During my time in the industry so far, the main critique from the hardy souls of the can making business has been the fact that we have been so slow to market ourselves compared to other packaging formats.
This has meant consumers have been very slow in fully understanding the inherent benefits of metal. Pleasingly, during my tenure so far, I have noticed that things are starting to change a little, albeit it may be small steps.
Companies like Ball and Ardagh are fairly proactive on social media, and I think this is starting to filter down into popular culture. My girlfriend alerted me to the fact that reality TV star Megan McKenna (of The Only Way is Essex fame) recently Snapchatted to her 1.9 million followers her surprise about seeing water being sold in a can and how great it was. For our non-UK friends, Megan McKenna is probably best described as a Kardashian on a budget: fake tan, fake lips, fake personality, you can probably picture the rest.
The brand in question was CanO Water, which has also been used at events like the Oscars recently. With society now rife with celebrities being paid to endorse products to increase its commerciability via social media, why can’t our industry do something similar? Why can’t we use the cult of the celebrity to promote the inherent benefit of the humble metal can? It’s perhaps why we need a rethink when it comes to a unified body working for the interests of the industry.
For those with far more knowledge of the can making industry than I have, is there a way we can make this work? As we all know, the only way for us is cans, so let’s make sure the public knows! How many of you are using new forms of media to promote your company? I bet it’s only a small proportion of you compared to PET and other packaging.
In the spirit of this blog, our July/August issue takes on a similar vein with Stolle’s Bob Gary penning an article on how the industry can do more to self-promote. I’d be interested to hear your views too.
Elsewhere, we will shortly be looking ahead to our ‘Can Making MVPs’, where we assess the movers and shakers in the industry. There will be more to follow on this shortly.