Is it finally time for you to raise prices and get some relief from pinched profits? You’re getting squeezed from both ends: Raw material costs continue to escalate, while customers, subtly or straight out, warn you that their reaction to even the hint of a price hike will make you weep like a little girl.

Perhaps the threat of a possible recession is holding you back, too. The situation is like a game of chicken, as converters eye their competitors to see who will blink. Who will be the first to raise prices and risk losing customers?

Blogger Geoffrey James offers five tips on how flexible packaging converters can win a price war. Read his full article at

Bottom line, he says to avoid the fight by being a strategic partner instead of just another supplier. Smart, yes, but not entirely foolproof.

It’s his last tip that got me thinking about the seductive power of the marketing “spin”:

James writes: “Rubbish the competition. Raise your prices and then position the competition as being irresponsible and likely to go out of business if they don’t do the same. This raises the specter that the customer may end up without a supply of the product at some critical point because they’re buying from boneheads. In other words, you raise the customer’s fear level in order to make your high price into a (temporary) positive market differentiator.”

Are you willing to boldly go where no competitor has gone yet?

Shuffling the deck
We have an addition to our Top 25 Converters list, which was initially published in our June issue. President Bruce Berry tells me that Winpak Ltd. enjoyed $361.5 million in flexible packaging sales in 2007. This positions the company as #15 on our list.

If we missed your company, too, and your flexible packaging sales in 2007 were $150 million or more, speak now or forever hold your peace…or at least until next June, that is!

Lisa McTigue Pierce