Luis Arevalo

Design and Packaging Director Latin American Business, Colgate-Palmolive

1. Why did you choose a career in the Packaging industry?
My career in the packaging industry came about purely by circumstance. Whilst studying Industrial Design, my father worked in the food industry. He gave me the opportunity to complete some projects packaging confectionaries. From that moment, I started to fall in love with the potential for packaging to elicit deep emotions within their consumer. These projects gave me the experience to apply for Kimberly-Clark 25 years ago. Since then, I have grown very passionate for using Innovation and Design to communicate with consumers.

2. What are the main responsibilities in your role?
I’m responsible for Packaging Engineering and Design for the Latin America countries. In my role, I develop and implement innovation projects, line extensions, new products and new packaging processes. Working in close partnership with Marketing, R&D and Supply Chain, I develop and support all new launches, special packaging developments and cost savings projects.

3. What are your three biggest challenges daily?
1. Executing Innovation
2. Working with different facilities across the region with different capabilities, priorities, culture and sense of urgency
3. Aligning the global strategies with the regional business

4. Can you describe one of you biggest ‘success stories’ during your time as a packaging professional?
When I started working at Kimberly Clark, I oversaw the development of the Packaging Engineering area. At the time I had just left university and had little technical knowledge and experience. I started working very closely with suppliers of packaging materials to learn more thoroughly the processes and developments and apply them to the company. From this, I developed the packaging engineering team, the packaging materials development procedures and the packaging materials laboratory.

5. Mass customisation and consumer engagement are becoming hot topics among the packaging community: what’s your position?
Our products should inspire consumers. Lovable products, services and companies are disrupting entire industries. It is essential to know your consumer well. Providing a positive product experience will create an affinity between the consumer and your product. Exceed expectations your customers will actively work to contribute to your long term success.

6. Digital printing in particular, following its strong diffusion as a valuable tool for 1:1 marketing, is considered by many as the game-changer for packaging. Are you more confident or sceptical?
We are all unique. With digital printing, you can have a 1-to-1 relationship and a deep connection with your consumer. This technology can help us to put customers at the core of the company strategy. To be at the front of consumers’ minds, you must become part of their reflexes, habits and goals as well as being unique. People act on what they remember, not on what they forget. I believe that by developing something meaningful for your consumer with this technology, they will remember you always.