See What’s Behind the Magic: CTI’s Customer-Centric Process
At Chromatic Technologies Inc (CTI), speed and agility help us implement smart packaging technology for our customers, who tend to be large Consumer Packaging Goods (CPG) and pharmaceutical brands. In addition to our world-class R&D, design, and technical services, we also, as part of our ISO 9001 quality program, use a proven process to ensure we’re creating the best and most efficient customer experiences.
Discovery: Going fast … by going slow
Our innovation process centers around understanding what customer experiences we want to create, what meaning it brings and how we will measure success. For instance, say that we’re working on a new idea for a candy bar to encourage a different consumer use and experience: eating it frozen. CTI will need the brand’s creative brief for the campaign, as well as updated persona profiles and user stories. We’ll then want to define the scope of the packaging materials that could receive this innovation – different sizes, line extensions, etc. – as well as the converters who’ll be involved. Most important: What do we want the customer to see? Is the printed cold-activated technology supposed to tell them that the candy has frozen or that it’s thawed enough to eat, while still really cold? Do we want them to scan a QR code that only appears when the wrapper has been frozen? Should that QR code remain visible after the candy has thawed? What colors will complement the candy’s brand look and feel? What do consumers think of this idea? And finally, what budget has the brand set for changing the product package? Is this a one-off marketing promotion or a sustaining feature that will be incorporated into operational costs? After exploring these questions (and more), we can move into the next phase.
Development: Bringing life to the idea
With all this input, CTI can match the best technology solution to the application. For most, commercialized thermochromic, photochromic, glow-in-the-dark, and BlindSpotz printable technologies fit the requirements, but in some cases, we may need to adjust an existing formula or create a completely new solution. (Know that development fees or minimum annual revenue may be required for unique CTI chemistry.) Rapid prototyping and feedback on mock-ups move us quickly from idea to reality and allow the brand to make final decisions on the graphic design and execution of products. In this phase, we also ensure we’ve talked about compliance requirements and tests that we’ll perform before going into production. Now we can trial and qualify the solution – actually print and create the final product using the same manufacturing materials and equipment.
Ramp-Up: All systems go!
Whew – with all the up-front work out of the way, we can focus on the details of execution. The brand and converters have approved prototype functionality (when color/glow develops and disappears), graphic designs, and trial samples. Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) teams have approved the safety. The production schedule, filling, delivery, and in-market dates are set. Purchase orders flow from brand to converter to CTI. Technical teams coordinate. We finally see the final product – and so do consumers.
Rollout: Ongoing production and continuous improvement
There’s always room for improvement, but the first order of business should be getting customer feedback in the form of direct surveys, social media buzz, and a lift in sales. Celebrate the innovation internally and in the media – after all, the more coverage in the press and trade publications, the better. Even before the launch, CTI, brand, and converters have been talking about the next magical customer experience.