OECS Manufacturers to be provided with cutting edge proven tools to help attract more consumers

Castries August 19, 2010The OECS Export Development Unit (OECS/EDU) is to further engage manufacturers on ways of enhancing the branding and packaging of their products.

Business Development Officer at the OECS/EDU Damien Sorhaindo says with the overall goal of increasing the competitiveness of OECS firms and repositioning key export sectors in OECS Member States, there is need to place more emphasis on the branding and packaging of OECS products. This is by ensuring that they meet international standards and provide maximum appeal to their consumers: “Branding and packaging are integral parts of a business, with the potential to make it a huge success or a colossal failure. However, in far too many instances, not enough focus and emphasis is placed on the role they play in creating a successful enterprise.”

The OECS/EDU says these workshops aim to provide participants with powerful methods and tools as well as introduce key ideas, terms, and resources that will assist them in improving the presentation, positioning, and performance of their packaging and brand positioning for their businesses well into the future: “As is evident with the recent signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU and the current Canada – CARICOM trade negotiations, the world is moving more and more towards free trade and the days of preferential treatment for goods and services are coming to an end. So as a region, we have to make a concerted effort to globalize in terms of standards and quality, while at the same time effectively branding and differentiating our products from others within similar sectors to be able to compete on the international market. Being relatively low volume, small manufacturers compared even to our neighbours in Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados, this may entail targeting a higher end or premium market rather than competing with the same or similar products offered by companies who have economies of scale and thus much lower cost of sales.”

Sorhaindo says the workshop will aim to demonstrate innovative ways of transforming a seemingly average product into a high end or premium product by simply adding or changing the product’s packaging at little or no extra costs.

The two-day regional workshop under the theme, “Branding & Packaging Best Practices – Branding Your Business”, will be held in Grenada from August 23rd-24th at the Grenada Grand Beach Resort. It will also seek to address the psychology of the consumer and the science behind branding. The OECS/EDU says firms including those in the Food and Beverage, Agri-Business, and Light Manufacturing sectors need to make good use of this opportunity to maintain or in some instances develop a competitive edge: “There are many firms that are struggling to remain viable in this challenging global environment, whom could use some expert design insight to help rebrand their products and develop a whole new theme for their packaging. Although there are indeed success stories within the OECS, they are outnumbered by the many reports of companies that are merely treading water or have already fallen by the wayside. Therefore, there is a considerable need to create more of these success stories, and we believe that having these types of workshops is a step in the right direction.”- Sorhaindo

The renowned UK based agency, Brand42 (www.brand42.co.uk), who specialize in strategic brand insight and design, and whose clients include CNN International, Louis Vuitton, Dupont and Teflon, will be conducting this regional workshop. In addition, the participating manufacturers will get an opportunity to have their current packaging reviewed and assessed during the workshop.

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