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Innovation and a great label deliver brand experiences

Classens Cartils’ Rik Olthof explains that experiences, delivered through packaging, are essential to hooking today’s busy and information-overloaded consumer.

Consider a product in any category. If it’s in a well-designed package, it creates an experience for the user. Now, change the package dimensions, colors, and components, such as the label. Chances are, the same product presents users with an entirely different experience.

This is the new branding, says Rik Olthof of international branding and package design consultancy Claessens Cartils, in The Netherlands. Speaking on a blog called What They Think, Olthof says an experience is an added dimension to branding that can be created through packaging. Done well, it can determine which products get put in the shopping cart.

The article points to premium beer and wine as two categories where experiential brands are flourishing. In those categories, self-adhesive labels with compelling designs feed on consumers’ aspirations.

A great example comes from Boston Beer Co., which won a 2010 Glass Packaging Institute Clear Choice Award for packaging a barrel-aged Samuel Adams brew in a special bottle with an embossed cartouche in the shoulder and a sharp-looking, pressure-sensitive label to complement the glossy black finish of the bottle.

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