ZimTrade has urged Small and Medium Enterprises to package and brand their products so that they export value-added goods.
Speaking at a conference held at Ambassador Hotel on packaging and branding for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) today, MegaPak Zimbabwe Technical Director, Ronnie Chikwenya said that SMEs could help in adding value to their products so that they move away from exporting jobs to other countries.
"The value of our exports needs to be changed by exporters. In this case it is you the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).We must package and brand all of our products so that they acquire more value when they reach the end consumer.
"Packaging and branding do not only add value to the product but it also creates jobs especially for the youths who are lying idle at home. We do not want to export jobs to other countries by exporting goods which are not branded and packaged," he said.
Chikwenya said that packaging attracted the consumer so the seller must be able to fully understand the requirements of their client. He added that a follow up should be done to the client after selling the product.
"Know your end consumer's needs. Ensure that your packaging is also attractive to catch the eye of the consumer. Understand the functionality requirements of the client's process and make a follow up on how your product was received,” said Chikwenya.
Chikwenya said that packaging supported the image of its contents. "Packaging is the ultimate "ambassador" that communicates and supports the representation of its contents. Wherein the product is stored to protect it from any physical damage, the product also needs to attract the customer through its appeal," he said.
He said that a packaging design created a whole new image of the brand.
"People often judge the book by its cover. An appealing design makes a good impression, but if it is done sloppily it remains a wasted potential," he said.