plma-logoWe just got back from the Private Label Manufacturers Association show held at the Rosemont Convention Center near Chicago, where we met with retailers, consumer products companies, design firms and co-manufacturers — all looking for the next big idea to catapult their companies to new levels of success.

In talking with people who dropped by our booth, we asked: “How’s business?” We were surprised to hear from virtually everyone that things are really good out there. But we also heard: “We’re changing our plan-o-gram … changing our graphics … launching new products and new lines.”

Pretty much everyone we spoke to was in the middle of making major adjustments to their private-label programs. Why?

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The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center

The market demands it

We’re seeing a major shift of spend in the marketplace as millennial consumers move to the forefront. Retailers and CPCs want to get out ahead of this trend, capturing as much new business from this emerging wave of consumers as quickly as they can.

From the retailer’s perspective, the focus is traffic, traffic, traffic. From traditional brick-and-mortar retailing to e-commerce, marketers are focused on bringing millennials into their spaces and giving them plenty of reasons to stay.

CPCs are focused on line extensions, fresh graphics and techniques to build mobile engagement among millennials for both private-label and branded products.

All of us recognize that millennials aren’t part of the mass of fatigued consumers we’ve dealt with in recent years. They are their own distinct market – and within 5 years, they will account for 1/3 of all purchases made in the U.S.

But it’s clear we can’t hope to capture their attention with traditional print and mass-media marketing techniques. Programs that bring brand, packaging and merchandising elements together with direct and mobile marketing are what we need now. And that’s just for starters.

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The PLMA Convention Floor

From uncertainty to sound strategy

Even as we listened to great ideas that retailers and CPCs will use in transforming their results for 2015, I felt an air of uncertainty. Many seemed to be asking themselves: Are we going down the right path? Will our new graphics have strong appeal with our target customers? And as we rush to make everything bolder, brighter, better, are we veering too far away from our brand’s core characteristics?

These aren’t easy questions to answer. All change involves risk. But getting an experienced opinion, maybe even considering some limited testing of your new concept, can go a long way to ensure your success.

Step back and get perspective first

If you’re a retailer or consumer products maker who understands the urgent need to capture the millennial market, we can help you find answers to the questions that might be keeping you up at night. Our team has studied the coming market shifts and we have helpful insights to share with you.

Our multi-channel approach – bringing together the best of merchandising, packaging, direct response and digital — is already paying off for many major brands. We welcome the chance to show you what we can do for you.

Alitho at PLMA

The Alitho booth at PLMA: (Left to right) Sam Dentino, Dwayne Martinez, Matt Menconi, and Glenn Chelius.

Let us know you’re in by sharing your email address below. We’ll make sure every post is time well spent.

Dwayne Martinez leads American Litho’s merchandising and packaging team, bringing more than 30 years of experience to his role in advising major retailers and consumer products makers. To reach Dwayne, Contact Us or call 630-462-1700.

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