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Winning Consumers through Better Packaging


Dr Martin Zethoff, chairman and speaker at the marcus evans EuroPack Summit 2013, on creating packaging that is aligned to consumer needs.

Interview with: Dr Martin Zethoff, Director Global Packaging Technology Laundry & Home Care, Henkel


“We need to understand the business need, brand and product benefit to choose the right packaging design, technology and material for a product,” advised Dr Martin Zethoff, Director Global Packaging Technology Laundry & Home Care, Henkel. There must be a connection with consumers on a functional and emotional level to win “head and heart”, he went on to say.

Chairman and speaker at the marcus evans EuroPack Summit 2013 in Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 16 - 17 September, Dr Zethoff discusses packaging design and what consumers are looking for today.

How can companies better identify consumer needs? What role does packaging play?

To better understand consumer needs, companies must get in close contact with consumers and truly understand their requirements. Many important packaging drivers are on a subconscious level, so you cannot ask consumers what they think. You must use the right research tools to understand the key drivers and where packaging can help.

What are some key packaging drivers?

The perception of quality, enhancement of brand equity, enhancement of better communication of benefit claims, and so on, especially at the first moment of truth when consumers are in front of the shelf trying to decide which product to buy.

How could companies ensure these insights are successfully interpreted or incorporated into the packaging of their products?

Insights must be transparent to the entire team, including the R&D function, purchasing and supply chain, so that the right decisions are made to meet those needs. In today’s extremely competitive world, small details can make a big difference to consumers.

It is always a balancing act between cost and extra features, so it is crucial to first consider the business benefit of investing into a better appearance, quality or consumer perception of the package, and make sure it makes sense to invest.

These functions must be brought together very early on. With design, material development or R&D, leaving them late will result in a very long and suboptimal alignment. Bringing these diverse teams together early would lead to a truly disruptive and better solution.

What are the latest packaging solutions that the FMCG industry should look into?

It is all about convenience and emotionally bonding with the package, depending on category and brands of course. Sustainability is also another aspect as packaging waste is always very visible to consumers. It is key to reduce waste whilst keeping the same quality and convenience to consumers.

How can packaging help build brand loyalty?

The distinction between first and second moment of truth is crucial. If you have a new product and want to attract people who are browsing the shelves, the in-use experience must also be positive for consumers to repurchase the product.

You need to connect with consumers on a functional level, as well as an emotional level. You must win “head and heart” to make it more likely for consumers to repurchase your product and become a loyal brand user. If you understand consumer needs, you will achieve loyalty.

Contact: Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division

Tel: + 357 22 849 313

About the EuroPack Summit 2013

This unique forum will take place at the Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin, Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 16 - 17 September 2013. Offering much more than any conference, seminar or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry packaging leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on packaging design, brand innovation, shelf standout and packaging engagement.

For more information please send an email to or visit the event website at

Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

About marcus evans Summits

marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, case studies, roundtables and one-to-one business meetings. For more information, please visit 


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