Boxing Day - The Hollywood Blockbuster
Now, this is going to be different from all the Yo' Tube videos of sad people taking their new camera out of the packaging while the rest of the world burns around them. This is going to be the inside story of the intrigues and murders in the Japanese packaging industry. If you don't believe they have them, consider these facts:
1. Japan has a culture of wrapping and packaging. There is a Japanese cultural channel on Foxtel that has video reports from Japan and broadcasts whole shows on wrapping -foreigners watch Japanese retail sellers package different products for sale and ten comment on how it is done in their own country. The Japanese always do it better, and with more style.
2. Japanese companies are quite competitive. Just like the feudal families used to be, They may not go round each other's head offices and shower the opposing office workers with arrows at lunchtime but the temptation is always present...
3. Japanese people like miniaturisation and cute small things. And they do it very, very well.
4. Every cubic millimetre of space saved in packaging a product means several Yen saved - costs of storage space, transportation, etc. There is an economic virtue in packing things as small as possible.
5. BUT...but they know that transportation means damage. the further the product goes out of their careful hands, the further it goes into careless hands. Until the money for the product hits the bank in Tokyo, this is a danger.
6. SO...there is a careful set of equations of size, cost, protection, and attractiveness of product that need to be drawn out - and solved. Different companies have adopted different ideas. None of them are perfect yet, but we in the retail trade watch the evolution of the science with interest. More on the conclusions we have drawn in the next column.