Glass Bottle Printing – the Holy Grail of Branding?
Companies around the world spend billions of dollars trying to get their brands in front of potential buyers. Clicks and eyeballs, however, are inherently transitory, lasting only a fleeting moment and then they are gone. Replaced by the next post, ad, visual or noise.
Staying power in the consumer mindset therefore relies on repetition. In the end, people feel flooded with messaging. And realistically, how much top-of-mind awareness can a person retain after being bombarded by 5,000+ ads in a day?
Here at Stanpac, we’ve inadvertently come upon the holy grail for brands. In talking with our customers, we’ve discovered an interesting link: their brands are often achieving a place of honor in their buyers’ private worlds. End-users purposely hold on to branded items, establishing a long-lasting, top-of-mind relationship.
Now we’re not marketing experts. We’re a food and beverage packaging company. But perhaps our glass bottle printing division – known as Stanpac Ink (we “tattoo” your bottles!) – is on to something.
Art Meets Branding: Collective Arts DISTILLING
When Collective Arts Brewing of Hamilton, Ontario, took the plunge into the craft distillery business, little did they know that their bottles would be affectionately re-purposed and re-used. Restaurants often use them to serve table water. At home, people often keep them and prominently display them on a shelf.
It’s no surprise. Collective Arts’ bottles are works of art. In fact, one of the company’s founding principles was to bring art to the masses. Engaging with emerging artists, Collective Arts showcases their work and provides a platform to be discovered and shared. Through an ever-changing line up of beer, spirits and cocktails, Collective Arts has featured over 2,000 artists from 42 countries.
Bottle designs for its four popular gin flavours – Artisanal Dry Gin, Rhubarb & Hibiscus, Lavender & Juniper, and Plum & Blackthorn – share a common postage stamp style branded label, imprinted in front of gorgeous, colourful backgrounds drawn by emerging artists from Victoria, Mexico City, Philadelphia and Chicago respectively.
Stanpac brings the technical expertise – having perfected Advanced Ceramic Labelling (ACL) technology over the years – to bring the artwork to life on a bottle.
“Stanpac was very patient working with us to find the best possible colours for the inks needed to make our artwork pop,” says TK Palermo, Brand Marketing & Communications at Collective Arts. “They were just as committed as we were to realizing the best translation of art to bottle possible, and they worked with us to find the perfect placement for our designs.”
Farm-to-Table… to-Shelf: Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers
A fellow craft distiller, Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers, has experienced the same market reception.
“The ceramic screen print makes an incredible impression that really shows off our spirits,” says Geoff Dillon, owner and chief distiller at Dillon’s. “We’ve even heard stories of people keeping our whisky bottles for flower vases, soap dispensers, and candle holders because they love the glass and prints so much. It really speaks to the attractiveness and appeal of our bottle designs.”
Located in the heart of Niagara’s wine country, Dillon’s produces an exceptional collection of signature spirits that include rye whisky, vodka, gin and absinthe, along with specialty schnapps and amaroes. It also makes over a dozen varieties of bitters, sold by independent shops and retailers across Canada.
Dillon’s relies heavily on local ingredients in all of its handcrafted batches. Whether it’s local grapes as a base in vodka or gin, or peaches for peach schnapps, Dillon’s approach ensures that only the freshest produce goes into their products.
In addition to ensuring premium quality, Dillon’s local sourcing strategy is environmentally responsible and fosters sustainability. The close proximity to natural ingredients means substantially less fuel and resource consumption attributed to production.
So when sourcing its bottles, Stanpac fits right in. The packaging specialist, with facilities in Texas and New Jersey, happens to be headquartered in Smithville, Ontario, a mere 15 minute drive from Dillon’s. Being so close helps to minimize transportation costs as well as related emissions.
Filling with Passion: Niagara’s Della Terra
Of course, printed glass bottles will look great even when they aren’t filled with 80 proof spirits!
Another Niagara area company, Della Terra Artisan Oils & Balsamics, has achieved a considerable customer base selling premium extra virgin olive oil sourced from Italy, Spain and “new world” growing regions such as Australia, Chile and Peru.
The result is a lovingly curated collection of over 60 flavours, from traditional extra virgin olive oil, to infused oils, to balsamic vinegars. Its two Ontario stores offer tastings to help you find that unique flavour you’re looking for. You can then consult their website for a treasure trove of recipes that will bring these flavours to life.
When you decide on your perfect flavour at Della Terra’s, it’s just a matter of pouring it straight from the tap into a bottle, ensuring a remarkably fresh end-product to take home and enjoy.
Della Terra founder Lydia Kinos envisioned bottles with the look and feel of a bottle of fine wine. Instead of traditional paper or vinyl labels, she felt that bottle decorating – printing directly on the glass – was the only way to go. “It’s by far the best packaging option we found that parallels our premium artisanal products,” explains Kinos.
She regularly gets compliments from customers about Della Terra’s bottles. People simply love showcasing them on their kitchen counters. The chartreuse green logo really pops thanks to the contrast against the dark glass bottle, which is necessary to protect olive oil from ambient light. “Customers even tell me that they are reluctant to put them in the recycling box because they are just so beautiful,” adds Kinos.
More Than the Ice-ing on the Cake: Pillitteri Estates Winery
Okay, so by now you are probably saying “that’s nice if my printed glass bottles are becoming collector’s items, but I’m in business to sell product, not decorations!”
Of course! But the point is that if the package is so visually impactful that people want to showcase it, it will be just as impactful on the store shelf! Moreover, it will instill the perception of a high-quality, premium product in the consumer’s mind.
No one knows this better than Pillitteri Estate Winery of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, whose icewine vintages represent the bulk of a large export business, shipping to 39 countries around the world. To establish a luxury brand within such a diverse, multi-lingual, multicultural audience, it is critical that their icewine bottles reflect the quality of the product inside.
Pillitteri relies on the universal appeal of gold. Paper labels – even intricate labels with metallic foil – can only do so much to stand out. What differentiates a nice-looking icewine package from a true masterpiece is the ability to print directly on the glass bottle.
The actual gold in the ink, embossed onto the bottle, creates a superior level of prestige, similar to high-end French wines, sparkling wines or champagnes. In international markets, Pillitteri’s icewine appeals to distributors, wholesalers, and other partners throughout the import chain, in part because of its sophisticated bottles. They instantly convey a premium brand message and help establish a premium price point.
“We love working with Stanpac because nothing is overlooked,” says Jeff Letvenuk, marketing manager at Pillitteri. “There’s a keen eye for detail throughout the process, which is especially helpful because I know that there’s always another set of eyes.” Quality control at Stanpac, according to Levenuk, is exceptional.
The medium is the message
These four companies, selling different products to different markets, share a common business model. They all take pride in making premium, high quality products. And they go to market with containers and packaging that properly reflects their brand. Label design is definitely important, but in today’s world of marketing clutter, the medium is what truly stands out. Printing directly on glass bottles is a proven approach, and Stanpac Ink can be a key partner in upscaling your brand image.