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  • PRICE WARS: T H E 1 P D I F F E R E N C E

    6 reasons you’re fighting a losing battle (and 6 ways to win it). A G U I D E F O R PAC K AG I N G C O M PA N I E S .

  • Research by the Smithers Group estimates that the value

    of global packaging market will reach $975bn by 2018. It’s a

    bustling industry, a truly global one and it has its fair share of

    fierce rivalry. Dominated by some of the biggest companies

    in the world, the difference between winning a deal and

    losing one in the packaging world can often come down

    to a penny or two; that’s just how cutthroat an industry it is.

    Furthermore, the loss of a single SKU can lead to losing an

    entire customer account.

    STATE OF THE PACKAGING MARKET

    From tin cans and vacuum packaging to glass bottles and

    bubble wrap – the packaging industry is one of the most

    competitive around and can often make you feel like you’re

    fighting a losing battle with the big boys. This eBook will take

    a look at the 6 biggest reasons why the battles can be so

    challenging and how you, as a local packaging supplier, can

    overcome them and take the market share you deserve.

    www.sales-i.com 02

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  • PRICE WAR 101

  • In a price sensitive industry, a one or two penny price

    difference can often be all it takes for your customers to

    switch their allegiances to one of your competitors. Bigger

    players are often better poised to take a hit on price just to

    get a deal over the line, but as a smaller supplier, shaving a

    penny or two off your unit price can be devastating.

    For many packaging suppliers, competing on price can be

    one of very few ways to increase their market share. In a cost

    driven market, your customers have all the power; they can

    inform price (“I can get this cheaper elsewhere”), slate your

    offering (“Company X’s product does A, B and C”) and word

    of mouth can spread like wildfire, good or bad.

    The cost of raw materials continues to fluctuate and a steep

    rise in plastic prices across Europe has had a detrimental

    impact on many packaging suppliers across the world. As

    margins continue to be cut, international price wars are

    breaking out. Add poor brand loyalty to boot and customers

    are in a very powerful position to dictate the ebb and flow of

    sales for many packaging suppliers.

    What can you do?

    Many packaging suppliers are stuck between a rock and a

    hard place. With thousands of customers to look after, it’s

    common to only notice a customer has gone AWOL when

    it’s already too late.

    Despite the packaging industry being incredibly forward

    thinking, businesses are still having to manually trawl through

    dozens of spreadsheets to get even an inkling of a slipping

    customer. Software tools can be one of very few easy ways

    to stay on top of thousands of the kaleidoscopic account

    activity within your customer base.

    A slight change in price can inform a customer’s buying

    behavior overnight, but with a little insight into your accounts,

    you can act fast and treat your customers like individuals, not

    just another name on an order sheet.

    Sales intelligence and CRM software can be a total game

    changer and a springboard into the digital side of sales.

    Armed with the information gleaned from these sales tools,

    your customer facing team will be able to call a customer

    whose spend has changed, ask why and make them an offer

    to win the business back. Who bought cardboard boxes last

    year but not filler? Who’s been buying bubble wrap from

    you for the last 11 months but is yet to buy this month? Who

    stopped buying from us altogether in the last month?

    The answers to these kind of questions will not only put

    your sales team on the front foot against the big boys and

    smaller competitors, too, but will hand them the ability to

    craft bespoke offers that will keep your customers hungry

    for more.

    www.sales-i.com 04

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  • the same old

  • Margins are being squeezed tightly due to the simple fact that

    there’s largely very little differentiation between suppliers.

    Shrink wrap from company X is likely to be the same as

    shrink wrap from company Y. What’s more, the advent of a

    global, online marketplace means it’s easier and faster than

    ever for your customers to source cut-price alternatives to

    your local ones.

    With so few differentiating packaging products available, but

    a whole host of suppliers vying for the same business, cost

    is often the only dictator when choosing between suppliers.

    Yet as consumers become more conscious of the impact

    packaging can have on both their health and the environment,

    packaging suppliers have a huge opportunity facing them

    now and for the foreseeable future.

    55% of global customers have said that they are “willing to

    pay more for products provided by companies committed

    to positive social and environmental impact” (Nielsen,

    2014). These figures pose a huge chance for packaging

    manufacturers to branch out and take a different approach

    in order to stand out from the crowd.

    Whether that’s recyclable qualities, smart innovations or even

    packaging for the health-conscious buyer, the emergence

    of new technologies and processes is one of the best ways

    packaging suppliers can differentiate themselves in what

    has become a bustling market.

    What can you do?

    Doing your bit - no matter how big or small your company - to

    stand out from the crowd can be a huge step in conquering

    this battle. Whether taking a new approach or simply backing

    a bid to be more green, making noise in your market and not

    following the crowd can get a real buzz started about your

    company, even if just for a small number of buyers, the fact

    that they share your values will create very strong loyalty in

    an industry.

    Take a look at your current offerings, how can you branch out

    or enhance them? Don’t be afraid to get your team together,

    particularly those that get up close and personal with your

    customers, and pick their brains for ideas and suggestions.

    And don’t forget to tell the world about your innovative streak.

    If your product is sustainable, shout about it. If you’re doing

    something differently from the rest, tell the world. Even if

    you’re encouraging interaction on social media, tweet, share

    and like to your heart’s content.

    5 5 % O F G LO B A L C U S TO M E R S A R E W I L L I N G

    TO PAY M O R E F O R P R O D U C T S P R O V I D E D B Y

    C O M PA N I E S C O M M I T T E D TO P O S I T I V E S O C I A L

    A N D E N V I R O N M E N TA L I M PA C T.

    www.sales-i.com 06

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  • NO VISIBILITY INTO ACCOUNTS

  • A lack of visibility into your accounts can be a killer for even

    the most seasoned of companies. Not being able to spot the

    movers and shakers within your customer base can have the

    most detrimental of impacts on your bottom line. A lack of

    visibility will make the lives of your salespeople much, much

    harder too.

    Losing one single product line to your competition can

    be all it takes for it to become a problem, giving them the

    opportunity to build relationships with your customers and

    start eroding away at your revenue.

    With little-to-no insight into shifting customer accounts, sales

    can become a haphazard job carried out on a wing and a

    prayer. Visibility’s not only beneficial to your salespeople, but

    is valuable for every corner of your business. Management

    can monitor t

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