Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017: The Year In Review

At Shamrock, we’re closing out 2017 in much the same way that we embraced the new year: With humility. In a year where politics dominated the headlines—and divided people—we focused on the things that brought us closer together: Doing good.

We are fortunate at Shamrock to have a strong community involvement effort that is led by passionate people who choose to dedicate their time and effort to helping those in need. The result is a very powerful and humbling experience. During the past 12 months, our team at Shamrock has volunteered, raised funds, championed causes, and donated goods and services for a host of organizations, sending a ripple effect of love and strength throughout our communities and well beyond.

A few of the organizations that we’ve supported in 2017 include The Leukemia-Lymphoma Society, Our Lady of the Wayside, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Greater Cleveland Food Bank, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, Hospice of Michigan, Goodwill, Contra Costa Food Bank, Essilor Vision Foundation, as well as local families through our annual giving tree.
For more than 30 years, Shamrock has focused on serving our clients first by providing greater value—and always, we’ve led with generosity. As this year comes to a close and we reevaluate our performance over the past 12 months, this is
an area of our company that definitely over-performed. It’s a success that makes us all proud. 

Our year in pictures features highlights from some of those charitable events and campaigns. Thank you to our clients, vendors and colleagues who helped to make these efforts such a fabulous success: We couldn’t do it without you. 

Wishing you and yours all the best for a happy, healthy 2018!

Tim Connor

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Food packaging trends for 2018

Do you read nutritional food labels? I do. And according to a survey by the Food and Drug Administration, I’m not alone: Half of all adults read the nutrition facts label “always” or “most of the time,” according to the latest FDA Health and Diet Survey.

There is a packaging trend that tracks with that push for more accessible nutritional information: Clean food labeling is among the trends we’ll see in the packaging industry in the year ahead. At Shamrock, we watch those indicators closely, as we create labeling for our clients for use in a host of applications—product labels, specialty packaging, displays and shelf signage, to name a few.   

A recent article by David Roberge of Industrial Packaging outlines the top predictions for food packaging in 2018. Here is a summary:

1. Light and Flexible Packaging
The flexible packaging market is growing across the globe due to the many benefits and flexibility it provides including recyclability and lightweight protection for all types of packaged goods: The lighter the package, the lighter the load, which can significantly reduce freight costs.

2. Clean Labeling and Healthy Foods
More consumers today want to understand ingredients on food labels: Roberge quotes Charles D. Yuska, President and CEO of PMMI, who notes that “37% of U.S. consumers find it important to understand ingredients on food labels while 91% of consumers believe that products with recognizable ingredients are healthier; and the rise in demand for organic food has fueled a more than 10% growth in this sector.”

Here’s a great example of that trend in action: RXBAR, a line of clean-label protein bars made with whole food ingredients—and the fastest growing nutrition bar brand in the United States—boldly lists its ingredients on the front of the packaging. Kellogg recently bought the brand for $600 million, with the deal set to close by the end of this month.

3. Understand Labeling Requirements
In addition to clean labeling, 2018 is the year for the transition to new FDA nutritional labeling regulations for foods. Understanding these requirements is a must. Know the nutritional content for the ingredients in your food product, the serving size, expiration dates and the placement requirements for your package. For more information, click on the link below:

4. Creative Package Designs
With the growing demand for customization as the online sales of consumer goods increases, the need for creative packaging is increasing as well. Using customized shapes for packaging to complement a flavor or product; or introducing a re-usable package are great ways to make a lasting brand impression on consumers.

Think about what packaging elements have left an impression on you—and then consider your brand labeling and packaging and how you can enhance its appeal. Our creative design team at Shamrock is here to provide our input and expertise.

Connect with us today if you’re interested in re-thinking your packaging as we look to the new year.

All the best,
Tim Connor

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Setting Goals for Business Success in 2018

I’m a big believer in the power of planning. It’s that time of year again when many of us look back at our progress over the past 12 months, reassess our path, and develop a plan for making the most of the year ahead.

A recent article in Inc. magazine by Aha! CEO Brian de Haaff talks about the use of planning to achieve success in business. Here’s what he says: “Successful people take a methodical approach to setting career goals. It starts with defining what ‘success’ means to them, then building a career roadmap to achieve that vision.”

It all starts with a plan that defines where you want to go. de Haaff suggests that you come up with a career sentence—the overarching vision for your professional life. “Your sentence could be specific, such as ‘Help build software that changes the way people interact with their doctors.’” Or it could be more wide-sweeping, like “Provide world-class customer service.” Once you’ve set your destination, you can focus on the goals that will get you there.

Here are de Haaff’s five steps to setting career goals:
1. Make it real. Making measurable career goals and setting success metrics will help ensure that your career roadmap is realistic. With those benchmarks in place, you can track your progress in a meaningful way.
2. Push yourself. Your career roadmap should be a challenge, not a cakewalk. If your goals don’t make you at least a little bit uncomfortable, then it’s time to set your sights higher. Push yourself in your overall vision and in the tasks that will carry you there.

3. Write it down. Research shows that people who write down their goals are significantly more likely to achieve them. One of the many benefits is that it forces you to think through what you want to achieve in a concrete way. If you have a hard time finding the words to explain your goal in a sentence or two, you probably have not thought it through.

4. Share your plan. Another benefit of writing down your goals is that it makes it easier to share them. Once you’ve told your friends and colleagues about your goals, you will feel a sense of disappointment if you do not follow through. Accountability is a great motivator.

Credit: Getty Images
5. Visualize your success. A common practice of high achievers is visualizing success. Sports psychologists teach elite athletes to picture themselves connecting with the fastball, kicking the field goal, sinking the putt. You can do the same with your long-term career goals and the efforts that will get you there. Use positive visualization to motivate yourself to work harder.

Read the Inc. article by clicking the link below:

Take the first step in driving success in 2018 by creating your career sentence and then setting your goals. After that, it is all about commitment and follow-through. Establishing a set schedule to monitor your progress, whether that’s daily, weekly or monthly, will help get you there.

If you’re looking for someone to share your goals with and hold you accountable, connect with me and I’ll do the same.

Good luck!
Bob DeGarmo