Spring Outlook: Millennial Moms and Economic Growth


It’s springtime. Flowers are in bloom and folks are cleaning out their homes. But spring cleaning can happen in your job or business too. Now is a great time to look inward and assess the areas you can improve, the things you can eliminate, and what you need to do to succeed. PPC members did just that at our recent Spring Meeting in Charlotte, NC. If you weren’t able to make it, fear not! Here are a few of the key ideas we considered. 

Millennial moms 
If you take just one demographic into account as you move forward in your design thinking, it should be millennial moms. In fact, keynote speaker Ron Sasine, principal of Hudson Windsor and former executive for Walmart and MeadWestvaco (now WestRock), told members that these moms will make most of the important purchasing decisions affecting folding carton manufacturers for the next 30 years! Millennial moms have a presence on mobile and social media, and they look for companies that support their values—a significant one of which is sustainability. Be sure to keep track of these moms, and engage customers and brand owners in discussion around the latest consumer drives and values.

The paperboard advantage
As millennial moms and other consumer demographics continue to value sustainability, paperboard will continue to shine as a renewable, recyclable substrate. That’s a reason to remain optimistic about our industry’s future! During the meeting, Paul Schutes, executive director of the Recycled Paperboard Alliance/Recycled Paperboard Technical Association, told attendees that fiber-based packaging has an advantage in the marketplace, and is especially popular among Millennials and Generation Zers who will make the majority of future purchasing decisions. Joan Sahlgren, director of Public Relations for the Paper and Packaging Board, gave an update on how the industry’s promotional “How Life Unfolds ™” campaign is shifting attitudes even further towards paper-based packaging. Our future is looking bright, indeed. 

Economic growth 
The economy is another reason for optimism. Alan Beaulieu, economist and president of ITR Economics, said that good days are ahead for the economy. He urged converters to reset any negative expectations and get ready for growth. To this end, you should look for and alleviate capacity constraints in your organization. You should also have discussions with leadership about willingness to take on risk. This might be the time to make that big jump you’ve been thinking about. 

Getting it all done 
So, you have a list of improvements you’d like to make. How do you hold yourself and your peers accountable and get the job done? Shawn Rhodes, former U.S. Marine Corps war correspondent turned organizational consultant, TEDx speaker, and author offered advice in this area. First, it’s important to recognize that what we’re talking about here is change. Shawn explained that, though we tend to think of change as out of our control, we can plan for change and pivot when it occurs unexpectedly. To incorporate change into your organization this spring, you should plan your move, create a process that will lead to effective performance, and most importantly, follow up on outcomes. 
Shawn suggested that attendees build after-action meetings into their schedules even before the change is implemented!

Now that you’ve reflected on opportunities for change and growth, it’s time to get out there and make it happen! We wish you the best of luck. For even more tips and tools for success, consider joining us for Fall Meeting this October in Scottsdale, AZ.

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