The Execution Difference
Foils and metallic finishes. Cold-activated, thermochromatic inks. Custom textures created on press. Spot UV coatings and other specialty effects. Clearly the role of the converter—as well as his or her expertise—cannot be underestimated in creating luxury labels and packaging with standout shelf appeal. According to the LaManna Alliance’s “2017 Predictions for the Printing and Print-Related Industries,” here are a few trends coming to the forefront for 2018 and beyond in this critical area:
- Methodologies for how metallic foils are applied to printed products will continue to spur growth in new metallic processes as well as with more conventional hot foil stamping applications
- New inkjet processes will help increase the use of foil and specialty spot UV coatings
- The popularity of metallic decorating will also grow conventional decorating techniques such as offline spot UV coatings, and more conventional foil stamping and embossing
- The adoption of RFID/NFC tags and Internet of Things (IoT) smart platforms will continue to grow as active and intelligent packaging progresses in the areas of consumer engagement and product security
Proof Shelf Appeal Matters
All this talk about how to create luxury labels and packaging is fine, but does it impact sales? Whether for wine, spirits or craft beer, in-depth studies show that for today’s consumers, what’s on the bottle or can is just as important as what’s inside.
A 2015 Nielsen wine packaging study of 2,700 U.S. wine buyers ages 21 to 64 tested package designs for 34 leading wine brands from different price tiers. Results indicated the following:
- 64 percent of consumers try a new product simply because the package catches their eye
- 41 percent will continue to purchase a product because they like its design
- The most visible bottles were seen by up to 77 percent more consumers than the least visible bottles, as determined by eye-tracking technology. Some bottles held consumer attention up to 2.5 times longer than others
- Differentiated, distinct personalities drive consumer engagement
- The quickly growing craft spirits segment—with a 27 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR)—is catering to customers who appreciate smooth and quirky concoctions from original and authentic Millennial brands
- Clean and nutritional labeling has been driving the growth of more naturally positioned innovations and organic ingredient trends
- “Free from” launches such as dairy- and gluten-free are an indirect way for spirits brands to capitalize on the desire of Millennials to lead more healthy/natural lifestyles
An Avery Dennison-sponsored study by Package InSight at Clemson University revealed how a label’s look matters when consumers purchase craft beer. Using eye tracking, testing six Avery Dennison craft beer labels on the shelf with nine other bombers showed:
- White gloss film and wood veneer labels, followed closely by metallized film, were noticed first
- Participants viewed a clear-on-clear label more than 20 percent longer than other labels, time that correlated to an increased chance of purchase
- Sixty-two percent of participants said the metallized film label caught their attention
The Long & Short of Luxury
As the retail trend to premiumization continues, luxury labeling and packaging will be key to creating aspiration for consumers who want their own piece of the high life. Intriguing design, innovative materials and novel printing executions will play an increasingly important role in the embodiment of the luxurious life, creating the kind of gotta-have-it shelf appeal that will drive sales and tell the brand story in unforgettable fashion.
About the Author: Alex Kidd is the creative design manager at Avery Dennison. With years of experience in brand and package design, Alex provides creative direction to the design process and creates memorable solutions. As leader of the Concept Lab, he makes connections from different sources to fuel the innovation process.
Avery Dennison materials which can provide the effects referenced in this article include: White Cotton Tree Free, a new, uncoated, 100 percent cotton, white matte paper for designers looking to take advantage of the “tactile trend” for touchable materials; Grape Touch, new and made of 15 percent grape waste that’s sourced from actual wine production; Label’Glass, a new, patented innovation that simulates glass embossing with a pressure-sensitive label; and Wood Veneers, a veneer label material that provides the hand-feel and natural grain patterns of real wood.