On-Pack Promotions in a Post-2020 World: Is There a Silver Bullet for Success?

The pandemic has changed everything: the way we learn, the way we work, the way we shop…and the way the supply chain functions (or in many cases, fails to function). Being a marketer in today’s world is no easy task. How can you possibly plan and execute successful promotions under these conditions? 

In this article, we’ll discuss the challenges that consumer-packaged goods companies are facing, and how your on-pack promotions manufacturing partner can help you navigate them.

COVID’s Impact on On-Pack Promotional Programs

The application of on-pack promotions is one of the final steps in the supply chain that occurs before goods are shipped off to retailers. A phenomenon known as the supply chain bullwhip effect makes executing these programs especially difficult during times of disruption. 

What’s the supply chain bullwhip effect, you ask? Also known as the whiplash or whipsaw effect, the term refers to how disruption reverberates through the supply chain when shifts in supply or demand occur near the top of the chain. For example, the 2021 microchip shortage—driven by a lack of raw material supply, shuttered factories, and more demand for cars and electronics—has created a tidal wave of challenges for many different industries. 

What this means for consumer-packaged goods and on-pack promotions is that in the face of shipping delays and swings in demand, it’s nearly impossible to plan and execute complex promotional programs successfully. In this environment, marketers have to get more agile if they want to drive results. When it comes to on-pack promotions, simplicity and ease of execution enable much-needed resiliency.

Stickers to the Rescue

Labels and stickers sound like similar things, but there are key differences between them that you likely already understand…but we’ll explain anyway just in case. 

Labels require information that is often subject to regulatory compliance: think nutrition facts, ingredients lists, the name and location of the manufacturer, and more. Product labels also require exact knowledge of your packaging material in advance of production, since your adhesive choice will be determined by packaging. It’s also worth mentioning that in this time of supply chain disruption, some manufacturers have been making last-minute packaging changes to get products onto shelves faster.

Incorporating a promotion onto your product’s label is especially tricky with all of these factors at play. Stickers, however, provide much more flexibility and give you the simplicity and ease of execution that we mentioned earlier. 

Stickers can be applied in the plant or even in the retail store after the product arrives on site. They aren’t subject to the same scrutiny or legal requirements that labels are, so you have more creative freedom when it comes to design and messaging. Finally, stickers can be applied on top of your product’s label, so your adhesive choice won’t need to change based on the type of packaging if it is likely to be switched.

How Your On-Pack Promotions Manufacturer Can Help

A nimble manufacturing partner can help consumer goods products marketers navigate these challenges and execute successful programs—in other words, we can help you gain a little more control when you feel like everything is beyond your control!

For example, we can produce your stickers on rolls or sheets to be applied in store, lease you equipment to apply stickers in your plant, and a variety of other options. PrintFlex is highly experienced in bringing marketing and operations together to create solutions that work for everyone. 

If you’re frustrated with how the supply chain is preventing you from executing successful promotional programs, then we are here to help!  Connect with a PrintFlex Graphics expert today, share your goals with us, and we’ll work together to help you get your program off the ground!