The Key to Innovation?
Streamline the Space Between Design and Commercialization
Price sensitivities, the proliferation of store brands, and increasing pressures from retailers are just some of the market factors that have converged to create a common, yet difficult, scenario for brand marketers: though increasingly more accountable for packaging innovation, we are still expected to expertly manage our costs.
However, the vertical integration most consumer goods companies have historically favored—a business model where design, manufacturing and marketing occur under the same proverbial roof—does not set up a brand owner for the most efficient use of budgetary resources.
That’s where progressive service providers like Haney PRC come in. The Cincinnati-based packaging development firm has successfully offered CPG companies like Procter & Gamble, Quaker and Nestlé a new way to bolster innovation by taking over, and streamlining, the space between concept and commercialization.
“We help the concept people implement and evaluate their ideas all the way up to the launch of their product,” says Matt Haney, who co-founded Haney PRC with his brother Dan.
Essentially, the process goes like this: a brand marketer says he needs 10 mockups for a new package. Haney makes them. After running the mockups through the CPG gatekeepers, the brand marketer comes back and requests sales samples. So Haney sets up a custom manufacturing print run (to include fulfillment, if required) of 5,000 commercial-grade samples for the brand. When these samples are successfully sold through, Haney makes production-ready test market samples to help the brand secure the consumer stamp of approval.
Haney says that a majority of the sales sample work is done on commercial printing equipment. Because of this, his firm can solve production challenges and prove manufacturing feasibility early in the process, during the testing and evaluation phases.
“By the time we’ve gotten to the test market phase, we’ve learned how a package prints, how a substrate reacts. And we can turn around and offer that information to clients so they need only obtain quotes for production,” says Haney. “We mitigate the risk of investing in production lines and facilities and making the commitment to print hundreds of thousands of packages.”
Perhaps most importantly, in developing a blueprint for commercialization Haney says his firm shortens the development time between design and commercialization.
“In the past, brand owners would go to commercial printers or even converters to get these needs filled,” he says. “But by combining short-run printing and fulfillment services all under one roof, our clients realize a faster and more cost effective path through packaging development.”
Haney says that by outsourcing to a single service provider, CPGs maintain better control over security of their brand and cut their development timeframe significantly.
“We have built our entire business model and facility around quick-turnaround printing and fulfillment. We allow CPG companies to get this done outside of their normal vendor network which ultimately gives them higher quality and saves them time. We get it done faster.”
It’s not just the CPG companies benefiting from Haney’s services. Design firms like LPK, Interbrand, LAGA and Landor often turn to the package development firm with technical printing issues, particularly those involving substrates and inks.
Haney says the demand for the firm’s services has skyrocketed. In the past 18 months, the package development firm has doubled the number of full-time employees and gone from a 16,000-square-foot facility to an 85,000-square-foot space. And he’s anticipating the hiring of another 10 to 20 full timers in 2006 to manage the influx and diversity of new projects and clients.
Whether it’s a CPG company or a design and branding firm, Haney explains, his success is based on the increasing recognition that, in the innovation process, there might be a better way to do things.
“By letting us focus on the space between concept and commercialization, our clients are able to focus on their core competencies,” he says, “And that is developing and marketing their brands.”