LMAI panel discussion on Labels: What the Print buyers want

Short runs will produce long runs

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labels
(L-R) Sanjeev Sharma, director product management, Avery Dennison; Sanjay Ghoshal, senior GM and head of packaging, Diageo India; Harveer Sahni, chairman, Weldon Celloplast and director LMAI; Anil Namugade, founder and director, Trigon Digipack; Nirav Shah, founder, Letragraphix; and Naveen Stuart, cluster packaging manager at Reckitt. Photo PSA

India’s trusted healthcare brand Dettol introduced a nationwide campaign, #DettolSalutes, after the peak of the second Coronavirus wave in June 2021 as a tribute to Covid-19 warriors. In the one-of-its-kind campaign, Dettol replaced its logo with the image of a Covid warrior, along with his or her inspiring story of battling the pandemic, on its liquid handwash packs.

Dettol’s parent company Reckitt launched a website www.DettolSalutes.com for people to share stories related to Covid protectors among them and create virtual Dettol liquid handwash packs, which could then be shared on their social media channels. The campaign’s aim was to strike an emotional chord with the customers and convey the message of human solidarity in the wake of the global crisis. 

dettol salutes
Photo www.DettolSalutes.com

Reckitt sacrificed its brand logo space on 4 million packs to deliver the message through digital labels printed on HP Indigo presses. This premium example of brand packaging illustrates how consumer engagement, hyper-localization, and personalization can be amalgamated into a brand story to provide a unique offering to end users.

The #DettolSalutes campaign was one of the several initiatives studied as a part of Label Association of India’s (LMAI) panel discussion on ‘Labels: What the Print Buyers Want’, at Hotel Pride Plaza in New Delhi Aerocity on 5 August 2022. Sanjay Ghoshal, senior GM and head of packaging at Diageo India, said that the perfect label solution needs to be a combination of aesthetics and sustainability features. 

Sanjeev Sharma, director of project management at Avery Dennison, said embellishment on labels is the key to creating value in the whole print process. Introduced in February 2019, the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) is Europe-wide legislation to prevent counterfeit prescription medicines from entering the pharma supply chain. Avery Dennison has become the first label stock supplier in India to manufacture FMD special labels to enable Indian pharma manufacturers to export their medicines.

Ghoshal further said that with globalization, expectations for quality increased among consumers and brand owners. The socio-economic changes in the last 5-10 years have triggered a need for higher aesthetics, high finish and quality standards, and higher functionality. Naveen Stuart, cluster packaging manager at Reckitt, told the audience that the cooperation between the designer and label manufacturer is of prime importance in the age of social media. 

Avery’s Sharma said that technologies that were imagined a decade ago have come to life today. These include RFID and NFS label solutions manufactured at the company’s plants in India. Ghoshal said that the alcobev category, traditionally considered as a media dark segment, can benefit tremendously by incorporating the latest technologies such as AR, RFID, NFS, and active and intelligent labels to increase engagement and connection with customers through sharing of movies, recipes, and beverage tracking.

Anil Namugade, founder and director at Trigon Digipack, said that events such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the Russsia-Ukraine war, and natural disasters have resulted in a massive increase in startups in the last few years. Ghoshal predicted that in view of the short runs on labels going up in the past few years with the explosion in the number of brands available to customers, the short runs will produce long runs in the days to come.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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