HBC Sealed Air

Topics: Bubble Wrap, Customer service, Marketing Pages: 3 (663 words) Published: October 23, 2013
HBS Case: Sealed Air Corporation

Background/Facts: Sealed Air Corporation is known for its technical accomplishment and market leadership in the protective packaging market. Sealed Air Corporation specifically prided itself on producing Air Cellular Products, AirCap. These products were cushioning, clear, laminated plastic sheet containing air bubbles of uniform size. The feature that differentiated AirCap cushioning from all other bubble products was its “barrier coating” which meant that each bubble was coated on the inside with saran to produce a quality of bubble packaging that consequently produced the best protection of packaged goods. Barrett Hauser, is the Product Manager of Sealed Air’s Air Cellular Products (AirCap). As the product manager, Hauser is responsible for the closed-cell, lightweight cushioning material. Hauser is the responsible party in this article for responding to some unanticipated competition. Two product-based competitors of the packing bubble consisted of: paper-based products and foams. Sealed Air Corporation has two clearly defined corporation-based competitors in this case, GAFCEL and Astro. While each of these competitors were thought to produce an inferior product, the market is clearly supporting these packaging products. Sealed Air & the Protective Packaging Market:

Three Major use segments: Positioning, blocking and bracing; Flexible wraps; Void fills (Sealed Air served the market with Instapak and AirCap bubbles Confusion among end users
Cushioning curves, research and cost
U.S. Market-Sealed Air dominated because the U.S. exhibits a mentality that packaging supplies are a productive, cost-saving resource Grades and Sales: bubble height and thickness influencing pricing Selling efforts-Leadership philosophy

Issue Presented: While Sealed Air Corporation had a patent on the closed-cell, light-weight cushioning material, several small regional producers had invented around Sealed Air’s patent manufacturing process...
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