Sabine Chassagne, Global Brand Manager, International Trimmings and Labels
Traditional brand loyalty is being tested to the limit, with consumers enjoying wider choice, greater convenience and a significant rise in discounting.
Consumers are no longer limited by whatever is available in their local stores, and for the first time, retailers are starting to realise that growth can not only be achieved by opening new outlets. This means that, now more than ever, brands are having to work far harder to win consumer spend, whether it be in the story they tell, the products they offer or the way in which they sell those products.
There are three things that consumers, especially millennials and Generation Z consumers, look for today – value, sustainability and an experience whenever they buy.
Labels and packaging play an integral part in this journey, as they are the first part of the interaction between brand and consumer. How a product is labelled and packaged not only communicates its cost or information, such as where it was made, but also the quality and value of the product and potentially the story behind the brand. Brands such as Ted Baker place significant value in creating high-quality, interesting packaging to help achieve a positive first experience and consumer buy-in to the brand, while Muji and M&S are turning to sustainable materials to reduce their environmental impact and resonate with the increasingly conscious consumer.
Unfortunately, many brands don’t have the know-how to design their labels and packaging in a way that not only works with the product they are trying to sell, but is also manufactured efficiently. As a result, they often end up paying more than they need to, and unknowingly waste raw material that often just ends up in landfill. Intelligen™ is our patented product re-engineering process, which solves this issue by ensuring a brand’s labels and packaging maximise raw-material utilisation and minimise wastage. The best part is, because we manage to reduce the cost of production, we can pass these savings back to the customer, who can then decide to bank or perhaps reinvest them into making the label even more sustainable by adopting more environmentally friendly raw materials.
Assuming a brand offers value, sustainability and experience and attracts consumers to its store or website, availability is the next key factor in ensuring the consumer spends.
Labels have evolved from being a simple product information tool to a branding aid to, today, a “smart” label. With RFID (radio-frequency identification), retailers can track and count hundreds of products in their store or stock room within seconds, thus increasing stock visibility, accuracy and direct sales.
The labelling and packaging only represent one part of the overall perception, but if a brand focuses equally on sustainability, value and experience whenever it presents its products to a customer, they are reacting to consumer expectation and have a better chance of making the sale.