What a $90 Sweatshirt Has to Do With Contract Packaging

Three years ago, I purchased a $90 hooded sweatshirt. Actually, it was given to me as a birthday present. I’d read about the company online, and it was a compelling story: this was a new company creating clothing in America, and the article’s author promised the sweatshirt was the very best out there. When I received it, it really was the best I’d owned. And then, it started to fall apart.

Descriptions of the fit and fabric can be found elsewhere, so I won’t go into that here. But assume it was the best I’d ever worn. But $90 for a sweatshirt that could be purchased at a big box store for $25? Clearly, I had purchased more than just a sweatshirt. I had invested in the story of the sweatshirt and had somehow made a personal connection.

There’s a wonderful quote on a sign hanging in a local Italian deli that says something like, “Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten.” And I often believe that. Here, the value for me was not just the cost of the materials and labor. It was more than the fit of the sweatshirt, or how I felt when wearing it. It was the idea that the product was supporting American jobs. It was the concept of an upstart company carving a niche for itself. It was the idea of owning something from a company where the workers actually cared about their customers’ experiences, and where people stood behind what they produced.

So I wore the sweatshirt. Often. Here in Wisconsin the colder months are frequent and intense, and our house is old and drafty. So I wore it inside after work and on the weekends. I wore it chasing my son around outside and for light yardwork. Nothing intense, but often. Eventually the color faded a bit, but it still looked good and “lived in”. But then, it started falling apart.

It was just a little bit, and just at the wrists, but it was undeniable: the stitching started coming apart at the seams. I decided to email the company. I admitted that I didn’t know what I should expect of a $90 sweatshirt that was a couple seasons old. And what happened next blew me away: it was…easy. I sent pictures, they acknowledged the quality issue. And they took care of it. Just like that. No back-and-forth. No question of my honesty or how I may have actually used the sweatshirt: this was clearly a company that took pride in their product, and was equally proud of their service. They weren’t happy with its performance, and they wanted to fix it. This turned out to be more than simply a sweatshirt – it was a belief and a buy-in to the culture of a company.

So what does this have to do with contract packaging and wet wipes, bottles, or water-soluble pouches?

It occurred to me that, when a customer decides to do business with Multi-Pack Solutions or any other contract packager, they’re buying more than just a product. After all, there are many companies that manufacture wet wipes, or fill tubes, or package water-soluble pouches. Customers are also paying for trust; trust that we’ll do what we say we’ll do. They’re paying for quality; the idea that the CP produces product to the established quality standards and in compliance with all regulations. They’re paying for service; if something goes wrong – when something goes wrong – there will be a resolution that is satisfactory at a minimum and maybe even exceptional.

There’s a certain feeling about working with a company that stands behind their product and service. At Multi-Pack Solutions, we’re laser-focused on delivering great experiences for our customers, but we know we don’t always get everything right. We know sometimes mistakes are made, in both production and in our service. But the true measure, and the clearest picture of the culture of our company, or any company for that matter, is how those mistakes are handled.

Business can be transactional in many ways, but it can be and should be enjoyable. This is true when things are going great, but also when things are coming apart at the seams.

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