A case study in FMCG packaging expertise
Blue Frog is a New Zealand business focused on producing premium breakfast options with a mission to “liven up your breakfast experience with wholesome, innovative and nourishing choices”.
With an ever-expanding product range including probiotic porridge, cereal and syrup options – Blue Frog were looking for a new packaging solution that was sustainable, as environmentally friendly as possible and more efficient to help speed up print production and time on the packaging line.
Working together with Blue Frog and a specialised die marker, McCollams were able to quickly and efficiently produce prototypes of the recommended solution, on the carton stock we proposed to print on. Once the packaging mock-up was approved to proceed, artwork, colour match and barcode certification was complete. Final approval and sign-off was completed on the printed sheets on site.
The Blue Star Advantage
Speed was essential and Blue Frog needed a quick turnaround.
With the ability to reduce the traditional packaging manufacturing timelines, and instead deliver a faster, more agile, streamlined integrated production process to deliver the job efficiently and on time.
Sustainability and environmental factors.
Blue Star were able to offer a number of sustainable features within the final packaging solution including: FSC Certification and mineral free inks.
One site solution.
The final product was all completed at one Blue Star print and finishing site including: print, die-cut and carton glueing.
The job was processed and delivered to specification, within seven working days from approval of the colour proofs. Blue Frog were extremely satisfied with the end packaging result,
the attention to detail, expertise and overall customer experience delivered by the production team involved.
“We partnered with the McCollams team in 2018 as we needed not only competitive pricing but quick turnaround of orders and an overarching focus on sustainability. The team over delivered on all of these parameters…..thanks team!” – Scott Baragwanath, Founder.
A good bet from NZ Racing Board
The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) owns a weekly publication called Best Bets which provides form information to support TAB betting and racing. For many years the publication (average 176 pages) was produced using web offset printing technology, and distributed via the magazine distribution model run by Gordon & Gotch.
Compilation and formatting of the data required for the publication was dependent on a legacy computer system and the institutional knowledge of one employee. To generate a print ready file took half a day, and limited the options available around location and print technology because there was a very small production window in which to meet the courier pick-up deadline. The publication was produced as if it were a newspaper – rapid printing on low quality newsprint, and looked the same as it did 25 years earlier.
Best Bets was distributed to over 3,500 outlets on
a Sale or Return basis, including numerous dairies, service stations, book stores. The algorithm used by Gordon & Gotch to determine how many copies were distributed to each outlet was based on their whole suite of magazines, and largely driven by historical sales with no input from the outlets themselves. It didn’t take account, for instance, of where race meetings were being held and how that might influence the current week’s demand.
On average, only half of the produced books were actually sold, so all the printing and distribution costs of the other half were effectively wasted. The end result for NZRB was that Best Bets ran at a significant loss and was in danger of being closed.
NZRB approached Blue Star and were looking for a holistic view of future options. The proposed solution had a number of components:
- A new compilation and data formatting system had to be developed. (In total there are over 600,000 data points provided per week in the XML format plus a database of 60,000 Silks images (Jockey Strip Images) that is maintained separately as a look up table database)
- An improved finished product was needed, providing better quality for the colour images and adding value to the punters in terms of clarity, layout, appearance
- A streamlined distribution system had to be implemented that incorporated fewer outlets, allowed input for weekly orders from the outlets themselves, and provided a subscription service for punters who wanted books delivered direct to their home
- Future developments needed to include how Best Bets could be used as an on-course book and how it could be customised for individuals or groups e.g. include/exclude trotting races, include/exclude Australian races
The Blue Star Advantage
Working with customers at concept stage, or early in the development process, invariably results in better outcomes. Our understanding of the creative process, our knowledge of the publishing market, our core IT skills, meant we could contribute significantly to the final decisions that NZRB needed to make.
Blue Star’s investment over the last 2 years in our digital capability enabled us to deploy Quadient software to handle the multiple data points and to generate outputs for printing and online publishing, and to use high speed digital inkjet equipment for producing the book to high standards, efficiently and quickly.
We recommended reducing the number of outlets, eliminating those with low sales, and promoting the TAB’s own outlets. Our IT expertise saw an ordering system installed where each outlet places their orders by Wednesday midday each week and that data is used to determine the weekly production quantity. Outlets are also more accountable for their weekly sales. We also set up a subscription service where we collect the fees, arrange delivery, and report to NZRB.
Best Bets is now breaking even.
Overwhelming feedback is that the product has been significantly enhanced.
The book is ready to print within half an hour of the data being received. This has meant production can be completed for courier pick up on Wednesday afternoon and over 90% of the books are delivered on Thursday morning. That same data will be used for electronic distribution, and soon for upload to the TAB website.
We have produced prototypes for on-course books using the base data from Best Bets and allowing customisation for each racing club. This is expected to double the volume of books produced.
A case study in soft packaging with structural and design prototyping
Gevir, a family-owned business based in Central Hawkes Bay selling deer velvet supplements had recently been sold to new owners. Although a very successful business, the current packaging was looking very dated (infact Brebner Print had originally designed the packaging and display box over 20 years ago).
The new owners could see the need for a rebrand and expansion of the existing product line for both domestic and international markets. This also had to happen in a relatively tight timeframe.
The client employed a local design agency to develop the new logo and redesign the packaging for both the existing and new product lines.
Brebner were engaged to assist with the project based on expertise in the soft-packaging category and previous work including Manuka Honey solutions (foil and laminates) through to the extensive packaging requirements for Weleda.
Physical prototypes were quickly created and provided an opportunity to fine tune the design and provided an opportunity to test their shelf presence instore. Any adjustments were made and further prototypes tested before manufacturing started.
The Blue Star Advantage
Brebner offered unique soft-packaging capabilities and in particular around the prototyping and trial of new products. Given the tight deadlines, having the ability to deliver this efficient and fast solution in-house was hugely beneficial.
The new look packaging has had a considerable impact on sales locally and now new overseas markets are becoming more and more of an opportunity. Beyond this however, the ability to deliver a local solution, to the high-quality standards expected and within the time constraints set Brebner apart from the other options.
Securing the full six pack for Garage Project
Packaging and print
Garage Project is an award winning independent brewery based in Wellington’s Aro Valley. They faced a challenge with their open 6 can carry pack; the single can barcode was being scanned instead of the pack barcode, meaning customers were only paying for the one can – not six. Blue Star were tasked with finding a secure solution.
Having a quality end-to-end packaging solution from design through to print and finishing devices ensured we were able to meet and deliver based on the brief. Our packaging design team were able to give Garage Project examples and prototypes to choose from before committing to their final product choice. Our print finishing is world class, matching the award-winning beer packaged within.
We have a very happy customer, with the product line proving very popular for Garage Project. Their sales continue to grow and with this packaging change, their retail partners are happy with the knowledge that shoppers are always paying for the full six pack, not just one can.
A case study for an end-to-end national campaign rollout
Campaign print, POS and logistics
Domino’s Pizza have over 110 stores across New Zealand. Their regular marketing campaigns involve multiple print elements. Given the size and scale of the business, the logistics are complex. Orders are collated for every store and every week over 500,000 pieces need to be printed, packed and distributed to the correct locations, on time. This includes posters, corflute wobble boards, trans-lites, flyers and more.
With the comprehensive capabilities we have across Blue Star and our ability to produce all required formats, we are able to deliver all of the various print solutions for each Domino’s Pizza campaign.
The Blue Star Advantage
In addition to printing and logistics, we have set up Domino’s Head Office so they can use collated pricing and LSM quantities to analyse store sales based on marketing materials used. Each store has the ability to choose their own pricing tier; this means the internal marketing team can measure against a number of criteria including the effectiveness of each pricing tier, right down to an individual stores performance in a particular city.
Blue Star and the specific solutions we deliver have helped maximise each Domino’s Pizza store’s potential. It’s simple and proven: printed campaign material helps them sell more pizzas.
Delivering the message for Meridian
Meridian Energy briefed a multi channel retention campaign targeting 11,000 long-term residential customers. The recipients were divided into six segments, who would receive six different loyalty offers.
Blue Star uses the highly customisable GMC Inspire software, a Customer Communications Management (CCM) tool that allows us to create, manage and deliver seamless multi channel customer communications. It lets us optimise customer interactions across call centres, online, SMS, email and print.
A select group received a direct mail piece with both a personalised URL for redeeming their loyalty offer online and a tear-off Freepost return card. A wider group received a personalised eDM, which clicked through to a single-use online redemption page. Non-responders from both groups received a follow up communication.
The Blue Star Advantage
In addition to a quality print job on FSC certified paper stock, this campaign allowed us to demonstrate our integrated multi channel capabilities.
We were able to provide the client with real time redemption and customer behavioural reporting through an online portal. Every week, personalised gift cards were printed and dispatched to customers who had taken up their redemption offer.
71% of Meridian’s targeted customers redeemed their loyalty offer.
We helped make this possible by making it super easy for customers to opt-in to the offer in what is often a low engagement category.
A case study in dynamic, data driven professional reports
ACC provide detailed, personal claim and injury type reports to all 16,000 practicing professionals such as GP’s, Nurses, Chiropractors and Physiotherapists. The information is unique to each provider and displayed in a dashboard format. A National summary report was generated – a consolidation of all individual data for the associated professional group leaders.
There were a number of challenges for ACC; previous reports were hard copy, lacked cut through and were difficult to quickly digest and understand key information. The reports did not provide a feedback mechanism for professionals to seek further information or clarify questions about the data represented. In fact, there was no way of knowing if the reports were being read at all.
The Blue Star team worked alongside ACC and their design agency to develop an impactful and highly variable digital newsletter to send to all recipients by email, providing recipients with a snapshot of key information, leading them to the full report via an attached eNewsletter.
It also allowed the reader to provide feedback on the report or contact their local ACC Engagement and Performance Manager for more information. Twitter and Facebook links were also added and monitored as well as an unsubscribe function.
Individual and national reports for two of the eight professional groups are deployed every two months.
Weekly reports were generated and sent to ACC for review and action. Reports included detailed information; send and open rates, hard and soft bounces, device and support software used.
The Blue Star Advantage
Blue Star use GMC Inspire software, a Customer Communications Management (CCM) tool to build the complex base templates, overlaid with a high level of complex variable data. This enables a large number of accurate, complex and highly visual data driven reports to be developed in a timely and cost effective manner.
The ACC ‘your dashboard’ email was assigned and set-up by way of a Domain Name System key change (DNS) and masked so that the emails appeared to be coming directly from ACC to meet ACC’s security requirements.
Initial feedback from recipients has been very positive with many wanting to better understand the background data matrices and how it makes up the report. This
has led to ongoing review and development of the dashboard.
The reports have also created positive feedback and conversations between ACC and providers, with a number contacting their advisor, requesting re-sends of their reports.
A survey has been developed and will be sent out soon to all recipients to gather additional feedback and suggestions for future reports.