Interview with: Erwin Dito, Innovation & Packaging Director Western Europe, Anheuser Busch InBev, the Chairman at the marcus evans EuroPack Summit 2013
Interview with: Erwin Dito,
Innovation & Packaging Director
Western Europe, Anheuser Busch
Packaging distinctiveness is more
important than product differentiation,
according to Erwin Dito, Innovation &
Packaging Director Western Europe,
Anheuser Busch InBev. Some packaging
directors may want to change the
packaging of a product to make their
m a r k , b u t m a y r e m o v e i t s
distinctiveness unknowingly, he went on
The Chairman at the marcus evans
EuroPack Summit 2013, in Noordwijk
aan Zee, The Netherlands, 16 - 17
September, Dito talks about product
packaging and why sometimes less
may be more.
Why should product packaging not
change too much?
Brand managers tend to change
packaging as one of the first things, as
it is the first point of contact with the
consumer, and they want to make their
mark. The cost of changing packaging is
nothing compared to that of a new
advertising campaign. However, when
packaging is changed often, consumers
may lose track.
With 10,000 - 20,000 products in a
supermarket, they want to differentiate
the product from the competition, in
how it has more vitamins or less sugar,
but it is much more important for
consumers to be able to find the
To stand out from all those other
products, a product should build and
keep its distinctive features over time.
Globally successful brands are typically
those that never dramatically change
What if the packaging is not
working? Is this about getting it
right from the start?
For new products, designing the right
pack is a process that incorporates
many (un)conscious decisions.
It is partly art, but it is mostly about
following the right process of testing:
exploring the options, screening a range
of solutions, and validating the winners.
And still then, success is not guaranteed
in the “real world”.
What products do you consider
German cars are very distinct. Over the
last 40 years, the new generation of
Mercedes, BMW and Audi cars have
been evolutions of their previous
They have included improvements, but
some characteristics have not changed.
These brands have created memory
structures in consumers’ minds that
these cars never fail and drive pretty
good, so the manufacturers have kept
their possession of those domains by
only adapting the cars.
If you look at French cars in the last 30
years, every generation has been
substantially different. It is one big
fuzzy mess. You cannot separate a
Korean car from a French car nowadays,
but you will always recognise a German
one. That is not to say that German cars
are better. But they are distinct.
Would you not say that French car
makers were more innovative or
It is about innovation and creativity
within borders. When your product is
associated with strong purchase drivers
in consumers’ minds, you build
structures around certain domains. For
cars that may be quality and status,
w h i l e f o r b e e r i t m i g h t b e
craftsmanship, freedom or masculinity.
When you possess a domain, it does not
matter if your car or beer is ten times
better, or if it is made of any special
ingredient. It is much more about the
emotional value that is connected to
your product. If you change this, you
lose the connection with the consumer.
You need to do research to understand
what characteristics you own as a brand
and what is driving purchase intent.
It is hard to possess a new domain; it is
much easier to push on one you already
own and make sure to stay relevant in
the category. That is the trick. Work on
the strengths that are relevant to
consumers and translate them into
Work on the
Creating Distinct Product Packaging
The marcus evans Summits
group delivers peer-to-peer
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p r o f e s s i o n a l t r e n d s a n d
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About the EuroPack Summit 2013
This unique forum will take place at the Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin, Noordwijk aan
Zee, The Netherlands, 16 - 17 September 2013. Offering much more than any
conference, seminar or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together
esteemed industry packaging leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and
interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on packaging
design, brand innovation, shelf standout and packaging engagement.
About marcus evans Summits
marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss
strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to
individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, case studies, roundtables and one-to-one business meetings.
For more information, please visit: www.marcusevans.com
To view the web version of this interview, please click here: www.europacksummit.com/ErwinDito
Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits
Tel: + 357 22 849 313
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