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Anyone who is involved in business will have come across this tool at some point. And actually it is a very useful analysis technique. So where did it come from?

The term PESTLE has been used widely in marketing and business circles over the last 20 years and as a result its true history is difficult to establish.

The earliest known reference to tools and techniques for ‘Scanning the Business Environment’ appears to be by Francis J. Aguilar (1967) who discusses ‘ETPS’ – a mnemonic for the four sectors of his taxonomy of the environment: Economic, Technical, Political, and Social. Sometime after its publication, Arnold Brown for the Institute of Life Insurance (in the US) rearranged it as ‘STEP’ (Strategic Trend Evaluation Process) as a way to organise the results of his environmental scanning.

In the 1980s, several other authors including Fahey, Narayanan, Morrison, Renfro, Boucher, Mecca and Porter included variations of the taxonomy classifications in a variety of orders: PEST, PESTLE, STEEPLE etc. Why the slightly negative connotations of PEST have proven to be more popular than STEP is not known. There is no implied order or priority in any of the formats.

In thinking about this tool the other day I realised that it could be easily adapted to provide a very useful framework for developing packaging for a product. So here it is….

 

Political

Brexit, a particular focus at the moment with both opportunities and threats for all parties. The only thing that is for certain is that Brexit will create changes in who we buy from, sell to and how our supply chains operate.  Take time to review packaging as your supply chain changes to ensure that it continues to be suitable, adequate and economically sound.

 

Economic

In the current economy, costs are a particular focus for companies:

  1. Does the packaging provide adequate protection at the lowest cost per unit possible?
  2. Have you got the right balance between fit for purpose packaging and product presentation?
  3. When last did you challenge the supply chain route with a view to reducing the cost of your packaging?

 

Social

Are you seen as a company who is keeping up with the latest trends? Is your packaging in keeping with the social expectations and trends of your target market?

Packaging design is used to capture customers’ attention as they are shopping or glancing through a catalogue or website. This is particularly important for customers who are not familiar with the product and in situations, such as supermarkets, where a product must stand out among thousands of other products. Packaging designs that stand out are more likely to be remembered on future shopping trips.

 

Technological

Are you utilising the latest in packaging technology?  Some specific examples of technology in the packaging industry worth noting:

  1. High Performance & New lightweight products such as thin gauge polymers are allowing companies to provide the same levels of product protection whilst using less raw material and lowering costs. Are you using the most efficient packaging materials possible?
  2. Biodegradable Polymers, biodegradable polymer additives are now starting to becoming to become economically viable. These products make previously non-recyclable products more environmentally friendly
  3. Digital Print is changing the we can run our marketing and branding campaigns. It allows companies to cost effectively produce short run packaging campaigns where in the past the costs would have been prohibitive.  Are you taking advantage of the flexibility of digital print?

 

Legal

At every stage in the packaging (and product) development process, there is a need to consider the implications of legislation. Specialist legal advice must be sought, getting it wrong is costly.

Amongst others but not exclusively you need to consider the following regulations:

  1. Trade Descriptions Act 1968
  2. Consumer Rights Act 2015
  3. Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2015
  4. Food Labelling Regulations 2014
  5. Weights and Measures Act 1985; Weights and Measures (Packed Goods) Regulations 2006 S.I. 2006/659
  6. Trade Marks Act 1994
  7. Copyright, Designs and Patents, Intellectual Property, Registered Designs and Confidentiality Agreements
  8. Environmental Protection Act (Primary Legislation) 1990
  9. Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2012 (as amended)
  10. Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2015
  11. Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations
  12. (EC) directive 2008/1/EC

 

Environmental

An environmentally responsible pack is one that gets the product from production to consumption with minimum use of materials and energy, generating the least amount of waste.

It is of secondary importance whether it is:

  1. Degradable or inert
  2. Derived from renewable or non-renewable resources
  3. Capable of being refilled or not
  4. Easy or difficult to recycle

 

Contact us today and speak to one of our Packaging Consultants!

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