The Flexible Packaging Association’s role for the industry is greater than ever. Benefits such as education, market analysis, and data stay important. The networking within FPA remains a priority. And the role of FPA as a collaborative voice—one that speaks to all the stakeholders on packaging issues remains a key focus.
However, target audiences now go well beyond government. That was the traditional focus as regulation and legislation impacted flexible packagers. Today, it extends to non-government organizations, NGOs in the evolving jargon. It also reaches other industry groups that would not have been on the “radar” a few years ago.
“Our efforts have a sharper focus on working with other organizations within our industry,” says FPA President Marla Donahue. “Working with other parts of the supply chain and reaching out to NGO’s becomes a bigger focus and benefit.”
Recent efforts show how that strategy plays out.
One is the Brand Value Study. Its results were outlined at the 2015 Fall Executive Conference. In gathering the data, FPA extended its usual scope of research to include a broad base of brand owners, and it also embraced consumers.
The study points to actions that move into new areas where FPA can add “voice.”
- Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn accounts to give flexible packaging a better on-line presence.
- New presentation formats that utilize infographics and thought leadership information. By providing tools to industry leaders, FPA can extend its reach and impact.
- Research with greater focus on what the target audiences perceive as important. One example: Consumers and brand owners see “easy-to-store” as a factor to drive purchasing decisions, and messages can highlight where flexible packaging offers that positive.
Another example of the “voice” strategy is a heightened importance for the Environmental and Safety committees. The committee’s meetings have an impact so wide that FPA encourages attendance by non-member to benefit the entire industry. It involves groups such as the American Chemical Council and Society of the Plastics Industry. The meeting also extends beyond the usual government organizations it contacts, adding new efforts with groups such as the Small Business Administration.
Growing Value Chain
In the early 2000s, the concept of the packaging value chain had fewer “players.” Today, it includes brand owners (the direct customers of flexible packagers), retailers, and consumers, disposal and waste collection groups, and raw material suppliers.
NGOs, academia, Internet/new media outlets, designers and equipment and machinery suppliers are other “players.” Eco-sustainability groups, global standards groups, and activists add more complexity to the task.
“All of this means that we have to extend our reach to a wider spectrum of partners,” Donahue says, “The strength of collaboration and being a voice of the industry is a key value that members gain by being part of FPA.”
For More Info
Members can get a copy of the presentation “Brand Value Study” from the 2015 Fall Executive Conference. Go to www.flexpack.org. Click on “FPA Meeting Presentations.”