For many brands, packaging artwork and information has assumed a new role – beyond just an alluring brand image on the shelf. With renewed attention from regulatory entities in the United States and the European Union, the package is increasingly viewed and regulated as a legal document. It is effectively a micro-contract with the consumer.
Our friend Bob Carpenter, CEO of GS1 US, recently said, “Your grandmother bought on availability. Your mother bought on brand. Your daughter buys on product attributes.” The package is the contract for product attributes.
Think about consumer expectations. When a woman in a grocery store wants to buy orange juice, she examines the packaging, searching for information to suit her preferences. She looks at the nutrition facts, ingredients, and claim statements. She makes a decision to buy based on the offers on the package. When she hands over her money, the product package is a testimonial to what she thinks she is purchasing.
After purchasing, if the product doesn’t live up to the claims on the package, the consumer may prefer to enter into another micro-contract with a replacement product. However, if the package didn’t list an allergen and the consumer has an allergic reaction, he or she may sue the product manufacturer. The arguments in the courtroom will center on what information was or was not available on the package at the time of purchase and how effectively the package communicated risks and dangers to the consumer. The package is the representation of the product, and so it’s treated like a contract.
Sometimes, one broken contract with a consumer can devastate a brand with bad press, negative social sentiment, or (worse still) product recall. It’s so important for the right people with the right expertise to give extreme attention to detail when examining the information on packaging artwork.
Many people think brands are the most valuable assets a business can possess. But, as the world continues to stretch and morph, consumer trust is an asset businesses can’t afford to neglect. The ways in which companies have historically managed packaging will not meet consumer needs or mitigate risks in the future.
BLUE Software can help. BLUE Software’s leading enterprise label and artwork management applications enable its marketing, retail, CPG, and life sciences clients to satisfy consumer expectations and meet the rigorous demands of regulatory compliance. By leveraging SaaS based collaboration and workflow tools, BLUE dramatically improves efficiency KPIs around label development and deployment and ensures label accuracy.