Packaging Employees Sell Innovation Ideas to Corporate Stakeholders

HAVI helped a multi-billion dollar Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) company that struggled bringing their ideas to life when pitching them to stakeholders. HAVI led a one-day workshop training employees on how to champion and effectively sell an idea.

CASE STUDY FOCUS: PACKAGE DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATION

Packaging Employees Sell Innovation Ideas to Corporate Stakeholders

Packaging Development team learns how to reach beyond their department to ‘sell’ ideas and promote profitable innovation.

 

Challenge

A multi-billion dollar Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) company wanted to increase its success at moving technically based concepts to commercial reality. Its package development team frequently presented creative ideas, yet struggled to secure buy-in from other corporate stakeholders to bring their ideas to fruition. The packaging group also struggled to get a seat at the table early in the product development process.

Employees on the package development team largely had technical backgrounds, with degrees in packaging or engineering, and were unaccustomed to championing and selling their ideas beyond their own group. Often, they lacked insight into the different priorities of other departments and functional areas, so they could not effectively connect their ideas to the organization’s larger business goals or place them within the context of stakeholders’ needs. The process of developing ideas that were never realized wasted employees’ time, inhibited innovations that could help the company meet its goals and negatively impacted employee morale.

 

Solution

The company sought help from HAVI to train employees on how to champion and sell an idea. HAVI led a one-day workshop that helped employees learn how to connect their packaging ideas with the organization’s business goals and build allies across functions and departments. Two facilitators with packaging, sales and marketing experience led the workshop and offered insight into what is important to those departments. The workshop also helped employees see that an effective selling approach – customized for each target audience and function – could enhance their ability to turn ideas into action. In order to show the package development team how other departments think and illustrate the type of questions or concerns corporate stakeholders have when it comes to packaging, HAVI interviewed key stakeholders across the company prior to the workshop. The interviews helped document the corporate, functional and personal reasons why stakeholders made decisions and the insights gleaned from those interviews were incorporated into the training, which included the entire package development team. Through the course of presentations and interactive sessions, participants focused on enhancing current and building new essential skills, including how to build a business case for a product, how to drive alignment and how to develop and pose the right types of questions. The workshop participants learned to identify the needs of corporate stakeholders and speak their business language enabling them to successfully frame their ideas in the context of stakeholders’ objectives. For instance, participants began to consider how packaging ideas could be tested, if they fit into existing P&L (profit & loss) statements and if they would work in conjunction with the company’s other products.

 

Benefits

  • Elevated the role of package development – The package development team learned how to effectively champion and sell their ideas across the organization. Since the workshop, they have been asked to participate in the development process from inception and are now seen as an integral function of product development.
  • Refined the ideation to commercialization process – Helped the CPG company develop a more structured approach to present packaging ideas internally, tracking the number of concepts put forth as well as how many are adopted.
  • Promoted greater collaboration across departments – As the package development staff worked with other departments within the company, they began to use the same language, increasing the effectiveness of their communication and working more collaboratively during the development process to develop new packaging as a company, rather than as a department.
  • Fostered an innovative culture – Helped the company foster a culture of creativity and innovation where employees are supported in presenting ideas that could become commercialized and prove profitable for the company.