Packaging and Labelling in 2018 - Looking into the crystal ball...

Posted on January 05, 2018

It’s safe to say that 2017 marked another milestone year in terms of both labelling and packaging transformation!   

The staggering wave of innovative technological advances that transpired last year – especially in terms of inkjet have probably stumped the achievements of all previous years! And then you can also add to that the enormous amount of new pre- and post-technology - as well as the avalanche of software! It’s been a bumper year of note! In the last 10-12 months alone, we have seen some pretty impressive new names step into the label and packaging industry and many it would seem, have quickly earned their spot in on the label and packaging supplier list!   

How is it that there has been such enormous change and progression in such a short space of time?   

Marketing and competition – there’s your answer in two words.  Those two words are only too familiar to us all – but finding your opportunities and embracing change is far easier said than done – we know this. The truth is that the consumer pretty much owns you – since their decisions ultimately determine your bottom line. So, the only true and effective way to play this game is to control the consumer – and that is done through clever packaging and advertising! (more of the first than the second I might add)

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How do you know what the consumer is looking for?   

Trends – trends are one of the more reliable indicators. Much like children, adults also find trends attractive and shop accordingly.  Trends come into the market space much like a storm, with a small approaching front at first, followed by some wind and then an almighty crack of thunder, lightning, noise and pelting rain! - before it gently makes a sweeping departure again. The point I’m making here is to see the storm approaching, rather than try to secure the boat in the harbour once the storm is already in full swing!   

Trends are not the easiest to spot, but a good marketing manager will know the game. (that’s why you hired a professional) It likely begins with a bold – and rather out-of-the-ordinary idea that sparks a flame and gives birth to a new idea. Sometimes there’s a bit of a migration towards a said style in change and often this will almost magnetically attract the others. Other times it’s the fame and reputation of another brand that leads the way to a specific style – much like celebrities and fashion - but something is always the cause or initiator of change.  

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Do you go with it or not?   

This is another sensitive question, but one that should be approached in a democratic style where every role player in the brand-house should give their input. Marketers, sales people, PR, Brand managers, you name it, are all a master at their game, and for that reason they can all contribute valuable information in the creation of your brands future. Though this may sound like putting the lions out to play with the lambs – it’s a challenge that has the potential of champions!

Understanding market demands, taste, style and other criteria of the consumer is not, and will never be a simple task – it will inevitably also vary (dramatically) and there will be groups that entirely oppose the others. Your key task is to pair your products(s) to an acutely defined target market, and work from there. Who exactly are you aiming your product at? – There’s no point in shooting in the dark here – then you might rather try your hand trade exchange! Define what your market likes, their interests, goals, passions, habits, budgets, priorities, social circles, and the list goes on. But define who they are before you even begin to change your brand appearance. Then, once you have that information – compare your products to your competition, see how you can improve on that and begin to build your branding and packaging around what you know.  

New tricks and techniques emerging   

I’m sure that by now you have either started implementing your own variation of “Intelligent Labels” or that you are contemplating going that way? This is undeniably a growing trend – and not one to be taken lightly either. By intelligent labels we refer to linked applications that allow the consumer to connect with your profile as they shop. (Scan and connect) By way of integrated cell phone applications, you can directly link your consumer with your brand – your website, social media, direct email correspondence, you name it – but the priceless ability to engage on such a personal level and take advantage of the opportunities these powerful marketing tools offer, is undoubtable.   

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Jeroen Diderich, Vice President and GM at Avery Dennison Europe said:

“We believe 2018 will be a big year for intelligent labeling and sustainability”.

“In October 2017, we launched our sustainability progress report for 2015-2017. As we are making major progress internally towards our 2025 goals, we also notice an increasing demand for sustainable packaging and labels. Globally, we offer 60 percent of our paper labels with FSC certification and in Europe, we offer 80 percent of our paper portfolio on FSC, at price parity with non-FSC products.

Avery Dennison has an established presence in RFID intelligent labeling technology, with over 800 patents and applications worldwide. Retail apparel continues to be the largest segment, but we are seeing additional growth coming from new segments including healthcare, fresh food and aviation. Intelligent labels provide a means for surfacing customer-specific information, allowing the consumer experience for the consumer to be personalized to the product itself. This opens up endless opportunities for businesses, going far beyond the point of sale from personalized 1-to-1 marketing opportunities which trigger triggering unique experiences, to product reordering.

By 2018 the total intelligent label ecosystem is set to reach almost 12 billion USD*, and by 2020 it is estimated that over 30 billion RFID tags will be sold globally – digitally enabling billions of products across multiple markets to connect to the IoT”. (Data source: IDTechEx 2017)     

“We are people with independent needs and desires – ultimately controlled by others.” Anon   

In conclusion, your crystal ball message is likely saying that you need to embrace opportunities together with change. Think beyond the perimeters of what used to work in your marketing efforts and don’t be scared to play along with the “age of technology” – most of your markets, in a growing age group are pretty savvy in this sport already. Move with trends and allow your teams to brainstorm together.   

How Veritas Labels can help you   

At Veritas Labels we make no secret of the fact that we’re not the biggest label printing supplier, or the most famous or the oldest – which recalls the saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” ... However, what has been of significant importance to us is to build on collective experience, skill and state-of-the-art abilities.  We have progressed together with technology and are therefore proud of the advance we have over others. We are also aware of the snags in this industry in relation to inferior label printing, service delivery, turn-around times, call-off times, price, quality, etc. and therefore we have made it our mission to avoid all of that and give you the service you didn’t think there was!   

For more information or to arrange a meeting, please call us at: 082 706 5599 or 021 818 4100 – we look forward to hearing from you.   

Cheers to fantastic labels – cheers to soaring sales!

Veritas Labels

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