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Take Flight: Introducing Digimarc's Phil Stafford

Packaging Experience Summit
September 26, 2018

We caught up with Phil Stafford, Sr. Global Alliances Manager at Digimarc. With decades of experience in the packaging industry, he has just about done and seen it all. Learn more about Phil and his passion for packaging.

In anticipation of Packaging Experience Summit on March 19 –20, 2019 (mark your calendars!) we’ll be highlighting our stellar speaker lineup of experts, influencers, and powerhouses in the packaging and digital print industry.  

Today we caught up with Digimarc’s Phil Stafford. With decades of experience in the packaging industry, Phil has just about done and seen it all. As the Sr. Global Alliances Manager, he understands how emerging technologies can change the way consumers interact with packaging — and brands must take notice.



How did you get into packaging?

I started my packaging career at the early age of 17 when I worked for a large printer that produced packaging, publications and marketing promotional items. I was able to work my way through college and paid for my education by working for the same company for seven years.

I progressed into high-end packaging manufacturing by working for a variety of companies over many years and have had hands-on experience in every facet of consumer packaging production and plant management. I also leveraged my technical skills over many years working for a global branding firm and founded a localization agency that was focused on extending branding and packaging in over 20 languages. I love packaging and have spent more than half of my life being involved with it.

When it comes to supply chain management, what’s a common issue that brands face these days?

Today, most established brands are paralyzed with having to react to the on-demand nature of eCommerce and the unique requirements that are often imposed by online retailers. These same consumer packaged goods (CPGs) also need to look closely at the emerging online brands who are not tied to a long-term brick-and-mortar supply chain process.

One of my favorite quotes from a CPG Supply Chain VP summarizes this situation, "We spent the last 30 years perfecting our supply chain for 12-pack vanilla and now, no one wants 12-pack vanilla."

How can technology help brands better connect with today’s consumers?

There are numerous technologies that can help connect a consumer with a brand.Every shopper has a mobile device in their hand when they are shopping in-store and doing product research. These devices are the key to extending and supporting a brand and their message.

Where does Digimarc fit in to this emerging landscape?

Digimarc is helping retailers and brands on many levels. Our barcode technology can be embedded into the packaging artwork, retail point of purchase displays, signage and printed promotional material. This allows a shopper to engage with these items in-aisle using a retailer branded app.

Consumers can engage with the packaging at home to learn more about the product, nutritional and allergen information, social media reviews, etc. Retailers and brands can engage one-on-one with these consumers for a more personal engagement and extend their brand promise.

Where do you see the merging of packaging and digital technology heading in the future?

The product package is the only point of contact that has 100% interaction with a consumer. No other form of media can claim this. Packaging is not going away anytime soon, and technology is constantly improving. Consumers want more information and there is limited real estate on a package. Technology will be the vehicle to allow the consumer to get the information they seek, and it will become more personal in nature.

What is one key takeaway you hope to impart on attendees of Packaging Experience Summit?

I hope that brand owners will reconsider how they engage with their consumers and embrace technology to help them get there. The demographics are changing, and every brand needs to eliminate the risk of losing market share by becoming a leader in their category rather than being a follower. 


For the opportunity to meet Phil and listen to him speak in person, register for Packaging Experience Summit today. Save 25% on 2-day early bird admission tickets when you register before December 31st, 2018.

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