The Sleep of the Top Dogs: Digital Beats Analog

Fotoquelle: mymuesli/Viktor Strasse

Digital newcomers among brands and packaging companies are revolutionizing the market, while many of the analog top dogs are sleeping through the trend and thus taking a high risk. Yet it is perfectly possible for brands to build up their own digital brands. And there are also ways for packaging manufacturers to equip their own portfolios for the new requirements.


The Sleep of the Top Dogs: Digital Beats Analog
Parallel worlds are currently developing in the branded goods and packaging industries. While traditional brand owners often find it very difficult to digitize their brands, “digital brands” are forging ahead with their direct-to-consumer (D2C) business. They initially market in the digital environment and are rapidly gaining ground in this way. It’s no wonder that digital brands have recently caught up strongly in the brand rankings.

The development of the brands is also reflected in the packaging suppliers. They are often unable to meet the changing needs of digital brands because, in line with their established customers, they react very cautiously to the new trend. As a result, they lag behind the demands of digital brands in terms of short delivery times and mass customization. This is a gap that is being well filled by a considerable number of new, digitally oriented packaging retailers and producers.

But the analog top dogs can fight back.

Driving the counter: Paths to the digital brand world
In the brand area, for example, by purchasing or building a digital brand. If this process is accompanied by experts, the chances of success are very good. Since the range of digital brands is usually characterized by great diversity, production and filling processes, for example, must be revised for a company’s own digital brand.

Example mymuesli
The digital brand mymuesli initially only offered its products online and apparently soon did again. Customers could put together their mueslis individually and order them in individualized packaging starting with the quantity of one. By now, mymuesli offers over 566 quadrillion variations by combining different ingredients. Consumers are willing to dig deeper into their wallets for the option of customized, individualized muesli variants. The price range extends from €3.80 to just under €20. For individualized packaging alone, consumers pay an additional €1.90.

Example Henkel & Invincible Brands
Consumer goods manufacturer Henkel recently acquired 75% of fast-growing premium D2C brands HelloBody, Banana Beauty and Mermaid+Me from e-commerce brand builder Invincible Brands. An example of the acquisitive approach to acquiring own digital brands.

Driving the counter: Paths to the digital packaging world
In the packaging sector, manufacturers need to adapt their processes and portfolio to the new needs. For example, by enabling mass customization of processes through intelligent connection of production and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Disruptive digital providers such as the online print shop “Labelprint 24” show how it can be done.

The future
The development towards digital brands with simultaneously diverse and personalized products, including the corresponding packaging, will continue. The more providers position themselves successfully, the more difficult it will be for newcomers to catch up. This also applies to established, but still largely analog, top dogs. There is still an opportunity to maintain market share and win new ones. The expertise of experts is crucial for success – ideally as early as possible.

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