Differentiating with double-sided labels.

Author:Frydrychowski, Marsha

When designing their product packaging, brands need to weigh two competing imperatives: Keep packaging costs down to maximize profit, and differentiate the product to increase sales. These goals are inherently at odds, and for lower-margin products, the former nearly always wins out. But for luxury products, great care needs to be put into prioritizing the latter.

That's because quality alone isn't enough to make a product "premium" in the mind of the consumer. According to a Nielsen Report, 38% of consumers say premium products are "defined by superior design or style." That's closer than you might think to the percentage of consumers that said premium products are defined by higher quality (54%).

Simply making a wine (or any luxury product) that's "better" isn't necessarily enough to command a higher price point--a brand's packaging has to look the part. When consumers buy premium, it makes them feel confident and successful.

And when looking to make a statement with a label, custom label shapes, embossing, foil stamping and tactile varnishes are just the beginning. The premium spirit, wine and personal care markets are saturated with thousands of new, premium options. To stand out, brands have to do something very few others are doing with their packaging.

Something like double-sided labels.

What are double-sided labels? As the name implies, double-sided labels have graphics on both faces of the label construction. If applied as the back label on a glass bottle containing transparent or light-colored liquid, the inward-facing graphics give a backdrop to the front label.

The back label on a vodka product, for example, is two-sided. The inside graphics are intentionally designed to create a forced perspective effect--drawing the consumer's attention to the label in the front containing the brand name. This product stands out when placed on a shelf of similar vodka products with simple, full-face front labels.

Double-sided printing, in general, isn't new. Labels have had two sides before--think instant-redeemable coupons (IRCs), smooth peel labels and extended-content labels (ECLs).

But when talking about the type of two-sided label construction that's taking off in the high-end spirits industry, we're talking about a very specific label construction. These labels are actually comprised of two labels that are laminated together to form a two-ply construction, with the following steps listed below:

  1. The base material, which is adhered to...

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