Chicago — Caps and closures makers have to worry about manufacturing details of their products. That's for sure, says Mark Dziersk.
But they also need to concern themselves with the design of their products before they even consider manufacture, said the managing director of Lunar, a product and packaging design firm.
“Design,” he said at the Plastic Caps & Closures 2016 conference in Chicago, “has really rocketed to the forefront of a business strategy.”
So much so that companies are buying up design firms to internalize that function. Lunar, itself, was purchased by business consulting firm McKinsey & Co. last year.
“I know a lot of you are in the manufacturing sector. Your concerns are a great deal centered around operational excellence, as they should be,” he told the crowd. “But the point of my talk here today is to aim that at a higher target.”
That's because design is being valued to a greater and greater degree by brand owners. “Design creates impact,” Dziersk said.
While design is growing in importance, Dziersk told attendees that does not mean the trend always has to do with the latest and greatest and shiniest.
“A lot of people when I say design will think, ‘Oh yeah, that's kind of glitz, that's the flash.' And, in fact, it can be. We do this work and we create these caps and we have co-injection and we have multiple material and sometimes we have metallic finish and we put them on products that have a high-value proposition. And then these products will have what we call a DNA that will communicate the cost of these products,” Dziersk said.
“A lot of times when I talk about design, it's anything but the uber expensive and the flashy part,” he said at the conference organized by Plastics News. “It can be anything but flashy.”
Even stock caps and bottles can be the appropriate design choice to convey a brand's marketing message, he said. It just all depends.
“Brands today are defined by the experience that a customer has with a product,” he said. And that experience often starts with a cap.
“Your No. 1 interface with a customer is the cap. I'm here to tell you. I have over 25 years in designing these things, and most of them are acts of violence. What they should be is acts of love. They should be the kind of things, when you unpackage a product, you are left with this amazing feeling,” Dziersk said.
Design, he said, often is seen as a service. But in reality, it's a leadership opportunity.