Packaging helps build brands. That’s why it’s so important to get it right, as Matt Dingee well knows from his many experiences—and successes—at Campbell Soup. Now his consultancy business leverages packaging development and engineering skills for clients’ fast-moving consumer goods.
Based in Lansing, MI (home of Michigan State University’s School of Packaging), the new OnPoint 2020 LLC was co-founded by Dingee, who serves as president and chief operating officer (COO), and CEO Dennis Calamusa. Calamusa and his Sarasota, FL-based company Alliedflex Technologies are well known authorities in flexible packaging and packaging machinery. And Dingee, an MSU School of Packaging alumni, is no stranger to packaging achievements. He earned a 2013 DuPont Award for Packaging Innovation for initiating and commercializing a new-to-market reclose feature while working at Campbell Soup Co. as a packaging engineer. Dingee has also recently authored multiple articles that identify how to leverage the mindsets of the Millennial, Gen X, Boomer and Silent generations in packaging departments.
Matt Dingee, co-founder, president/COO, OnPoint 2020
Dingee takes a few moments to talk with Packaging Digest about the new company and how its services can help you.
Your consultancy helps brands “develop iconic packaging, craft ecommerce strategies and create innovative manufacturing solutions.” Why focus on these three areas?
Dingee: These three areas represent the highest opportunity areas to make a difference in our client’s business. After asking about some of their greatest challenges, it became clear that by leveraging packaging in these three areas, we can help them reach the next level of success.
Why should brands develop “iconic” packaging?
Dingee: First, I define iconic packaging as packaging that readily embodies the brand identity—be it design, material, size or use.
For starters, let’s assume a brand has a valuable purpose and identity, then the packaging will be a primary communication tool to represent that identity and purpose. The faster it does that job, the more iconic it is—think Coke bottle, where brand identity was evaluated for recognition in a smashed glass bottle.
If a brand owner doesn’t strive to embed the character of its brand in iconic packaging, then it risks being commoditized and overlooked, or it risks missing opportunities (the Fear of Missing Out or FOMO dilemma).
What are the challenges in developing iconic packaging and how do you overcome them?
Dingee: A big challenge is commitment to extend your brand through to packaging. If packaging is just a wrapper or Cost of Goods (COG), then it cages up the creative force to innovate. Why would Altoids have a metal hinged container and a paper tucked around mints? Because the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. wants to have Altoids carry a certain position—it’s not an extra cost, but an investment to establish the brand ethos throughout the packaging experience.
Few packaging consultants promote services centered around ecommerce packaging strategies, despite the growth in this channel. What advice do you plan to give clients regarding ecommerce packaging? Can you share a couple ideas?
Dingee: I promote and advise a training program for ecommerce packaging—like a boxer training for a championship bout. Due to its explosive growth, ecommerce has great expectations that showing up in the ring will get results—and the reality is that like any champion boxer, the title is earned through dogged hours in the gym and a dedicated fitness program. In the same way, a brand’s packaging must be trained and fit to size, shape, experience and configuration to win online. Each brand, like a boxer, will customize a training program to maximize abilities and shore up gaps. The big one is to determine the best dimensional weight class that your brand should be at!
Your third area of focus is to create innovative manufacturing solutions. Can you give us an example of an innovative manufacturing solution? What benefit(s) will your clients enjoy by implementing your ideas?
Dingee: In today’s consumer goods industry, the explosion of co-manufacturing cannot be overstated. From multi-national consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) to start ups, all are using this network to move to market faster. This inherently invites complexity of supply, packaging and capability to innovate. And this is where OnPoint 2020—with a generationally diverse and deep pool of experts—offers a powerful combination of manufacturing partners, equipment solutions and packaging material innovation to deliver the brand vision to market.
For example, a brand has selected a new format that appeals to their consumers—we help create a recommended partner that has or could have the equipment to supply this concept to market. Or perhaps develop a packaging material that can be produced within an existing manufacturing partner’s capability.
Why the company name OnPoint 2020? What does it mean?
Dingee: OnPoint2020 represents a mash up of two central ways we want to work for our clients:
1. OnPoint: meaning relevance, timeliness and insight for a given moment or context.
2. 2020: forward-looking vision and foresight.
Putting them together, we offer high-value insights that propel brands into future growth.
Learn what it takes to innovate in the packaging space at WestPack 2017 (Feb. 7-9; Anaheim, CA). Register today!