and package, and thus more costly. This
happens more than it needs to happen, and
it simply causes too many delays and extra
costs to brand owners.
Q: How can packaging
impact filling and the
associated costs, either
negatively or positively?
Does a brand owner need
to also understand some
filling basics before making
final packaging choices?
Q: When starting with
stock packaging options,
what is the best approach
for then building and
adding customized aspects
such as decoration to
the packaging? Is this
a collaborative process
between brand owner and
Q: Other than look and
style basics (tube or jar, for
example), what are some
of the decisions that a
brand owner needs to make
about product packaging?
CL: Our customers handle their own
artwork, but should the brand owner
want some guidance, I believe that the
manufacturer would be able to give
some direction to enhance decoration of
packaging. But in my opinion, the product
is owned by the brand, and the brand
should make the final decoration decision.
The manufacturer can be there to guide
in terms of what is realistically achievable,
because all packaging will have some
CL: A brand owner must keep in mind who
their end user is, and how and where they
will be using the product. I recommend
putting yourself in the consumer’s shoes.
How will they dispense the product—using
one hand or two? Are they using it in the
shower? Are their hands wet, etc.? Keeping
in mind the environment and who those
users are when selecting packaging will
guarantee a good consumer experience.
CL: Depending on the filler you select,
some may be more automated than others;
some may have more options as well. Find
out what a filler is good at before making
a decision. There are many small add-ons
in filling that can impact the labor of a job
very quickly. A brand owner should think
about the total finished good from the
beginning, and discuss this with the filler
to get the most accurate quote without
any add-on surprises later. Will there be
a shrink seal over the cap? Is there an
individual carton? Is there any special tag
that will need to be hand placed? Is special
coding needed? All of these can add cost.
CW: Usually, it not a conversation we have
unless the decoration is something that may
be marred in the filling process. However,
we feel that anything to make the item look
better is a great sales tool.
CW: Yes. Brand owners need to understand
some basics. For instance, if they intend
to use the cheapest package [sourced from
overseas], then the waste factor will be
higher and lead times will also be longer.
And what if customs holds the packaging
you’ve purchased from an overseas
supplier? It does happen.
CW: Quantity for packing—as in how
many do you sell at one time so shipping is
easy and predictable. Also, size dictates sell-through, so do not make the item too big.
JC: We don’t sell stock packaging, but I
often recommend it to customers who
are looking for the most cost-effective
components. Then I emphasize investing
in a designer to design a beautiful label or
screen art to place on the stock packaging.
I always tell brand owners to look at
Kiehl’s brand—basic stock packaging.
And the brand works because its labels
communicate what the products do and
then the products deliver just that.
JC: Cost, stock versus non-stock item,
minimum order quantities, stability of the
product itself, lead time and ease in filling
and packaging. This last one is important
because a bottle may be great on all of
the initial points (cost-effective, stocked
and easy to get, low minimums and quick
delivery), but if it’s difficult to move down
a [production] line, hard to label or fill,
or not compatible with the cap or pump,
etc., then all the other points become
null because it’s a pain in the neck to fill
JC: Yes. For example, a tapered bottle at the
base will not be stable on an inline fill line
and therefore will be difficult to fill. It will
also be difficult to achieve the most accurate
torque when capping because the varying
diameters of the body of the bottle will
affect the capacity to automatically torque.
Quality of components is of upmost
importance. For example, a tall clear
bullet- or cylinder-type bottle that has
the minimum weight of plastic to pass its
specs will be very difficult to label because
the walls of the bottle will be so thin that
it’s nearly impossible to apply a pressure-sensitive label. Screen printing is the best
way to go with these bottles versus labels.
Q: What are your
create a cohesive package
strategy beyond choosing a
CL: If you already have selected a
packaging family, just make sure you
highlight the product benefits clearly to the
consumer. Make sure that the packaging is
clear and easy to understand and read when