“before” and “after” works like a charm

When I was in the package printing business my prospecting plan included retail store visits. This is where I would find new brand leads. I’d walk a few aisles and pick up product packages with a goal to find  a structural packaging weakness.

woman looking at products

When I say “weakness” I am referring to a weakness at the first moment of truth: This is the moment when a consumer is standing at the shelf choosing – one brand over another.

I learned along the way that some brands don’t care and are not interested in your pitch to improve shelf presentation. This feedback was motivation to become more compelling and give more weight to the revenue upside of my proposed solution with a “show and tell” of “before and after” packaging scenarios.

Creating a “before and after” scenario helped the brand manager see the value of what I was proposing and validated my teams idea. “This is how your product looks on shelf today” and “here is our suggested solution to the material problem or dieline problem – ms. marketer”.

It was always best to approach the brand team with the before and after proposal. They are responsible for packaging ROI and more often than not, appreciate the efforts with next steps.

I would find some very interesting examples of packaging problems in retail spaces. As an example, a label that was lifting (signals that the adhesive may not be correct for the application), a clear label that was bubbling (wrong material or poor application),  or folding carton and sustainability issues.

I learned that it is important to buy 3 packages. Here are the reasons for 3:

  1. Your technical team will rip the first one apart as part of their analysis.
  2. The second package becomes a mock up of the possible solution or “after”.
  3. The third package is presented as is: the “before” scenario for comparison.

It worked really really well.

Tip: Brands want to work with printers that bring them solutions that differentiate, engage consumers and improve packaging ROI. Using this technique was a good way to begin the journey to trusted advisor.

Thanks for reading!

Over to you!

I’d love to hear about your prospecting techniques, or if you’ve tried this one –  how did it work for you?

Good selling!



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