Labeling Ideas That Say, ‘Look at Me!’

Start with a clear goal—from keeping a brand current to extending its ‘touchpoints’—and make the label a pivotal marketing tool.
Technological advancements have heightened the value of many packaging materials, but the label still reigns as an effective marketing tool.
In four examples that follow, marketers demonstrate that when they clearly define their objectives, the label can help them achieve their goals.
The examples show how labeling can answer challenges. These range from keeping a well-known beer brand fresh in consumers’ minds to creating a “billboard” that heightens packaging’s ability to sell condiments beyond the store shelf.
1. Keeping a signature brand contemporary
In a fiercely competitive product category such as beer, looking “dated” can quickly remove a brand from top-of-mind status among consumers. When Anheuser-Busch sought a new label for its Bud Light brand, it spent 21/2 years asking consumers for their preferences.
With this research, Anheuser-Busch opted for a clear, “no-look” label that reinforces the brand’s active, fun and contemporary image. It also retains Bud Light’s “swoosh” logo.
“The clear label is a major enhancement for Bud Light,” says Dan McHugh, Senior Director for Bud Light Marketing at Anheuser-Busch. He adds that consumers “told us it makes Bud Light appear contemporary, fresher and more sophisticated, and that it is the look they want when enjoying beer with friends.”
Bud Light’s new pressure-sensitive label uses proprietary materials and printing processes, says Dan Muenzer, Marketing Director at Spear, the label supplier. The label is produced in-line with filling done by Anheuser-Bush.
Where to go for more information...
Clear p-s labels. At Spear, contact Dan Muenzer at 513.459.3223 or

2. Achieving impactin condiments
Heinz sought to open up new markets for its condiments in room service at mid-tier hotels, diners, upscale caterers and hotel breakfast bars. Heinz found the solution in a stand-up pouch from Alcan Packaging. The pouch is printed in eight-color flexographic inks.
The black background provides the sharp contrast for highlighting the process-printed image of the product variety that each package holds. In Heinz’s view, the graphic area on each pouch functions as the label for Heinz’s brand identification and recognition. This eliminates the need for additional labeling. The result is a lower-cost alternative to condiment packaging.
Where to go for more information...
Stand-up pouches. At Alcan Packaging, contact Lisa Apolinski at 773.355.5201 or

3. Creating a new identity in wine
Wines are extending a “handshake” to the “everyday” consumer by instilling trust and a sense of heritage about the brand. Bag-in-box and, more recently, aseptic packaging are giving glass bottles a run for their money in this category, in part by communicating differences between wine varieties to the less-sophisticated palate.
Labeling has to complement this softer appeal. Hillebrand Wines is among marketers at the forefront of this trend. For its 25th anniversary, the Toronto-based winery breathed new life into its 2003-vintage product line.
Hillebrand enlisted Shikatani Lacroix Brandesign to create a new identity for the line, which includes the Collector’s Choice and Showcase varieties. The boldest of the changes was a label design displaying an illustration of the winery and a seal.
Each label includes an “established since” message to communicate the sense of heritage and trust Hillebrand enjoys as one of Niagara’s first wineries.
Collector’s Choice, Hillebrand’s premium sub-brand, also features “Group of Seven” paintings on the label. Different paintings signal the red and white varieties. This sub-brands longer label connotes a more premium look.
Hillebrand’s personal blend, Showcase, represents hand-made wines sold only at the winery. The label is also longer, as well as more textured. It features a “torn” edge, “romance” copy and an embossed “H.” These elements signify the craftsmanship that goes into creating the taste for this wine sub-brand.
Where to go for more information...
Label design services. At Shikatani Lacroix Brandesign, contact Jean Pierre Lacroix at 416.367.1999 or

4. Providing ‘TLC’ for tea’s sensory appeal
Overseas markets present opportunities for brand managers to increase sales when they use the right package. Two challenges in the package-selection process are keeping the product fresh and making it desirable for a new audience
Tetley Group, Middlesex, U.K., faced those two challenges in creating a line of tea bags specifically for export to Canada. Tetley wanted to provide tea aficionados with an upgraded, resealable package to protect the subtle flavor and aroma of its exotic teas. In addition, the marketer wanted to create “presence” in Canada’s grocery stores. Tetley found the answer in a high-performance paperboard can with an equally hardworking label.
The round can, from Sonoco, provides notable distinction in the tea aisle, where folding cartons dominate. Its heavy-duty construction—two plies of spirally wound recycled paperboard—enhances its value as a storage container.
To emphasize the brand’s high-end position, the cans feature glossy, six-color, litho-printed paper labels. A Hoverslip, high-gloss varnish gives them a luster on the store shelf.
Tetley Canada Market Manager Stephen Rice explains that the label provides an excellent “billboard” for the brand and flavor name. It also accentuates the photo-quality images of fruit, flowers, herbs and cups of tea.
Where to go for more information...
Heavy-duty paperboard cans. At Sonoco-Europe, contact Alan Kirby at 0776 7665195 or
Wet-glue labels. At Buckleys, contact Tony Stevens at 0161 430 1040 or