Product launch strategy involves many processes. During this process, you will also need to approve the product’s packaging artwork. The packaging artwork should be accurate, creative and attracts a consumer’s attention.
The global packaging market is projected to reach $975 billion by 2019, indicating the increasing demand for consumer-centric products.
With new products comes the responsibility to pack them efficiently. Moreover, packaging not only acts as a medium to convey reliable product information but also serves as a focal point for consumers’ attention.
That’s why brands integrate strict packaging artwork approval processes in their product launch strategy.
Let’s take a look at artwork management challenges that increase the product’s time to market. Consequently, we’ll also understand how an artwork management system can help to resolve them.
Artwork Management Inefficiencies that Delay Product Launch
Brands often begin the process of a new product launch in advance. Deadlines are set down and the teams plan strategies for a successful launch.
Once the product crosses the ideation stage, it’s time to develop the product. Finalizing the packaging design is one of the first tasks. This determines the shape and size of the product. Collaborators also decide on the colours, typography and placement of promotional elements.
Project managers need to synergise multiple departments for a timely product release. However, some traditional operations cause artwork management failure. Here are 5 challenges that crop up in the process causing delays.
1. Lack of Clarity Between Teams
For a product launch, many teams work together. In the artwork approval process, different departments viz. product, design, branding, sales, legal, and marketing work in a collaborative environment.
Yet, it so happens that one department is usually not aware of the tasks and processes that the other department is handling. For instance, the sales team is not always aware of the design team’s priorities and schedule.
Thus, managers face a tough time to bring different teams on the same page. Despite frequent sprint planning and grooming, collaborators are often not aware of the exact stage of product development.
2. Inefficient Workflow
After the artwork is ready, it awaits approval from different teams. For instance, the legal department confirms if the information complies with regulatory guidelines. Brand and marketing teams check whether the colours, fonts, and design are aligned with the brand guidelines.
However, these teams do not initiate their work until it is specifically assigned to. This unnecessary waiting occurs when teams are not aware of the process sequence. It creates operational bottlenecks and wrecks the overall product launch strategy.
3. Communication Gap
Organizations generally use emails, phone calls, chats, and shared folders for internal communications. But, it’s hard to keep up with all these channels and the collaborators generally end up losing important information in the process.
For instance, contributors often lose important feedback in lengthy email threads. Also, they keep receiving irrelevant emails because they were once a part of the communication. These traditional channels cause a huge communication gap.
4. Unclear Deadlines
Deadlines are vital for product launches. Nonetheless, timelines are skewed up in a typical artwork management process.
While managers often have clarity of the deadline, the status of the projects is often unclear to teams. The delay from a single department delays the overall product launch.
5. Inaccessible Assets
Consider a shampoo brand launching a sachet of an existing shampoo product. They will probably want to use a similar artwork or an image for the sachet.
When the teams want to use that image, a lot of time and effort is wasted in hunting an asset. Access to assets is essential in a product’s artwork development. Managing assets at every stage of product development is often a challenge for managers.
When the assets are not accessible to the contributors, it can prevent the progress of the artwork approval.
Almost every brand struggles with these aspects of artwork management.
Devising Effective Product Launch Strategy
We have outlined the challenges in the artwork approval process. Now, let’s see how to streamline the process and launch a product faster.
An artwork management software can be a viable solution to overcome packaging artwork approval challenges.
Artwork Flow is one such powerful cloud-based SaaS offering for artwork management. It’s a collaborative platform to track, manage, and execute product launch projects.
The benefits that Artwork Flow delivers are:
1. Define Workflows
A customized workflow gives teams clarity on their tasks. A powerful system like Artwork Flow allows defining workflows for both in-house and premedia agencies. Checklists can be assigned and it shows the sequence of tasks.
2. Collaborative Platform
Artwork Flow brings transparency to multi-user projects. Teams can check the versions of files after feedback. Collaborators can annotate, review, and approve the artwork on one platform.
3. Track projects
Tracking a project’s progress is essential for a product launch. As a result, it helps to identify bottlenecks and improve the efficiency of artwork approval. By measuring team throughput, managers can devise an effective product launch strategy to reduce the product’s time-to-market.
4. Artwork Proofing
Most importantly, the packaging artwork needs to be error-proofed before it goes for production. Artwork Flow includes proofing tools that speed up the process. Proof artworks with online tools like the colour extractor, pdf compare and spell-check.
5. Asset Management Library
Asset Management Library is a repository for designs and project resources. Similarly, Artwork Flow has a cloud-based digital asset management library. It’s secure and only authorized users can access artwork projects.
Check out a complete package of FREE artwork management software – Artwork Flow!
It’s easy to envision sales, recognition, and success that will stem from the ‘new’ product. However, like any business initiative, product launch takes its time. Rushing into the market is not a solution.
Therefore, the artwork approval process is time-consuming and lacks organization. Devising a powerful product launch strategy using efficient artwork management software can help brands overcome pre-release challenges.