easier to commoditize.” But at the heart of the speed and agility of digital packaging design lies the real goal of most brands: To create a pleasing customer experience. How does digitization affect this process?

Digital Packaging Design with the Customer in Mind

Improving the customer experience with packaging design usually encompasses a series of steps that provide an unforgettable customer experience—and then works to improve it. Packaging designers must create a pleasing experience that resonates with customer psychology, creating high-quality touchpoints that are tracked and acted upon to improve the experience quickly. But this process is happening at light speed with digitization that uses concurrent-design approaches and an agile cycle of testing, learning, and re-launch. This means that the brand can respond much more quickly to consumer demands. McKinsey suggests this has been pared down to process improvement initiatives that can run “in under 20 weeks.” 

The digitization of packaging design now allows companies to transform the customer experience by responding much more quickly to their concerns and suggestions for improvement. Integrating digitization allows companies to create “customer-led design,” according to McKinsey, which builds consumer loyalty and adds value to their experience. 

The rapid pace of digitization in packaging design can have an incredibly positive impact on a brand by strengthening the relationships they have with their target audiences. It can allow for extreme personalization of packaging and the overall customer experience. Transforming your packaging design in this way is a win/win for the customer and your company.

PKG Brand Design is always on the forefront of new CPG branding and packaging initiatives; please subscribe to our blog for the latest package design industry news!


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