Effective packaging promotes sales

How well do our Belarusian manufacturers’ websites promote footwear and clothes to foreign customers?

By Yulia Vasilieva

Students of the Academy of Public Administration under the aegis of the President of Belarus recently assessed domestic light industry websites, discovering that they provide little information on prices, product range or contact details. Meanwhile, it has become commonplace globally for customers to be able to purchase goods online from any destination.

Svetlana Pavlyanchina, Roman Lazyuk, Svetlana Kozlova and Dmitry Voloshchik have launched their BelSalе.com site: a single trading venue for wholesale buyers, allowing them to quickly find what they seek and place an order. However, the young entrepreneurs still face difficulties in finding a common language with enterprises.

Alla Deeva, who recently finished her post-graduate course at the National Academy of Sciences’ Central Botanical Garden, has developed a food additive based on blueberries. Although a similar product can be found abroad, Alla’s is four times cheaper and is unique within Belarus. Raw materials are readily available, as there are currently 200 hectares of the crop; moreover, these are expected to expand to 1,500 hectares in coming years. It seems ridiculous for us to export the raw material to later purchase processed products with foreign currency.

Alla’s idea was acknowledged among the most promising at the INMAX 12 Forum, hosted by the National Academy of Sciences. However, the expert council is yet to make a final decision. It is soon to meet at the National Library, with the Union of Entrepreneurs in attendance, to make its judgement.

Another possible winner is an initiative by Yelena Zhurkevich and Kristina Kvetinskaya, from the Belarusian National Technical University: a student’s design bureau focusing on packaging. Works by the BNTU’s future engineer-constructor-designers regularly win prizes at contests, perhaps because their ideas have practical application. Packaging is a vital aspect of marketing, since we ‘judge a book by its cover’ yet enterprises often fail to make full use of the power of packaging and advertising — especially when they operate on a small scale.

The Dean of the Belarusian State Economic University’s Marketing Department, Valery Borodenya, asserts that such forums as INMAX should become more common, since only ideas which are openly debated can find commercial application. “We need to invite businessmen and company heads, so they can see these young people’s sparkling eyes and ideas; the future is in their hands. They are optimistic about the future so I’m sure that employers would compete to employ them,” he emphasises.

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