True Worth: Understanding a Supplier’s Value to a Brand

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Can a supplier really contribute to a brand’s value, beyond providing a package that protects the product and delivers the required performance? Can a supplier ever improve a customer’s efficiency? And what about visibility to the end user - can a packaging supplier help its customers capture the attention of the consumer?

In short, the answer is “yes.” This is especially true when it comes to aerosol packaging, where the functionality of a product depends on having a high performing, reliable container. 

Steel aerosol cans protect products such as food, personal care and industrial goods against damage during shipping and handling and from spoilage or contamination, all while offering consumers a trustworthy, attractive, easy-to-use packaging format. Although steel aerosol cans have been the unmatched standard for packaging these products for over 50 years, brands can benefit from more than just the container itself. It is important to see packaging suppliers not just as vendors, but as business partners whose expertise, assets and capabilities can provide a competitive edge in the marketplace. An increasing number of brands are recognizing the merits of this approach and are identifying suppliers willing to utilize their resources to efficiently create products that have a tangible impact on their operations and final product quality. 

Getting to Market Faster

In the competition for consumers, lead times are critical. Any delays during the package selection or development process can have a significant impact on a brand’s ability to be first to market with a product or packaging innovation. Working with an aerosol packaging partner that has a reputation for innovation and an experienced global network of creative and technical resources will help accelerate and streamline the design, development and production of the package. 

The ideal aerosol packaging partner will bring knowledge beyond the format itself and build a strong foundation for a long-term working relationship. For example, they should be able to provide insight into trends, different market sectors (e.g. food, cosmetics) and regions and be knowledgeable about legislation and regulations that impact its customers. 

Bringing Design Under One Roof

Packaging plays a critical role in capturing consumer attention and provides an opportunity to form a lasting connection between shoppers and brands. Aerosol packaging technology continues to evolve, especially in the areas of decoration and shaping. These advancements offer brands numerous design options to help gain the upper hand on the retail shelf. During the design and development phase, a packaging partner should provide guidance on the essentials of canmaking, develop samples, provide suggestions for new graphic designs and offer ideas on ways to boost shelf presence. 

Having an experienced and knowledgeable packaging supplier who can serve as such a resource is truly beneficial. By keeping everyone well informed about specific requirements and adjustments, brand owners can potentially avoid misunderstandings and subsequent costly delays. In the rare situation when production is underway, and changes must be made to the package, the supplier should be ready and able to properly manage any adjustments in variables, such as artwork, images, logos and fonts, to help minimize delays and improve quality. 

Taking Logistics to the Next Level

The ability to maximize production efficiencies, and in turn, manage costs by putting inventory checks and quality control measures in place, is another part of a worthy supplier’s responsibilities. 

Understanding the intricacies of the industry, including market history, seasonality and consumer trends, means that a partner is ready to ramp up production as needed or identify when a design refresh or overhaul would be prudent. Suppliers should also be familiar with a brand’s order patterns and cycle times to ensure that orders are filled on time, issues are efficiently resolved, and production continues uninterrupted. The right partner will also be attuned to issues and opportunities at the regulatory level that impacts its customers. 

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right packaging supplier partner can make all the difference. When joining forces with a company, brands benefit from the supplier’s strong reputation and confidence in its services and technologies. A long-term working relationship can provide familiarity between the two companies and further optimize production quality and lead time. Crown has a long track record of success in the global marketplace, extensive experience in both aerosol packaging and other metal packaging industries and can provide insight and support based on a deep market understanding.

By keeping the supplier criteria outlined in this blog post in mind, brands can be confident that they are working with companies that are committed to taking customers to the next level – achieving the ultimate goal of consumer acceptance and interest and growing market share.