In the first of our new VISION series, Markus Boehm, SIG’s CMO, discusses what product innovation and differentiation really mean to producers now and in the future
Why is product innovation becoming so important?
The way we live, work and consume is changing. From digitalisation and urbanisation to faster on-the-go lifestyles, a whole series of megatrends are transforming the way people think of products. What we’re seeing is that mobile and connected consumers want more from their products of choice. They want high-quality, authentic and convenient packaging that’s easy to use, enhances their experience and is good for the environment. This means consumers are willing to pay premium prices for innovative, sustainable and differentiated products with real benefits.
What are the challenges of developing new products?
It’s clear that consumers are no longer driven purely by price. So, to gain a competitive edge, producers are battling it out to offer products that can offer better health, quality, and experience. But achieving greater product novelty requires the right consumer insights to realise new opportunities – both in developed and emerging markets. The key challenge is to create relevant consumer products, and service markets where there’s unlocked potential. All while meeting individual consumer needs and ensuring products stand out at the point of sale.
What can producers do to overcome these challenges?
“The key challenge is to create relevant consumer products, and service markets where there’s unlocked potential.” Producers need to develop products for the next generation that enable them to meet changing needs and capitalise on market trends. But to do this, they need more creative design concepts, more filling potential for products and more unique packaging possibilities. That’s why SIG offers a complete solution, from concept development to final product, so we can create the right product together. This means everything from analysing a company’s portfolio and prototyping packaging solutions to tailor-making filling solutions that maximise production.
How can brands stand out in a crowded market?
Creating more convenient or premium products is one thing. Making them authentic and unique is something else. To truly stand out from the crowd, producers can be the first in the market with real product innovation. They can broaden their portfolio and open up new consumer segments. And they can move beyond standard offerings, which in turn will help them reach attractive margin levels. Two examples of how SIG is enabling this is with combismile and drinksplus. These solutions can help meet the demand for unique, good-to-go products and position brands in a competitive market.
What product and packaging innovations can we expect in the future?
Well, we can expect product innovations to come to life faster than ever. But a growing trend for the future is the development of more individualised products with smart packaging – ones that can be perfectly tailored to fit a consumer’s personality, lifestyle, and image. This move from mass production to mass personalisation will gather pace and have a significant impact on producers, from driving new technology and business models to unlocking value-rich data. It will require investment but the rewards will be great. In fact, according to Deloitte research, one in five consumers interested in personalised products are willing to pay a 20% premium.
*combismile is currently not available in Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan.