Lessons From the 2011 NRHA Packaging and Merchandising Awards

Posted by Loren Heinzeroth

August 19, 2011

The retail industry’s best and brightest point-of-sale performers were recognized at the 2011 NRHA Packaging and Merchandising Awards, May 10 in Las Vegas. Once again, the strengths of this year’s award-winning entries parallel today’s most significant merchandising trends: the integration of mobile marketing (QR codes), the ongoing influence of green design and the growing demand for multi-lingual labeling.

Mobile Marketing – the use of QR codes at the POP

A quick scan of 2011 competition entries demonstrates that smart marketers certainly have recognized the value of adding QR codes to packages and/or POP signage. Linked to an informative microsite or a product demonstration video, QR codes pick up where the limitations of packages leave off, giving the growing horde of smartphone users easy, instant access to useful data that can assist in making an informed purchase decision. QR codes can help close the sale by taking advantage of web delivered video content showing more of the products’ advantages, installation steps and other expansion of the product story.

Eco packaging – “green” initiatives are here to stay

Green packaging initiatives such as sustainability and waste elimination are not a fad. Landfills are not any emptier today than they were a year ago, and customers are concerned. Emphasizing this point is the fact that the NRHA has carved out a unique award category to recognize manufacturers who have integrated the most environmentally conscious strategies into their designs without sacrificing the visual impact or structural integrity of the package. This year’s category winner is MSA Safety Works. For details on how they minimized waste and maximized use of recycled materials, click here.

Multi-lingual packaging – A smart economic decision

Some retail channels demand multi-lingual packaging, while others don’t. Are two or more languages necessary on your packaging? It may be a simple dollars-and-sense decision relating to your brand and channel strategy – for example, should you continue maintaining separate inventory of products packaged for sale in Canada? Or is it time to add French and consolidate the number of SKUs you must manage? Domestically, studies show that multi-lingual packaging sells more product, especially in ethnically dense regions. Incorporating a second or even a third language within the limited space of a package requires a skilled designer with the experience to present the most essential elements of the product story effectively.

NRHA Packaging Awards

Topics: Merchandising, Consumer Retail